But a story out og neiboring Niger from the French press service AFP may indicate something different.
Niger army hunts for Al-Qaeda after clash
NIAMEY — Troops scoured Wednesday Niger's northern desert for Al-Qaeda militants who clashed with troops at the weekend after arriving from Libya loaded with explosives, a security official said.
The Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) fighters, travelling in three vehicles, fought with troops on Sunday about 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of the remote uranium mining town of Arlit, officials said.
Al Qaeda "arriving from Libya"? the story continues
"The armed men who clashed with the Niger army on Sunday north of Arlit were Islamist elements of AQIM," the security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
One vehicle was stopped and the military was tracking down the other two, he said.
"The army, with reinforcements that arrived in Arlit, are still sweeping the area Wednesday to try to find the two other vehicles that were able to escape after a gun battle," the official said.
But the key part that caught my attention was what was found in the captured truck
Trunks containing 640 kilogrammes (around 1,400 pounds) of explosives and 435 detonators were found in the seized vehicle, he said, adding they were "were stamped 'Libya' and were of Czech manufacture".
This is a significant detail, because this means that these terrorists "arriving from Libya" were armed with an especially deadly type of explosive specifically given to Qaddafi in the last century. On March 23, 1990, the New York Times reported
President Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia said today that the ousted Communist Government in Prague had shipped 1,000 tons of lethal Semtex explosives to Libya, which had passed it on to terrorist organizations.
''Two hundred grams is enough to blow up an aircraft,'' he said, ''and this means world terrorism now has supplies of Semtex to last 150 years.''
The Czechoslovak-made plastic substance is pliable, high-yield, odorless and undetectable by sniffer dogs or conventional baggage inspection X-ray machines.
It is believed to have been used to blow up Pan American Flight 103 over Scotland in December 1988, killing 259 people on board and 11 on the ground, and a French DC-10 airliner over the Sahara late last year, killing 170 people. British officials say they believe that Libya shipped several tons of it in the mid-1980's to Irish Republican Army terrorists for operations in Britain and Ireland.
Mr. Havel, who spoke at a news conference during a three-day visit to Britain, said Czechoslovakia no longer exported Semtex.
''The absurd side of the matter is that Czechoslovakia didn't even make money on it,'' he said. ''It was done on political orders from above.''
This means that these explosives were captured by Al Qaeda terrorists from the Libyan military, or that the explosives were given to Al Qaeda by Qaddafi. And given that Iran reportedly maintained Military bases within Libya, I wouldn't be surprised.