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US Finds Hints of al-Qaeda Among Libyan Rebels

But general stresses it's not the people in charge
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2011 12:45 PM CDT
US Finds Hints of al-Qaeda Among Libyan Rebels
Adm. James G. Stavridis, NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, left, and Air Force Gen. C. Robert Kehler, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, testify on Capitol Hill, March 29, 2011.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – US intelligence indicates “flickers” of evidence that there are fighters among the Libyan rebels with ties to al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, but neither group holds significant sway over the movement, Admiral James Stavridis told Congress today. “The intelligence that I'm receiving at this point makes me feel that the leadership that I'm seeing are responsible men and women,” said Stavridis, NATO’s supreme Europe commander, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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“We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al-Qaeda, Hezbollah,” he continued. “But at this point, I don't have the detail sufficient to say that there's a significant al-Qaeda presence or any other terrorist presence in and among these folks.” Yesterday, White House officials also expressed trust. “So far, they’re saying the right things,” President Obama said. “Most of them are professionals, lawyers, doctors—people who appear to be credible.” (Read more James Stavridis stories.)

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