Libya Could Fall to Extremists: NATO

Tensions growing between rebel camps
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2011 5:02 AM CDT
Libyan revolutionary supporters react as Libyan Transitional National Council chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil delivers his speech on the former Green Square, now named Martyr's Square, in Tripoli.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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(Newser) – The fall of Moammar Gadhafi's regime has created a power vacuum in Libya that could be exploited by Islamic extremists, warns NATO's secretary-general. As splits emerge in the rebel leadership and the remnants of Gadhafi's forces launch fresh attacks, the former rebels need to form a stable government without delay, Anders Fogh Rasmussen tells the Telegraph. NATO is in the final phase of its operation, and things could move very fast if Gadhafi is killed or captured, he says.

The head of Libya's Transitional National Council, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, spoke to a crowd of thousands in Tripoli last night, calling for the creation of a civil, democratic state, AP reports. "No retribution, no taking matters into your own hands and no oppression. I hope that the revolution will not stumble because of any of these things," he said. Abdul-Jalil, Gadhafi's former justice minister, is one of the most widely respected rebel leaders, and insiders say he is struggling to keep the peace between Islamic conservatives and more secular figures competing to form Libya's new government. (Read more Moammar Gadhafi stories.)

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