Diplomats and other observers in Libya say that with elections one month away, the National Transitional Council is struggling to exert control over various militia prominent in the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi.
Abdul Hakeem Belhaj, one of the most effective commanders among anti-Gadhafi forces in Libya, has seen plenty of combat in his 45 years. A well-built, bearded man with dark, serious eyes, he fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan -- and alongside al Qaeda in the dying days of the Taliban regime.
Libya's beleaguered leader Moammar Gadhafi Thursday blamed the uprising sweeping Libya on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, accusing the terrorist group of supplying Libyans with pills inducing them to revolt. "Our children have been manipulated by al Qaeda," he told Libyan state television by telephone.
The long and intricate peace negotiations between the Libyan government and a radical Islamist group were nearly derailed by the sudden death in a Tripoli prison of a prominent Libyan Jihadist, Libyan sources revealed to CNN.
A recently completed peace deal with an Islamic militant group in Libya will help pave the way for the political opening and economic modernization of Libya, Saif al Islam al Gadhafi, the second eldest son of Libya's leader told CNN in an exclusive interview.
In what may prove one of the biggest breakthroughs against Islamist terrorism since 9/11, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a militant Libyan Jihadist group, once allied with Osama bin Laden and with close personal ties to al Qaeda's senior leadership, is publicly repudiating al Qaeda's ideology.