Muhammad Imran grimaced as he pushed his thumb firmly into his chin. The discomfort did not seem to bother him though. Standing in front of the charred remains of the US Consulate in
Hours after the consulate attacks, Libyans began grieving for Stevens. Many changed the lead picture on their Facebook pages to display American flags and photos of the slain ambassador. They posted messages expressing their outrage. “We want all the Americans to know that we cry with them,” Nusayba Himalik said on the corniche within ear shot of the
Although the event’s organizers had merely planned a visible protest against the militias, the demonstrators had other ideas. Participants in the march descended on militias’ bases, torched buildings, chased fighters away and carted off their rifles. The main brigade the protesters targeted belonged to Ansar Al-Shari’a, the group believed to be behind the consulate attack. “These fanatics won’t scare us anymore!” screamed Imad Boughniyya as the flames engulfed the building behind him.
The day after ‘
Disbanded is exactly what Jabir Hamid wants of the militias. He has grown tired of the nightly celebratory gun fire and the pickup trucks with anti-aircraft guns rumbling through the city. “The war is over. They should go home,” he says as he stops to buy a pack of cigarettes. “We didn’t fight a revolution against Qaddafi and his cronies to have new warlords.”
But Abu Yahya scoffs at the belief that the militias can disband overnight. He asks, “Who will provide the security against Qaddafi supporters? And who will arrest the guys behind the consulate attack?” It is a dilemma many here have sought to avoid confronting. The security services are too weak and disorganized and are largely unable to carry out their tasks. And they are neither in a position to arrest those suspected of planning the consulate attack nor able to provide American investigators the necessary security to investigate it. “We promised Libyans we would create a new country they could be proud of,” a member of the former interim government told The Media Line. “But we haven’t changed anything and have nothing to tell Libyans.”
And answers are what they want most. But with American investigators unable to work in the consulate to piece together clues and other intelligence officers pulled for lack of security, it will be a long time before Libyans learn who exactly was behind the lethal attack that took the life of a man they admired for his love of their country.