Tripoli, Mar 27(ANI): A new video has surfaced showing a convoy of Libyan military and police vehicles passing through the hometown of late dictator Muammar Gaddafi, while bearing a flag similar to the black banner of al Qaeda.
It was not immediately clear when the video was shot, but according to an accompanying caption written by a self-identified pro-Gadhafi supporter, it was taken in the coastal town of Sirte.
It is, however, not be the first time that Al Qaeda flag has flown in Libya since the popular revolt against Gaddafi began last February.
An al Qaeda flag was reportedly raised over a courthouse in Benghazi. Caravans bearing the flag, similar to the one shown in the new video have also apparently been spotted in Tripoli, according to a new report by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
But the Libyan ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi claimed that Libyan brigades have flown similar flags in the past.
“These brigades have no relation whatsoever with al Qaeda. There are no al Qaeda elements in Libya,” ABC News quoted Dabbashi ,as saying.
A US official said the flying of Islamist flags apparently by Libyan military forces was “troubling.”
“What you may have here is simply a fundamentalist brigade parade, which is troubling, but [that] doesn’t necessarily make this a column of al Qaeda fighters,” the official said. “What you also may have is some militias smearing other militias with the al Qaeda-linked tag,” he added.
The U.S. State Department and the Department of Defense did not respond to requests for comment on the issue. (ANI)