Gaddafi warns of al-Qaeda spread "up to Israel"

Libyan jet passes Greece en route to Egypt: source


Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi warned on Wednesday that the region would be engulfed in chaos, spreading to Israel's doorstep, if al-Qaeda takes control of his country.

"If al-Qaeda manages to seize Libya, then the entire region, up to Israel, will be at the prey of chaos," he said in an interview with Turkey's public TRT television channel.

"The international community is now beginning to understand that we have to prevent Osama bin Laden from taking control of Libya and Africa," he added.

Libyan jet heads to Egypt

A Greek foreign ministry official meanwhile said that a Libyan jet flew through Greek controlled air space briefly on Wednesday and headed to Egypt but there was no information on whether it belonged to Libyan leader Gaddafi.

"A Libyan Falcon jet reported to Athens FIR (Flight Information Region) that it was passing through and heading to Egypt. It was in Greek FIR for about 15 minutes. We do not know who was on the plane or who it belongs to," the official, who requested anonymity, told Reuters.

"The pilot tabled a flight plan from Tripoli to Cairo," an air force source said, adding: "The plane crossed southwest of the island of Crete around an hour ago. It should be landing in Cairo by now."

Gaddafi, who took power in a 1969 coup, once again insisted he had no intention of stepping down, saying he was not the de facto leader of the country.

The Libyan leader told the Turkish TV that if the no-fly zone would allow "Libyans to see through the real intentions (of the international community) -- to seize our oil -- and then they would take up arms (to defend the country)."

"Since 1977, the Libyan people have held the power," he said speaking in Arabic, translated into Turkish.

Gaddafi styled himself 'guide of the revolution' from 1977, saying power was held 'by the masses' via elected people's committees.

Despite widespread unrest in several regions of the country, Gaddafi insisted that "peace and security hold sway in a large part of Libya."


Gaddafi meanwhile accused the United States, Britain and France of planning to seize Libya's oil and wealth with the help of whom he called "traitors".

In recorded comments broadcast on Libyan television earlier on Wednesday, Gaddafi accused the interim council, lead by the defected justice minister Mustapha Abdul Jalil, of treason.

The Libyan leader was addressing a group of supporters from Zantan tribe, who were gathered in a closed hall.

Gaddafi accused groups from Afghanistan, Egypt and Algeria of being behind the fighting in Libya.

He added that the west was trying to seize the opportunity of the ongoing unrest in Libya to "enslave" its people.

In another interview aired by France's LCI television channel Wednesday, the embattled Libyan leader accused Western countries, especially France, of plotting to "colonize" his oil-rich nation,

When questioned on the stand taken by Western powers, and France in particular, Gaddafi said they "want to colonize Libya again", adding: "It's a colonialist plot."

Britain and France have made the most aggressive calls among Western powers for a no-fly zone to stop Gaddafi's troops attacking opposition forces staging a more than three-week-old rebellion.

The United States has said any such move would need to have full U.N. backing.

Paris has also praised the national council set up by the revolutionaries.

Libya was annexed by Italy in 1912 after an Italian invasion of the north African country ostensibly to safeguard its interests.

When asked if he envisaged "reprisals" against France, Gaddafi replied: "We'll see".