CNN National Security Producer
Washington (CNN) - There is a good chance NATO pressure will encourage Libyan tyrant Moammar Gadhafi to leave power, the U.S. NATO commander told Congress Tuesday, but the opposition that could come in the Libyan leader's wake has "flickers" of al Qaeda.
While there is a wide range of possible outcomes in Libya, running from a static stalemate to Gadhafi cracking, there is a "more than reasonable" chance of Gadhafi leaving power, Adm. James Stavridis said before the Senate Armed Services Committee,
But potential "flickers" of al Qaeda and Hezbollah elements have been seen in intelligence regarding the Libyan opposition, which is poised to take power if Gadhafi leaves, Stavridis said. However, he added there is no evidence of a significant presence of al Qaeda or other terrorist groups. Stavridis is also the commander of U.S. European Command.
"The intelligence that I'm receiving at this point makes me feel that the leadership that I'm seeing are responsible men and women who are struggling against Col. Gadhafi," Stavridis added.
The comments come the same day as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with a leader of Libya's opposition in London. Clinton and the heads of 40 other countries met Tuesday to discuss Libya's future.
A senior counterterrorism official, unnamed because he is not authorized to speak on the record, backed up Stavridis' assessment, downplaying the concern about al Qaeda among the Libyan opposition.
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