mortar shellsThe Western-backed overthrow of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi likely provided huge stocks of heavy weapons to terrorist groups and criminal organizations operating in the Sahel region of North Africa, the United Nations confirmed January 26 in a report. Among the groups benefiting from the arms are al-Qaeda and the deadly Islamic terror organization Boko Haram, which is currently on a killing spree in Nigeria.

Gun fights south of Tripoli between rebel militias and forces still loyal to the late Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi left several dead and dozens wounded over the weekend, according to news reports. And it is not over yet.

Another Middle Eastern despot may be facing a violent end for atrocities his accusers say he perpetrated against his own people. Egypt’s former dictator, Hosni Mubarak, who enjoyed 30 years of mostly undisturbed rule under a nearly perpetual “Emergency Law,” is being tried along with his security chief and six top police officers for their complicity in the killings of hundreds of protesters during last year’s uprisings that ended Mubarak’s rule.

In the aftermath of a series of bombings on Christmas Day, Nigerians have reason to worry that Islamic terrorism will continue to increase in their country. Boko Haram, the organization behind much of the escalating anti-Christian violence in that African country, is dedicated to a campaign of fear and murder in a society where Muslims and Christians constitute nearly equal proportions of the population.

The prayers of faithful Christians in Nigeria were interrupted by bombs detonated by Islamic militants during worship services on Christmas Day — attacks that are becoming perennial in a nation that rests on one of the theological fault lines between Christianity and Islam.