Lybia to sponsor terrorism? Again ?
WASHINGTON—U.S. intelligence agencies are watching for signs that a desperate Col. Moammar Gadhafi, under attack from a coalition air assault, could resort to acts of terrorism against Western targets.
Col. Gadhafi has extensive stockpiles of mustard gas and high explosives at his disposal that could be used in attacks against targets in Europe or against his own people. He also has a documented history of orchestrating strikes against civilians and other world leaders.
"U.S. officials are keeping an eye on that possibility," one U.S. official said.
So far, counterterrorism officials in the U.S. and Europe believe there is a low probability of Col. Gadhafi returning to terrorism in the near term because he is focused for now on maintaining his hold on power during Western air strikes.
"We haven't seen any intelligence yet" that he is actively reestablishing his terrorism ties or plotting attacks outside Libya, a senior U.S. counterterrorism official said. Another U.S. official called the likelihood "low," but added: "That being said, a madman's a madman."
John Brennan, Mr. Obama's top White House counterterrorism adviser, has first-hand knowledge of Col. Gadhafi's past ties to terrorism. One of Mr. Brennan's colleagues at the CIA died aboard Pan Am Flight 103, which blew up over Lockerbie, an attack blamed on Col. Gadhafi.
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U.S. Eyes Gadhafi Terror Response