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US sees small indication of Al Qaeda presence in Libya


Washington : Intelligence agencies have found a small Al Qaeda and Hezbollah presence among the rebel opposition in Libya, NATO’s top military officer told Congress Tuesday.US Admiral James Stavridis, NATO’s supreme allied commander, told a Senate committee there are indications of a significant presence, but that is being closely watched as the West learns more about the rebels.

“We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential Al Qaeda, Hezbollah,” Stavridis said. “We’ve seen different things. But at this point I don’t have detail sufficient to say that there’s a significant Al Qaeda presence or any other terrorist presence in and among these folks.”

Stavridis said the intelligence instead shows the rebel leadership appear to be “responsible men and women who are struggling against Colonel (Muammar) Gaddafi” and will continue to seek more information about the opposition.

“We’re examining very closely the content, composition, the personalities, who are the leaders in these opposition forces,” Stavridis said.