Algerian minister says al-Qaida gets Libyan arms

AP News
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Posted: Jun 01, 2011 4:34 PM
Algerian minister says al-Qaida gets Libyan arms

The Algerian minister in charge of North African affairs says he has information indicating al-Qaida offshoots are obtaining "sophisticated arms" from Libya.

Abdelkader Messahel called Libya an "open air arms depot" and said Wednesday that recent attacks in Algeria "aren't by chance."

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is based in Algeria, from where it extends its tentacles into the desert region of the Sahel to the south.

Messahel did not elaborate on his information, although there has been concern that weapons may be filtering out of Libya during the uprising.

Gen. Carter Ham, head of the United States Africa Command, visiting Algiers, said the U.S. and the region are worried about the proliferation of arms from Libya.

The two men spoke at a conference in Algiers.