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Libyan rebel says Osama bin Laden's death won't stop jihadist flow

'Al Qaeda [is] getting more and more organized and bringing people [to Libya] from abroad,' says the rebel, who has been contacted by militants wanting to fight against Col. Muammar Qaddafi.

Men pray at dusk as more than 1,000 Libyan refugees live in a camp run by the United Arab Emirates for Libyans fleeing across the border to Dehiba, Tunisia, on April 30. Fighting in the rebel-held enclave of the Nafusah Mountain in recent weeks between rebels and forces loyal to Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi has pushed some 40,000 refugees across this border into southern Tunisia, though the majority are hosted by Tunisian families.

Scott Peterson/Getty Images

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Thousands of miles away from where Osama bin Laden was killed, on a remote chain of Libyan mountains that crown the Sahara Desert, there comes a warning: the ideology of Al Qaeda is certain to outlast the group’s most famous leader.

“I am happy that Osama bin Laden is dead, because he represents the wrong face of Islam and the root of destruction,” says Mazen Naluti, a Muslim believer in the Libyan opposition city of Nalut, 20 miles from the Tunisian border. “But I am sad because [he] died without recanting this ideology.”

This believer, a Libyan rebel whose real name could not be used for security reasons, repudiates extremism. But he fears that the persistence of the reasons that first gave rise to Al Qaeda’s worldview mean that in Libya and beyond the ideology will not be stopped. Already, says Mr. Naluti, the NATO-led conflict against Col. Muammar Qaddafi – begun six weeks ago and with no end in sight – is opening the door to foreign jihadists. The longer it lasts, the greater problem it becomes.


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