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We left Libya in ruins. Now, it’s a crucible of terror that has come back to haunt us

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Mark Almond
Daily Mail
June 23, 2020

The CIA calls it ‘blowback’, when the unintended consequences of what seemed like a good policy at the time come back to bite you.

The classic example is Western sponsorship of radical Islamist fighters against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

That covert war against the Kremlin was a significant factor in crippling Communism in Russia which was a good thing, surely? It certainly seemed cost-free for America — until that bright morning of September 11, 2001, when Afghan-based terrorism struck New York and Washington on a grand scale.

Today our own nation is reeling from yet another savage consequence of our own ‘blowback’, after three people were randomly and fatally stabbed and three others wounded, as they sat enjoying a warm evening in a local park.


The alleged perpetrator, 25-year-old Khairi Saadallah, is a Libyan refugee. And in the initial aftermath, as the horror sank in and claims of a possible ‘terror’ link filtered through, the people of Reading found themselves confronting the same grim question as did the people of Manchester in May 2017 after a 22-year-old Libyan refugee, Salman Abedi, detonated a bomb killing 22 at a pop concert.

Why us? Why here?

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To understand the Libyan link, think back to 2011. David Cameron’s government was confident the Libyan dictator, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, would be the latest domino to fall in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ of popular uprisings.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 3:52 am

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