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 Sunday, 12 January, 2003, 08:35 GMT
Libya 'gives US tips on al-Qaeda'
Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is coming in from the cold
Libya is exchanging intelligence about the al-Qaeda network with the United States, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has said.

America has given the fundamentalists a strong pretext to carry on their work

Colonel Gaddafi
Colonel Gaddafi said there were what he called Libyan terrorists in the US and Britain, and they should be "wiped out".

Osama Bin Laden is regarded as a prophet by many Muslims and has convinced his followers that the US is attacking the whole Islamic world, the Libyan leader tells Newsweek magazine in an interview.

Colonel Gaddafi - who himself has been accused of sponsoring international terrorism - said there had been assassination attempts on his life by al-Qaeda members.

Fight to the finish

"[Fundamentalism] is a threat to all regimes in the region," he said.

We don't know who poses a greater threat - the American president or Saddam Hussein

Colonel Gaddafi
"But unfortunately, America has given the fundamentalists a strong pretext to carry on their work."

"[Bin Laden] told them in the beginning that America's objective was not only Afghanistan. Now that there is a move against Iraq, it has proven bin Laden right," he added.

Colonel Gaddafi also reiterated his opposition to a possible US-led war against Iraq.

He said that while he had never agreed with Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi leader did not constitute a threat.

"We don't know who poses a greater threat - the American president or Saddam Hussein," he said.

"[Saddam Hussein] opened his country for full inspections. What more can he do? Now it is a fight to the finish."

See also:

10 Aug 02 | From Our Own Correspondent
05 Sep 02 | Africa
06 Feb 01 | Middle East
16 Jul 99 | In Depth
14 Mar 02 | Middle East
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