Key Republicans push to keep Libyans from training at U.S. flight schools

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the newly-formed Select Committee on Benghazi, walks down the steps of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, May 30, 2014, after final votes. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the newly-formed Select Committee on Benghazi, walks down the steps of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, May 30, 2014, after final votes. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By Stephen Dinan:

Key Republicans will move Monday to try to prevent Libyans from being able to learn to fly airplanes at U.S. flight schools or train as nuclear scientists, introducing legislation to stop the Obama administration from loosening the rules.

At a time when press accounts suggest Islamist militants may have stolen 11 jetliners from the airport in Tripoli last month, the House Republicans say it’s critical to keep a decades-old ban on Libyans being able to train at U.S. schools.

The White House Office of Management and Budget approved the changes last month and they are awaiting a final signature by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

“Is post-revolutionary Libya secure enough to change the rules? Why now?” said Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, who along with Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, is introducing legislation Monday to cancel the Obama administration changes.

Their bill comes almost two years to the day after U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist assault on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city.

The security situation in Libya has been grim since the U.S. provided military power that helped oust former leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Read more at Washington Times

WFB’s Bill Gertz: Obama Administration ‘Trying to Play Down’ Missing Libyan Airliners

 

By Larry O’Connor:

Washington Free Beacon senior editor Bill Gertz appeared on WMAL radio in Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning to discuss his exclusive story on 11 missing airliners from the Tripoli airport.

“(U.S. Intelligence is) concerned they could be utilized in a 9/11-style attack,” Gertz said of the planes. “If they don’t use them in suicide attacks, they could also be used to transport some of these Islamist groups to expand their reach.”

“It seems like the State Department, the Obama administration, is trying to play down these reports, but the people I talked to were fairly concerned about them,” Gertz said. “Again, they are trying to locate these jets. I don’t think the CIA has a full handle on where all of the aircraft from the airlines were. There are a number of airports in the region that are within close distance to Tripoli International, so they’re obviously looking at these places and trying to get a count of how many aircraft are there.”

When co-host Brian Wilson asked specifics with regard to how Gertz’s sources responded to the reports of the missing jets by saying the “can’t confirm” the reports, Gertz explained that “can’t confirm” in this context was not meant as a denial, but “they’re trying to play down by saying ‘well, we can’t confirm them.’ That’s kind of bureaucrat speak within the United States government.”

“You have to understand the politics of Libya right now,” Gertz said.”You have a congressional inquiry spinning up to look at the 2012 terrorist attack at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi. So that would be my only speculation as to why they’re playing it down.”

Also see:

MISSING LIBYAN JETLINERS RAISE FEARS OF SUICIDE AIRLINER ATTACKS ON 9/11

In this image made from video by The Associated Press, smoke rises from the direction of Tripoli airport in Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, July 13, 2014. Rival militias battled Sunday for the control of the international airport in Libya's capital / AP

In this image made from video by The Associated Press, smoke rises from the direction of Tripoli airport in Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, July 13, 2014. Rival militias battled Sunday for the control of the international airport in Libya’s capital / AP

By Bill Gertz:

Islamist militias in Libya took control of nearly a dozen commercial jetliners last month, and western intelligence agencies recently issued a warning that the jets could be used in terrorist attacks across North Africa.

Intelligence reports of the stolen jetliners were distributed within the U.S. government over the past two weeks and included a warning that one or more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month on the date marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, said U.S. officials familiar with the reports.

“There are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing,” said one official. “We found out on September 11 what can happen with hijacked planes.”

The official said the aircraft are a serious counterterrorism concern because reports of terrorist control over the Libyan airliners come three weeks before the 13th anniversary of 9/11 attacks and the second anniversary of the Libyan terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the Benghazi attack, which the Obama administration initially said was the result of a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim video.

A senior State Department counterterrorism official declined to comment on reports of the stolen jetliners.

A second State department official sought to downplay the reports. “We can’t confirm that,” he said.

Meanwhile, officials said Egyptian military forces appear to be preparing to intervene in Libya to prevent the country from becoming a failed state run by terrorists, many with ties to al Qaeda.

Libya remains an oil-rich state and if the country is taken over completely by Islamist extremists, U.S. counterterrorism officials believe it will become another terrorist safe haven in the region.

The officials said U.S. intelligence agencies have not confirmed the aircraft theft following the takeover of Tripoli International Airport in late August, and are attempting to locate all aircraft owned by two Libyan state-owned airline companies, as security in the country continued to deteriorate amid fighting between Islamists and anti-Islamist militias.

Video surfaced on Sunday showing armed fighters from the Islamist militia group Libyan Dawn partying inside a captured U.S. diplomatic compound in Tripoli. The footage showed one fighter diving into a pool from a second-story balcony at the facility.

Tripoli airport and at least seven aircraft were reported damaged during fighting that began in July. Photos of the airport in the aftermath showed a number of damaged aircraft. The airport has been closed since mid-July.

The state-owned Libyan Airlines fleet until this summer included 14 passenger and cargo jetliners, including seven Airbus 320s, one Airbus 330, two French ATR-42 turboprop aircraft, and four Bombardier CJR-900s. Libyan state-owned Afriqiyah Airways fleet is made up of 13 aircraft, including three Airbus 319s, seven Airbus 320s, two Airbus 330s, and one Airbus 340.

The aircraft were reportedly taken in late August following the takeover of Tripoli International Airport, located about 20 miles south of the capital, by Libyan Dawn.

Al Jazeera television reported in late August that western intelligence reports had warned of terror threats to the region from 11 stolen commercial jets.

In response, Tunisia stopped flights from other Libyan airports at Tripoli, Sirte, and Misrata over concerns that jets from those airports could be on suicide missions.

Egypt’s government also halted flights to and from Libya.

Military forces in North Africa, including those from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt have been placed on heightened alert as a result of intelligence warning of the stolen aircraft.

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

State Dept: US Embassy in Libya Held by Jihadists is “Secure”

 

Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield:

This seems to be some usage of the word “Secure” that I was not familiar with. Neither was Ambassador Stevens who was assured that the Benghazi facility was secure.

A senior State Department official said Sunday that the U.S. Embassy in Libya’s capital is believed to be secure after reports that an Islamist-allied militia group took over the compound.

“We’ve seen the reports and videos and are seeking additional details,” said the official. “At this point, we believe the Embassy compound itself remains secure but we continue to monitor the situation on the ground, which remains very fluid.”

Considering that the Libya Dawn, a coalition that includes Ansar al-Sharia, responsible for the Benghazi attack, and Feb 17, which was meant to be providing security, holds the residential compound, not to mention the Libyan government, what basis is there for believing it’s secure?

But then again admitting what is really going on would damage Obama’s image and so everyone immediately goes into cover up mode.

That’s what happened in Benghazi and with virtually every event in Libya. Considering that Obama implemented regime change and that the whole thing badly fell apart, the country is a black hole of media coverage.

Now Jihadists are swimming in the pool of the residential compound of the “secure” US Embassy.

Obama Lifts Ban on Libyans Attending U.S. Flight Schools, Training In Nuke Science

Libyan militias parade through Tripoli / AP

Libyan militias parade through Tripoli / AP

By Adam Kredo:

The Obama administration has lifted longtime restrictions on Libyans attending flight schools in the United States and training here in nuclear science, according to a final amendment of the ban recently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Less than two years after the deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is poised to sign off on an amendment reversing the ban, which was enacted following a wave or terrorist attacks in 1980s and prevents Libyans from studying these sensitive trades in the United States.

The original law effectively disqualified all Libyan nationals and those “acting on behalf of Libyan entities” from training in “aviation maintenance, flight operations, or nuclear-related fields,” according to the ban.

DHS said the prohibition is irrelevant now since the United States and Libya have worked to “normalize their relationship,” according to the directive approved by the OMB.

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations by rescinding the regulatory provisions promulgated in 1983 that terminated the nonimmigrant status and barred the granting of certain immigration benefits to Libyan nationals and foreign nationals acting on behalf of Libyan entities who are engaging in or seeking to obtain studies or training in,” the amendment states.

“The United States Government and the Government of Libya have normalized their relationship and most of the restrictions and sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations toward Libya have been lifted,” it says. “Therefore, DHS, after consultation with the Department of State and the Department of Defense, is considering rescinding the restrictions that deny nonimmigrant status and benefits to a specific group of Libyan nationals.”

Members of the House Judiciary Committee expressed outrage on Monday about the rollback in the law, maintaining that Libyans continue to pose a security risk to the United States, particularly if they are given access to train in the aviation and nuclear fields.

The terror threat continues and numerous news reports document recent terror-related activities coming from Libya,” the Judiciary Committee said in a statement. “Recently, the employees at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli were evacuated due to violence between rival militias near the facility.”

“Since then, many foreign governments have closed their embassies in Libya and evacuated staff as the violence has spread throughout the country,” the statement said.

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

LATEST BENGHAZI FOIA LAWSUIT MAY REVEAL WHAT CONGRESS KNEW BEFORE ATTACK

imagescaoeryuz (1)by KERRY PICKET:

Judicial Watch, a Washington D.C based watchdog organization, announced last week, that it filed on May 15, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Departments of Defense and State to get records relating to briefings that any members of Congress’ “Super 8” may have received about “the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.”

Breitbart News previously reported how the Benghazi issue is interwoven with U.S. law regarding White House briefings on covert CIA actions the executive branch wishes to authorize.

This general protocol to notify Congress of such covert actions has been the law since the passage of the 1947 National Security Act.  By 1980, legislation was passed and signed into law to give the president the authority to limit prior notification of extremely sensitive covert actions to eight members of Congress.

From their FOIA, Judicial Watch has requested:

a) Any and all records detailing the dates on which any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] briefed any of the following members of Congress on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.

    • Rep. John Boehner [Speaker of the House]
    • Rep. Mike Rogers [Chairman, House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Charles “Dutch” Ruppersberger [Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Rep. Nancy Pelosi [Minority Leader of the House]
    • Sen. Dianne Feinstein [Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence]
    • Sen. Saxby Chambliss [Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee in Intelligence]
    • Sen. Harry Reid [Senate Majority Leader]
    • Sen. Mitch McConnell [Senate Minority Leader]

b) Any and all records produced by any official of the[ Departments of Defense and State] in preparation for, use during, and/or pursuant to any of the aforementioned briefings (including, but is not limited to, any and all reports, analyses, presentation slides, and/or notes).

c) Any and all records of communication between any official of the [Departments of Defense and State] and any of the aforementioned members of Congress and/or any of their respective staff members regarding, concerning, or related to activities or operations of any agency of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or the classified annex in Benghazi, Libya.

CNN and the UK Telegraph both reported in August of 2013 that a complex arms operation was happening in Benghazi prior to and during the attack and the White House and the State Department have never confirmed why the CIA annex was in Benghazi to begin with.

Since 2013, Breitbart News has spoken to different members of the Super 8 and each have denied knowing anything about an arms running operation in Libya, but while only one has confirmed that he was aware of the existence of the CIA annex in Benghazi, others were either unaware of the CIA facility or were not willing to say either way.

Some members may try to publicly deny the classified information they are briefed about. Pelosi, a Super 8 member, was snagged in 2009, when it came to light  she was briefed in 2003 by the Bush White House about the administration’s tactic to water-board terrorism suspects during interrogations. Pelosi previously denied she was aware of this fact and attacked the Bush administration for it.

Radio host Laura Ingraham asked Speaker John Boehner on January 24, 2013 about Senator Rand Paul’s gun running in Libya questioning to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Paul asked if the secretary was aware of U.S. involvement in the procuring of weapons that were transferred, bought or sold to Turkey out of Libya. Clinton, seemingly confused, told Paul “nobody [had] ever raised” the issue with her before.

Boehner replied to Ingraham, “I’m somewhat familiar with the chatter about this and the fact that these arms were moving towards Turkey, but most of what I know about this came from a classified source and I really can’t elaborate on it.”

Congressman Rogers (R-MI), though, told Breitbart News in June of 2013, “I get to see all of that stuff. I have seen nothing that would allow me to conclude that the U.S. government was in any way shape or form involved in gun running in Libya. I looked at it all.”

Senator Chambliss (R-GA), when asked in February of 2013 if he knew anything about the gun running issue Senator Rand Paul asked Clinton about a month earlier replied , “I’m not familiar with that.”

Senator Feinstein (D-CA) told Breitbart News in March of 2013 she “didn’t know what” Senator Paul was talking about in regards to his questioning of Clinton and the Secretary’s knowledge about the gunrunning issue in Benghazi.

Congressman Ruppersberger (D-MD) also did not appear to know anything about a gunrunning operation in Libya either, telling Breitbart News in May of 2013, “I don’t know anything about that. The only thing I know is that even before he was ambassador, he knew very much about Libya and he had a lot of good relationships and contacts, trying to resolve issues, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

The existence of the CIA annex in Benghazi prior the attack also seemed to not be on some of the Super 8’s radar. In fact, according to the Senate’s Intelligence Committee report (p.27-28) on Benghazi, General Carter Ham– the second Commander, U.S. Africa Command, was not aware of the annex either before the attack happened.

Read more at Breitbart

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Think Iraq’s a disaster? Read this terrifying dispatch from Libya – the other country our politicians crowed about ‘liberating’

Flames rise during fighting between Islamist militias and forces loyal to general Haftar, in Benghazi, on June 2

Flames rise during fighting between Islamist militias and forces loyal to general Haftar, in Benghazi, on June 2

By ANDREW MALONE:

Death is stalking Sammy. In a flat in a rough part of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, this cadaverous 32-year-old sits on his sofa bed and transfers cocaine from a bag onto a spoon.

With Tom and Jerry on the television opposite, Sammy pours liquid onto the white powder and holds a lighter underneath the spoon until the cocaine starts to bubble, dry out and crack. He places the rocks of crack cocaine he’s made in a pipe, lights them and inhales.

The drugs are free. As a policeman, who joined the new security services in the heady days after Muammar Gaddafi was driven from power by a popular uprising, Sammy, wearing the balaclava that protects officers from reprisals, targets drug dealers and confiscates their contraband at gunpoint.

He’s been using crack for five months. In the past three days, he’s drunk a bottle of vodka and one of whisky. The drugs help him drink more.

This skeletal, depressive figure is not the Sammy I have known for the past three years — not the warm, friendly, family man who, along with thousands of others, risked his life to end the madness of Gaddafi’s 42-year-rule.

After the despot was captured and killed in October 2011, he joined the new police force and pledged to uphold the law. He married, had a baby girl and bought a family home.

But now, like the entire country, Sammy is falling apart. Haunted by memories of war, and traumatised by attacks on the police by armed gangs, he has long endured nightmares that stop him sleeping.

His drunken rages are now so bad that his neighbours have become used to him firing his Kalashnikov in the middle of the night.

Above all, he is in despair over his country. ‘We got rid of Gaddafi — and it’s just exactly the same s***,’ he says. ‘What was it for? It was for nothing — things are worse now than they have ever been. I see it every day. It was all for nothing — absolutely nothing.’

Nor does he think much of David Cameron, who said earlier this year he was ‘proud’ of his work in Libya, having supplied British jets and  warships to oust Gaddafi in what locals deride as a ‘drive-by war’ with no thought for the aftermath.

‘They all fly in and come here in armed convoys, say everything is great, then leave again,’ says Sammy, who casually passes me a grenade and asks how much I would pay for it.

‘We thought the war was about freedom, but not this kind of freedom. Now you can do anything you like — buy guns, people and drugs. The country is in a mess.’

The truth is, there are thousands of Sammys in the new, free Libya. The country is awash with drugs, weapons, warring gangs and Al Qaeda terrorists.

And once more Libyans fear their nation is sliding inexorably into civil war. The parlous state of this benighted nation should act as a terrible warning to those watching with dismay as Iraq — another country where Britain chose to topple a long-standing strongman leader — threatens to tear itself apart along sectarian lines.

A retired Libyan general has launched a campaign against the Islamists that control areas of Tripoli, and against the government — or what passes for it, which is, in reality, a weak and makeshift administration, riven by divisions between hardline Islamists and moderates.

General Khalifa Haftar, who a few days ago survived a suicide bomb attack that killed four other people, has attempted to seize the parliament building and launched an attack with rocket-propelled grenades against the house of disputed Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, whom he has accused of being in thrall to Islamic groups.

He is calling his campaign ‘Operation Dignity’.

It is a name that might bring a tired smile to the lips of ordinary Libyans. Dignity is in short supply here. Weapons, unfortunately, are not.

There are thousands of truck-mounted missile launchers for sale, as well as rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns.

There are an estimated 15 million Kalashnikovs in a country of just six million people. Guns are available everywhere — from dealers outside the fish market, to a kiosk selling cigarettes on the street near Sammy’s flat, where arms and other contraband goods are kept in cupboards below the counter.

Moody, the kiosk owner, is also a former rebel fighter and was part of the uprising that ended with Gaddafi being buried in a secret grave in the Sahara.

He proudly showed me six Kalashnikov assault rifles, as well as boxes of ammunition.

Murder is also on sale.

Asked how much it would be to have a rival killed, Moody drew on his cigarette. ‘Not much. About 1,000 Libyan dinar (£600),’ he said, as other customers nodded in agreement.

‘We are turning into Somalia,’ said Abdelsalaam, a customer, as he negotiated to buy high-calibre bullets for a sniper rifle. ‘I’ve got a gun to stop myself being killed.’

Read more at Daily Mail

How the Taliban got their hands on modern US missiles

Taliban militia stand in the back of a pickup truck with heat-seeking Stinger missiles. Photo: Getty Images

Taliban militia stand in the back of a pickup truck with heat-seeking Stinger missiles.
Photo: Getty Images

The Obama administration isn’t only giving the Taliban back its commanders — it’s giving them weapons.

Miliary records and sources reveal that on July 25, 2012, Taliban fighters in Kunar province successfully targeted a US Army CH-47 helicopter with a new generation Stinger missile.

They thought they had a surefire kill. But instead of bursting into flames, the Chinook just disappeared into the darkness as the American pilot recovered control of the aircraft and brought it to the ground in a hard landing.

The assault team jumped out the open doors and ran clear in case it exploded. Less than 30 seconds later, the Taliban gunner and his comrade erupted into flames as an American gunship overhead locked onto their position and opened fire.

The next day, an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived to pick through the wreckage and found unexploded pieces of a missile casing that could only belong to a Stinger missile.

Lodged in the right nacelle, they found one fragment that contained an entire serial number.

The investigation took time. Arms were twisted, noses put out of joint. But when the results came back, they were stunning: The Stinger tracked back to a lot that had been signed out by the CIA recently, not during the anti-Soviet ­jihad.

Reports of the Stinger reached the highest echelons of the US command in Afghanistan and became a source of intense speculation, but no action.

Everyone knew the war was winding down. Revealing that the Taliban had US-made Stingers risked demoralizing coalition troops. Because there were no coalition casualties, government officials made no public announcement of the attack.

My sources in the US Special Operations community believe the Stinger fired against the Chinook was part of the same lot the CIA turned over to the ­Qataris in early 2011, weapons Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department intended for anti-Khadafy forces in Libya.

They believe the Qataris delivered between 50 and 60 of those same Stingers to the Taliban in early 2012, and an additional 200 SA-24 Igla-S surface-to-air missiles.

Qatar now is expected to hold five Taliban commanders released from Guantanamo for a year before allowing them to go to Afghanistan.

But if we can’t trust the Qataris not to give our weapons to the Taliban, how can we trust them with this?

Also see:

 

Anti-Jihadi Journalist Gunned Down In Libya

jihadiTruth Revolt, By Larry O’Connor:

AFP is reporting that Meftah Bouzid, 50, editor of the weekly newspaper Burniq, was shot dead in Benghazi. Bouzid was an outspoken critic of the Islamic extremists in control of the infamous city.

A journalist and analyst, Bouzid often went on television to criticise Islamic extremists, resulting in threats to his life according to a friend.

Libyan authorities have struggled to stamp out lawlessness in a country awash with weapons from the 2011 revolution which toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi. Ex-rebels, especially Islamists, have been blamed for deadly attacks on dozens of members of the security forces, judges and foreigners in Benghazi, the city where the revolution was born.

Bouzid and his paper came out openly in support of a military drive launched on May 16 by renegade general Khalifa Haftar to crush Islamists in Benghazi, in a so-called “dignity” campaign.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF), condemned the killing, urging authorities “to conduct an investigation as quickly as possible” to identify those responsible for the murder. Last week, the international watchdog group had voiced “deep concern about the fate of the country’s journalists, who are yet again the targets of violence.”

The Times of London reports that witnesses describe the murder as an execution-style slaying:

Witnesses said that a gunman repeatedly shot Muftah Buzeid at close range through his car window after his vehicle was blocked by another car.

A fellow journalist in Benghazi described Mr Buzeid as “a brave man who loved Libya and carried on his work despite receiving threats and being advised to leave the country.”

The message is clear: Oppose Jihad and pay with your life. This is the Libya that has been created by the hands-off, lead from behind policies of President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Showdown in Libya Between Opposition and Islamist Militias

 

Libyan militias travel in a convoy toward oil ports. (Photo: © Reuters)

Libyan militias travel in a convoy toward oil ports. (Photo: © Reuters)

Brotherhood victories in the Arab Spring have triggered a backlash against Islamist rule. Now the Libyan people are joining that revolt.

BY RYAN MAURO:

The Libyan population, fed up with radical militias and an Islamist-led parliament, are supporting a counter-revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic extremists. It began with the launch of “Operation Dignity” by General Khalifa Hifter and it sparked the scheduling of new elections on June 25.

Hifter and the secular opposition view the dysfunctional, Islamist-led parliament as being in league with radical militias and terrorists. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Libyan branch, the Justice and Construction Party, lost the 2012 parliamentary elections in a landslide. However, it has brought independents over to its side, giving them a functional majority.

This unpopular interim parliament was supposed to expire in February, but it gave itself another year. The Islamist bloc thenchose Ahmed Matiq as Prime Minister on May 4, the third Prime Minister since Qaddafi’s fall, in a hotly contested vote.

Secularists argue that Matiq is illegitimate because he only won 113 votes in the initial session, seven short of what is required. After the session was officially adjourned, voting resumed and opponents argue that parliamentarians who were not present were illegally allowed to vote. More recently, the Islamist-led parliament voted in his cabinet.

The revolt is about much more than the performance of the interim parliament, though. It is part of a regional backlash against the Islamist movement, and it was triggered by the Libyan people who are fed up with instability caused by Islamic extremist militias and terrorists.

“There is one enemy and that is the Muslim Brotherhood, the malignant disease which is seeking to spread throughout the bones of the Arab world,” Hifter said.

When asked about whether he wants to eliminate the group entirely, he answered, “Yes…completely. I am not looking for reconciliation.”

Read more at Clarion Project

Will a Rogue General Undo Obama’s Regime Change in Libya?

Khalifa Hifterby :

It didn’t take Egypt very long to revert back to a military oligarchy. The Arab Spring was trumpeted as a new era in the history of the Middle East. But the Middle East is better at undoing history than the media is at writing it.

In Egypt, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi brushed away the Arab Spring. Now in Libya, General Khalifa Hifter is set to undo Obama’s military intervention which put the Muslim Brotherhood on the road to taking over Libya.

Forty-five years ago a group of officers led by Colonel Gaddafi seized control of Libya. Gaddafi enjoyed support from the military and Federalist opponents of a central government.

Now General Khalifa Hifter is leading another military coup while vowing to free Libya of chaos, instability and corruption. His forces pounded Islamic militias in Benghazi, including those responsible for the murder of four Americans, and seized the parliament in Tripoli.

Hifter, who has spent a long time living in the United States, claims to have American support, but his real support probably comes from the east.

Like Gaddafi, Hifter is supported by the military and the Federalists. However he isn’t fighting a weak monarchy, but the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and other Islamist militias. But like Gaddafi, his takeover was probably inspired by Egypt and possibly even planned out by Egypt.

Egypt’s new government, which overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood, can’t risk allowing the group to control a bordering country and one of the largest oil reserves in Africa. Gaddafi used Libya’s oil wealth to fuel his insanity and fund terrorism. The Muslim Brotherhood would funnel it into pursuing its program of regional and global takeovers and the Islamic militias that control much of Libya would become a problem for Egypt.

Egypt’s immediate security agenda is to control border instability fed by the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza and Sinai. It would only be natural for Egypt’s new rulers to turn their attention to their country’s large western border with Libya.

Read more at Front Page

Libya Destabilization Continues as Rogue General Takes on Islamist Forces

libya-militia-afpBreitbart, by JORDAN SCHACHTEL:

On Sunday, anti-Islamist Libyan General Khalifa Haftar stormed Libya’s Parliament while it was in session.

Haftar, who helped bring down the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, brought his forces with him, who were armed to the teeth. The General reportedly had warplanes and helicopters along with a myriad of heavy weaponry at his disposal. Haftar’s raid was perceived by some as an attempt at coup d’état, or trying to overthrow the government.

The “Libyan National Army,” under the command of Haftar, has pledged to drive out the Islamist influences from Libya.

A Libya-based media correspondent said of General Haftar, “After three years of targeted assassinations of security forces, his operations against Islamist militia won him more support from army leaders who feel the central authorities have done very little to protect them and protect the country.”

After Parliament fled the area, a whole series of battles occurred throughout the region. At least 4 were killed and 90 injured during the fighting on Sunday.

On Monday, Haftar found a new ally in the Commander of Libya’s special forces in Benghazi. Colonel Wanis Bukhmada said of the new alliance, “We are joining the battle of dignity launched by the Libyan National Army with all our men and weapons.” He continued, “The battle will continue until terrorism is eradicated.” Haftar will have air support as well, as an airbase in east Libya has declared allegiance to the Libyan National Army’s cause. “The Tobruk air force base will join… the army under the command of General Khalifa Qassim Haftar,” said the statement. The forces at the air base sought to rid Libya of Islamist “extremists.”

There has been much speculation over the years that General Haftar has held a relationship with the US intelligence community. The general had previously lived in Virginia for 20 years.

Islamist groups have united against General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army.

The Islamist-backed interim Speaker of the Parliament responded Monday by ordering the “Central Libya Shield Forces” to protect the capital. The force is widely considered an Islamist terrorist group.

On Monday, Al-Qaeda aligned group Influential Lions of Monotheism declared war on Haftar and his followers.

As of late Monday night, the United States embassy in Tripoli has declared it is considering evacuating all of its staff from the area. A US spokesman told CNN that the decision to pull the plug is being constantly evaluated “minute by minute, hour by hour.” The United States deployed four V-22 Osprey aircraft into Italy. The aircraft’s close proximity to Libya gives the US military the ability to evacuate more than 200 people in short notice. Two hundred US Marines were sent to Libya in addition to the recent influx of Osprey aircraft.

Anti-Islamist Militia Storms Libyan Parliament

General HaftarClarion Project:

An anti-Islamist militia stormed the Libyan parliament Monday, removing the current Islamist government and calling the move “the people’s choice.”

The militia is led by General Khalifa Haftar, a commander with a long history in Libyan politics who has said that the U.S. backed his efforts in the 1990s to overthrow former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

“We announce to the world that the country can’t be a breeding ground or an incubator for terrorism,” announced Mokhtar Farnana on national TV, speaking for the Hiftar’s militia. Farnana, who is charge of prisons run by the military police, said that the House had been suspended. Installed instead, he said, would be a 60-member assembly.

Farana also said that Libya’s existing government would serve as an emergency cabinet, leaving out details of how such a transition would happen.

The attack left two dead and more than 50 wounded as gunmen stormed the parliament building located in the center of Tripoli. The gunmen were backed by truck-mounted anti-aircraft guns, mortars and rocket fire.

The assault follows a Friday attack in Benghazi on Islamist militias by forces loyal to Hiftar, in which 70 people were reportedly killed.

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Rogue Libyan General Bombing Benghazi Militias that Attacked US Mission

libyan-revolutionary-khalifa-hiftar-450x253Front Page, By Daniel Greenfield:

The US could have used a rogue commanders while Americans were being murdered in Benghazi. That doesn’t necessarily mean this is a good thing. But it may not be a bad thing.

General Hiftar has lived in the US for decades and has ties to the CIA and the State Department that go back for some time. I don’t believe that the current administration would back this type of action, but Hiftar may be demonstrating to the US why we should back him.

After Obama’s illegal regime change attack on Libya, the country is a mess. There are two prime ministers, one is a Muslim Brotherhood man, the other is in exile. Much of the country is run by various militias with ties to Al Qaeda and the Brotherhood.

This looks like a strongman’s bid for power by showing that he can control the country. Muslim countries in the Middle East invariably revert to strongmen. Now Libya may have found its strongman.

The heaviest fighting in Libya since the Arab spring revolution broke out in the eastern capital of Benghazi on Friday as forces led by a retired general attacked militias on the ground and with jets.

Air strikes pounded militia bases at dawn and 6,000 troops converged on the city, storming a series of bases and checkpoints.

Eyewitnesses described a city in chaos, with jets streaking low over rooftops, tanks on the streets, heavy detonations and aggressive fighting.

“The fighting is close to my house,” said one resident in the Hawari district. “Planes are going very low, there are explosions, there is fighting around the February 17 [militia] base.”

The Feb 17 militia was hired by Hillary’s State Department to protect the US mission. And then State stopped paying them. The militia is loosely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and even to Al Qaeda. It may have also played a role in the attack.

The attack is led by Khalifa Hiftar, a former commander of the 2011 uprising that deposed Muammar Gaddafi. Hitfar announced the operation was launched to clear Benghazi of Islamist militias and restore Libya’s dignity.

Hiftar, who called on the army earlier this year to mount a coup against the government, appears to have the support of a significant proportion of Libya’s armed forces. He insisted the operation was sanctioned by army commanders, saying: “All reserve forces are mobilised. If we fail today, the terrorists win.”

But Libya’s government insisted the operation had no official sanction, with the chief of the general staff, Abdul Salam Jadallah, branding Hiftar a criminal and ordering Benghazi’s militias to fight back.

Air force planes struck the bases of the Rafalla al-Sahati and Ansar al-Sharia militias, the latter blamed by Washington for the attack two years ago on the US consulate that led to the death of ambassador Chris Stevens.

Abdul Salam Jadallah (Major-General Abdulsalam Jadallah al-Salihine al-Obeidi) is from Benghazi and was appointed last year.  He defected from Gaddafi’s forces, but then went rogue refusing to follow the orders of the former Prime Minister. He’s calling for Benghazi militias to fight back which is rather revealing of his ties to them.

Khalifa Hiftar obviously commands a sizable portion of the military which means that he can do what the government can’t.

In the Muslim Middle East that’s often all the qualification for running an otherwise anarchic collection of tribes that you need.

Obama Gets Scolding on Fighting Terrorism from Egypt’s al-Sisi

sisiPJ Media, By Bridget Johnson:

Retired Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former Egyptian army chief who ousted Mohammed Morsi and is now running for president, said President Obama could do more to help fight Islamist terrorism.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, al-Sisi was asked if he had a message for Obama. “We are fighting a war against terrorism,” he replied.

The White House froze $1.3 billion a year in military aid to Egypt after Moris was ousted in a people’s revolt and the interim government cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The Egyptian army is undertaking major operations in the Sinai so it is not transformed into a base for terrorism that will threaten its neighbors and make Egypt unstable. If Egypt is unstable then the entire region is unstable,” al-Sisi said. “We need American support to fight terrorism, we need American equipment to use to combat terrorism.”

It’s not just the Sinai that’s a big threat, he stressed, but the growing power of jihadis in neighboring Libya.

“The West has to pay attention to what’s going on in the world – the map of extremism and its expansion. This map will reach you inevitably,” he said.

He defended his intervention in the huge 2013 protests as fulfilling the army’s sworn mission to protect the people.

“The more time passes the more the vision gets clearer to everyone. People and the world realize what happened in Egypt was the will of all of the Egyptian people,” al-Sisi said. “The army could not have abandoned its people or there would have been a civil war and we don’t know where that would have taken us. We understand the American position. We hope that they understand ours.”

He also stressed that in his government the question of whether the peace treaty with Israel would hold wouldn’t be a question like it was in the Morsi administration.

“We respected it and we will respect it,” al-Sisi said. “The Israeli people know this … The question of whether we would be committed to the peace treaty is over with.”

And his current thoughts on the Brotherhood? “Unjustified violence towards Egyptians made them not only lose sympathy among Egyptians, but also meant they have no real chance of reconciliation with society.”

Al-Sisi faces one opponents in the May 26-27 election, secular leftist Hamdeen Sabahi, who finished third in the 2012 presidential election with 21 percent of the vote.

More than 100,000 expatriates have already voted. A poll earlier this month found al-Sisi with 72 percent backing, compared to 2 percent supporting Sabahi and 22 percent undecided. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they planned on voting.