CNN reports: Diplomats and other observers in Libya say that with elections one month away, the National Transitional Council is struggling to exert control over various militia prominent in the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi.
The situation is further complicated by tribal rivalries and a growing presence of Islamist militants in some areas.
One source briefed by Western intelligence officials said that of particular concern is the city of Derna on the Mediterranean coast some 160 miles (260 kilometers) west of the Egyptian border.
The source told CNN that hundreds of Islamist militants are in and around the town, and there are camps where weapons and physical training are provided to militants. He said one official had described the area as “a disaster zone.”
Tensions have grown between local people and the militants. Last month, a number of Derna residents went to a camp on the outskirts of the city, according to the source, and forced militants to leave.
There have also been a number of car bomb explosions in Derna in recent months, apparently as rival Islamist factions compete for supremacy in the area. One is said to have targeted Abdel Hakim al Hasadi, a former member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group who spent time in Afghanistan in the 1990s. [Continue reading…]