Three years after U.S. intervention, Libya’s an even bigger disaster

This Image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities shows a multiple rocket launcher destroyed outside what was described as a maintenance warehouse hit by two missiles Monday evening on a Naval base in Tripoli, Libya, on March 22, 2011. Missile transporters and launchers were among the destroyed hardware.Three years later, Obama's Libyan adventure looks like a moral vanity project carried out by careless people who couldn't be bothered to worry about unintended consequences. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, file)

This Image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities shows a multiple rocket launcher destroyed outside what was described as a maintenance warehouse hit by two missiles Monday evening on a Naval base in Tripoli, Libya, on March 22, 2011. Missile transporters and launchers were among the destroyed hardware.Three years later, Obama’s Libyan adventure looks like a moral vanity project carried out by careless people who couldn’t be bothered to worry about unintended consequences. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, file)

BY GENE HEALY:

Libya suffered through an eventful St. Patrick’s Day on Monday: car bomb attacks in Benghazi killed at least eight people, and the U.S. Navy SEALs scored “one for the Morning Glory” by capturing the runaway oil tanker bearing that name in order to return it to the Libyan government, such as it is.

Earlier this month, the North Korean-flagged tanker switched off its satellite transponder — a device that could probably do without an “off” button — and sneaked into Libya’s largest oil port, whereupon Libyans linked to a breakaway eastern militia made off with millions of dollars in oil. But the return of the Morning Glory hardly fixes the problems confronting Libya.

Three years ago today, President Obama announced that America would “not stand idly by in the face of actions that undermine global peace and security;” he’d decided to order military action in “support for a set of universal values.” The next day, the bombing began.

How did that work out? Splendidly! says one of the principal architects of the war, former National Security Council official Samantha Power. Last summer, after becoming U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Power tweeted: “Great example: Qadhafi fell because the Libyan people bravely stood up, the U.S. stood strong, and the Arab League stood united. #Results.”

Let’s test that self-congratulatory hashtag against what a top official from the previous administration once contemptuously called the “judicious study of discernible reality.” “Political Killings Still Plaguing Post-Qaddafi Libya” is the headline from the New York Times last week, reporting, “[M]ore than 100 prominent figures, senior security officials, judges and political activists have been assassinated in two years, and the wave of killings is decimating local leadership and paralyzing the government and security forces.” Unrest has likewise decimated Libya’s oil production, and “militias hold 8,000 people in prisons.”

But didn’t we at least stop a genocide? That’s what State Department legal adviser Harold Koh suggested in an interview. Koh, previously an ardent opponent of presidential warmaking, gave Obama legal cover for Libya, arguing that bombing Libya didn’t count as “hostilities” under the War Powers Resolution.

Koh defends that decision by insisting that “thousands of lives were saved” — which isn’t much of a legal argument. It’s also not true.

As political scientist Alan J. Kuperman pointed out at the time, Obama “grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya.”

Read more at Washington Examiner

Benghazi Bombshell: Help Denied – The Inside Job

c-110 1The National Patriot, By Craig Andresen:

When it comes to Benghazi…The more dots we are given to connect, the sharper the treasonous picture becomes and now, thanks to the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, we have even MORE dots on the page.

Imagine, if you will, having command of C-110 transferred, in the middle of an attack, to someone who doesn’t even know there is a second complex, full of Americans, in the attack zone.

You don’t have to imagine it.

It is a point of fact.

Let’s back up a bit and define a few very important details.

C-110.

What in the hell is C-110???

C-110 is a 40 man, Special Ops unit specifically trained for rapid response when Americans find themselves in harm’s way in foreign countries.

It is also known as, EUCOM CIF.

C-110 was under the control of our military’s European Command.

WAS…Being the key word.

The attack, NOT in QUESTION but, IN FACT was…

c-110 2Benghazi.

At some point, AFTER the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi had begun and, well before it ended some 8 hours later at the CIA annex in Benghazi…

Command OF C-110 was TRANSFERRED from European Command TO…General Carter Ham at AFRICOM or…United States African Command.

And here’s the kicker…

We now know, from page 77 of the 85 page Senate Intelligence Committee’s Benghazi Report that…

c-110 3AFRICOM Commander, General Carter Ham…“was not even aware there was a CIA annex in Benghazi at the time of the attacks.”

That is correct. You read that right.

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AL QAEDA, TERRORIST ATTACKS, THAT TOOK THE LIVES OF AMBASSADOR CHRIS STEVENS, SEAN SMITH, GLEN DOHERTY AND TYRONE WOODS AND, LEFT MANY MORE AMERICANS WOUNDED…COMMAND OF THE SPECIAL FORCES UNIT SPECIFICALLY TRAINED TO RESCUE AMERICANS UNDER ATTACK…C-110…WAS…TRANSFERRED…TO A GENERAL WHO HAD NEVER BEEN TOLD OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE CIA ANNEX!!!

It gets even stranger.

Normally, C-110 is stationed in Germany but, on September 11th, 2012, on 6 hour’s notice, they had been sent to a training exercise in Croatia.

Croatia is only 925 miles from Benghazi and, despite General DEMPSEY’S claims that it would have taken more than 6 hours to fly C-110 from Croatia to Benghazi, the FACT is that a COMMERCIAL AIRLINER could have made that trip in under 3 HOURS and, according to General Ham…C-110 had “all their aircraft with them.”

So…WHY in THE HELL was C-110 NOT sent to Benghazi???

According to Dempsey…“They were told to begin preparations to leave Croatia and to return to their normal operating base,” IN GERMANY!!!

What if you were to ask General Carter Ham?

Well…Ham HAD been notified of the attack on the Consulate and, according to Ham “only was that there was some kind of attack.”

c-110 4Remember a couple of very important things here.

That initial attack, on the Consulate, lasted a couple of hours BUT, we also know from the Senate Intel Committee Report that, Obama and his administration knew…KNEW…in the first minutes OF that initial attack that…IT WAS A TERRORIST ATTACK AND AL QAEDA WAS INVOLVED!!!

There is absolutely no evidence that such information was shared with General Ham.

Also…Keep in mind that…AFTER the INITIAL ATTACK on the CONSULATE…There was a pause of a few hours before the SECOND attack on the CIA ANNEX…

A CIA ANNEX THAT GENERAL CARTER HAM HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF WHATSOEVER, began!!!

According to Ham, regarding being notified that the attack on the Consulate was over and, that Stevens and Smith were unaccounted for: “In my mind at that point, we were no longer in a response to an attack. We were in a recovery.”

C-110 5AAThere are those who have questioned General Ham’s decision making regarding the night of the attacks but, when one realizes that HE had NO knowledge of the CIA annex AND that HE wasn’t receiving the necessary intel to MAKE a more well informed decision, coupled with the fact that C-110 had been ordered to make preparations to RETURN to GERMANY rather than to prepare for a mission in Benghazi…

Clearly, the fault does NOT reside with General Carter Ham…A point also made in the Senate report:

“We are puzzled as to how the military leadership expected to effectively respond and rescue Americans in the event of an emergency when it did not even know of the existence of one of the U.S. facilities.”

What we KNOW leads to questions that require answers.

Since Obama and Dempsey KNEW, within the first minutes of the attack, that it was al Qaeda terrorists…WHY did they NOT order C-110, which Dempsey well knew could be on site in less than 3 hours, to GO TO BENGHAZI???

Obama clearly knew of the CIA annex…Hillary clearly knew of it also as those in that annex were working in tandem with those in the Diplomatic Consulate so…Why on earth was the existence of the CIA annex intentionally kept from the General who was…AFTER THE ATTACKS BEGAN…suddenly placed in command of the very Special Ops team TRAINED for such a mission? 

WHO issued the change in command of C-110…From European Command to AFRICOM…IN THE MIDDLE OF A DAMN ATTACK AND…WHY???

c-110 6And further more…When the initial attack had ended…Tyrone Woods had evacuated all the Americans he could find at the Consulate TO the CIA annex where he was joined by Glen Doherty and THEY were in direct contact with Gregory Hicks at the Embassy in Tripoli where, according to Hicks:

“At about 10:45 or 11 we confer, and I asked the defense attache who had been talking about AFRICOM and with the joint staff, ‘Is anything coming? Will they be sending us any help? Is there something out there?’ And he answered that, the nearest help was in Aviano, the nearest – where there were fighter planes. He said that it would take two to three hours for them to get onsite, but that there also were no tankers available for them to refuel. And I said, ‘Thank you very much,’ and we went on with our work.”

You got that???

The DEFENSE ATTACHE…WHO WAS TALKING TO AFRICOM AND…THE JOINT CHIEFS…WAS DELIBERATELY FED FALSE INFORMATION!!!

THAT ATTACHE WAS TOLD, BY THE JOINT CHIEFS…THAT THE NEAREST ASSISTANCE WAS AT AVIANO, ITALY…NOT IN CROATIA!!!!

A further point of clarification is needed here.

c-110 7By military protocol, such an order to General Ham could only have been made by, potentially, 3 people…Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey…Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta or…The president.

We know from their testimony that both Dempsey and Panetta were in the white house situation room DURING THE ATTACKS and, for the first 20 minutes or so, before he disappeared…SO WAS OBAMA!!!

And, remember…While under attack…Tyrone Woods was in communication with Gregory Hicks who was getting HIS information from a DEFENSE ATTACHE who was…TALKING TO THE JOINT CHIEFS!!!

Now…Remember this as well…NOBODY knew how LONG the attack was going to continue…IT COULD HAVE GONE ON ALL NIGHT AND INTO THE NEXT DAY for all anyone knew…

Unless…

C-110 8AAASomeone DID know exactly how long al Qaeda would be on the attack.

With al Qaeda on the rise in Benghazi…after the attempt on the life of the British Ambassador and 2 attacks against the Red Cross…After 2 previous attacks on our Consulate in Benghazi…After more than a DOZEN requests from our security personnel and Ambassador Stevens himself for ADDED security were denied…After OUR security personnel were DRAWN DOWN and the February 17th Militia…an affiliate OF al Qaeda also known as Libya’s Ansar al Sharia were HIRED by Hillary’s State Department for “security” in Benghazi…

And considering the transfer of C-110 command DURING the attack…the fact that the new commander OF C-110 was NEVER made aware of the existence of the CIA annex and the fact that C-110 had, after the attack began…BEEN ORDERED BACK TO GERMANY while the JOINT CHIEFS were giving FALSE INTEL TO THOSE UNDER ATTACK IN BENGHAZI…

Is it possible that this was all a part of the plan orchestrated by Obama and Hillary???

By connecting the dots are we getting a clearer picture of an INSIDE JOB???

Let’s put it this way…

The FACT that any and all obstacles to a successful attack by al Qaeda against our Consulate and Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi had been removed and, the FACT that al Qaeda WAS keenly aware of the existence of the CIA annex in Benghazi while the General to whom command of the very Special Forces unit, C-110, trained for just such a mission, was NEVER INFORMED of it…

Speaks volumes.

Also see: State Department’s own guards attacked U.S. Benghazi mission by Aaron Klein at WND

Foreign Jihadists in Syria: Tracking Recruitment Networks

Syrian rebels2
BY AARON Y. ZELIN

Thu, December 26, 2013

Monitoring jihadist social-media networks reveals where fighters are coming from, where in Syria they are fighting, and how best to stem their continued recruitment in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Tunisia.

The clandestine nature of the various networks responsible for sending Sunni fighters into Syria makes it difficult to ascertain exactly how many foreigners have entered the war and from which countries. Yet social-media sources affiliated with jihadists often post death notices for slain fighters, providing a unique, though incomplete, picture of where they are being recruited and where in Syria they fought. Tracking and analyzing these notices can help broaden Washington’s understanding of foreign recruitment networks, the largest of which appear to operate in Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Tunisia.

HOW MANY HAVE BEEN KILLED?

Since the Syrian uprising turned into an armed rebellion, jihadists have announced the deaths of more than 1,100 fighters on their Twitter and Facebook accounts and, to a lesser extent, on password-protected forums. Although other foreigners have been killed in Syria, their deaths were reported by non-jihadist rebels, Western media, or Arabic media and are not included in this assessment. The figures below also exclude foreigners who have fought on the Assad regime’s side.

To be sure, the information gleaned from jihadist sources is self-reported, and some data might therefore be suppressed for political reasons, especially reports of Iraqi involvement. That said, it still offers a worthwhile snapshot of an otherwise murky world.

The most striking revelation in the latest data is the huge rise in overall death notices. Previously, jihadist sources had posted only 85 such notices as of February 2013, and only 280 as of June. In other words, the vast majority of the more than 1,100 notices have come in the past half year.

WHERE ARE THEY COMING FROM?

Arabs dominate the list of foreign jihadists who have died in Syria, and nine of the top ten countries represented are from the Arab world.

Death notices have mentioned fifty different nationalities in all, including twenty in Europe or elsewhere in the West. Yet Westerners make up only a miniscule amount of the total.

One of the most important trends in the past half-year is the rise in both the total number of Saudi foreign fighters and the number of Saudis killed (which far outpaces all other national groups). Only some 20 percent of the 1,100 death notices state group affiliation, so this data provides only a small window into which groups foreigners are joining. Of these, however, the vast majority name Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham — the two militant opposition groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United States. Other fighters were also reported to be members of Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya, Katibat Suqur al-Izz, Liwa al-Umma, and Harakat Sham al-Islam, among others.

More than 60 percent of the notices offered more specific information about the fighter’s town or province of origin, providing insight into certain foreign networks. For instance, fifteen fighters were described as hailing from the Saudi province of al-Qassim, and it is possible that they came from the provincial capital of Buraydah, as the notices for twenty-two other fighters indicated. The largest network in this data set is from Riyadh, however, raising questions about whether the Saudi government is being duplicitous and/or looking the other way regarding significant jihadist activity in its capital.

Read more at Clarion Project

Aaron Y. Zelin is the Richard Borow Fellow at The Washington Institute.

U.S. to Train Libyan Military, Including Islamists

Ansar al Shariah supporters protest the United States' capture of Abu Anas al-Libi / AP

Ansar al Shariah supporters protest the United States’ capture of Abu Anas al-Libi / AP

BY: 

Simi Valley, Calif. — The U.S. military is preparing to conduct military and special operations training for Libya’s military and the training will risk including Islamist terrorists among the trainees, according to the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Adm. William McRaven, the commander who helped lead the covert raid to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, said in a brief interview Saturday that the counterterrorism training operation has not begun. “We’re in the early stages,” he told the Free Beacon.

McRaven said a major gun battle erupted in Tripoli last week among opposing militias, a sign of instability in the North African country. The training is needed to stabilize Libya, an oil-rich country beset by mounting terrorism and Islamist militias.

During a panel discussion on the war on terrorism at the Reagan National Defense Forum, McRaven disclosed that the Libyan military training would include both conventional forces training and special operations training and that there will be risks.

“We are going to have to assume some risks,” McRaven said. “Right now we have the authorities to do that training, and I think as a country we have to say there is probably some risk that some of the people we will be training with do not have the most clean records, but at the end of the day it is the best solution we can find to train them to deal with their own problems.”

McRaven disclosed the plans for Libyan training when asked about problems encountered in training foreign special operations forces.

McRaven said the training would include a “very, very thorough review” of the Libyans who will take part.

Read more at Free Beacon

 

Obama Inc. Wants Libyans to Come to US, Work in “Aviation Maintenance” and “Nuclear Fields”

Libyan_Gernade-450x240By Daniel Greenfield at Front Page

I can’t think of a single possible thing that could go wrong with this plan. I only wish there was some way to get the Saudis, Iranians and Pakistanis involved to really improve our national security.

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have obtained an internal Department of Homeland Security draft final regulation that would lift a 20 year ban on Libyans coming to the US to work in sensitive fields.

The document — highlighted Thursday by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz — shows that DHS is working to amend its regulations to eliminate the restrictions on Libyan nationals and foreign nationals acting on behalf of Libyan entities from coming to the United States to work in aviation maintenance, flight operations, or to study nuclear-related fields.

“It is shocking that the Obama Administration is turning a blind eye to real terrorist threats that exist in Libya today,” Goodlatte said in a statement. “Just over a year ago, four Americans were killed in the pre-planned terrorist attacks on the American Consulate in Benghazi.”

Libya is basically run by terrorists after we helped the terrorists overthrow their government. The country is in the middle on an ongoing civil war fought by militias. Central authority is a myth.

So this is the perfect time to find us some Libyans to study nuclear fields and work in aviation maintenance. It couldn’t be more perfect.

 

We’re here to kill Americans

2036408811 (1)CSP, By Frank Gaffney:

On October 27th, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” led its program with a fresh look at what happened in the run-up to and during the nighttime attack on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.  The leitmotif of the report was a statement made by the jihadists as they beat hapless unarmed Libyans who were, somehow, supposed to have protected the interior of the so-called “Special Mission Compound”:  “We’re here to kill Americans.”

And kill they did.  Four Americans were murdered, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, who had warned superiors repeatedly about the inadequate security of the installation in which he died, by some accounts after being tortured and raped.  More of our countrymen would likely have met a similar fate but for the unauthorized intervention and heroics of two former Navy SEALS, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, who subsequently were killed in action.

Amb. Stevens was not the only one who had warned about the dangerous vulnerability of an American outpost in a city increasingly manifesting the presence of al Qaeda elements – including by the flying of the terrorist group’s black flag on government buildings.  In fact, similar warnings were also sounded by several others interviewed for the 60 Minutes segment, notably: a British security contractor tasked in the five months leading up the September 11th with managing the impotent Libyan “security force” inside the wire; Amb. Stevens Number 2 in Tripoli, Deputy Chief of Mission Greg Hicks; and Lieutenant Colonel Andy Wood, a Green Beret who was charged at the time with protecting U.S. personnel in Libya.

As Col. Wood put it: “We had one option: Leave Benghazi or you will be killed.”  He told 60 Minutes that he had recommended to the embassy’s senior staff known as the “country team” in Tripoli that they “change the security profile [in Benghazi]…Shut down operations. Move out temporarily. Or change locations within the city.  Do something to break up the profile because you are being targeted.”  The reason: “You are gonna be attacked in Benghazi.”

Mr. Hicks added that a “particularly frightening piece of information” compounded his concerns about security when the embassy learned, as 60 Minutes put it, that “senior al Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi was in Libya, tasked by the head of al Qaeda to establish a clandestine terrorist network inside the country.”

The 60 Minutes report adds texture to the astounding malfeasance of the Obama administration as it ignored these warnings in the months leading up to the attack and set up Americans for murder at the hands of jihadists.  But it failed to even ask, let alone answer, several of the most pregnant outstanding questions.  These include:

  • Why were the Special Mission Compound and CIA annex in Benghazi in the first place, let alone in such an insecure status?  Was it to facilitate the collection and onward shipment to Syrian “rebels” – known to include al Qaeda and elements loyal to it – of arms recovered after Muammar Qaddafi’s weapons caches were “liberated” by jihadist “rebels” in Libya?
  • Why was Amb. Stevens in that exposed facility in a city awash with al Qaeda on a particularly dangerous day for Americans?  Why especially since al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, had called on his followers the day before to retaliate for a U.S.- engineered assassination of a top member of the group, Libyan jihadist Abu Yahya al-Libi?
  • If, as has been widely reported, Amb. Stevens was in Benghazi because a gun-running operation from there to Syria had been compromised and he needed to do damage-control, why would al Qaeda have attacked the facilities from which it was being armed?  The Iranians would have had a motive, but not al Qaeda.  Was the attack initiated by Tehran and the Sunni jihadists went along with it just so they could “kill Americans”?
  • Who was responsible for the false narrative that the Benghazi “consulate” (actually the Special Mission Compound) was sacked and set afire by a mob angry about an internet video?  Could it have been the same person(s) who prevented security from being upgraded in the interest of showing the success of Team Obama’s toppling of Qaddafi and perhaps the one(s) who thought it a good idea to help arm “the opposition” – including al Qaeda-linked militias – first in Libya, then in Syria?
  • Where were Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during this seven-hour battle in Benghazi?

These are the sorts of questions that will, at this point, probably only be answered by a select House committee – something sought by Rep. Frank Wolf (Republican of Virginia) and 176 other members of the House of Representatives.  It is scandalous that they have not been satisfactorily addressed before now by the five standing committees that have, to date, been conducting desultory and inconclusive inquiries.  Since the jihadists are “here to kill Americans,” we are on notice that persisting in such willful blindness and a lack of accountability is an invitation to disaster.

Worse yet, as Representatives Bill Goodlatte and Jason Chaffetz (Republicans of Virginia and Utah, respectively) have learned, the Department of Homeland Security is preparing to “lift the longstanding prohibition on Libyans to come to the U.S. to work in aviation maintenance, flight operations, or to seek study or training in nuclear science.”  Why on earth would they do that? Evidently, to show that U.S.-Libyan ties have been “normalized.” Sound familiar?

If we don’t want jihadists literally here to kill us, we better stop them elsewhere.  And getting to the bottom of Benghazigate is a necessary step towards doing that.

WHITE HOUSE: U.S. RELATIONS WITH LIBYA HAVE ‘NORMALIZED’

benghazi-attack-afpBreitbart, by KERRY PICKET:

Department of Homeland Security internal documents obtained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) draft final regulation arranged by the Obama Administration that would lift the established ban on Libyans coming to the U.S. to work in aviation maintenance, flight operations, or to receive training and education in nuclear science. According to a House Judiciary Committee press release, “this draft final regulation could go into place without prior notice and comment.”

The original prohibition was put in place by the Reagan administration following a slew of terrorist attacks involving Libyans. Despite the attacks on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration defends lifting the ban by claiming the United States’ relationship with Libya has been “normalized.”

“It is shocking that the Obama Administration is turning a blind eye to real terrorist threats that exist in Libya today. Just over a year ago, four Americans were killed in the pre-planned terrorist attacks on the American Consulate in Benghazi,” said Chairman Goodlatte in a statement.

“We still haven’t gotten to the bottom of the Benghazi terrorist attacks and continue to face additional terrorist threats from Libya, yet the Obama Administration is preparing to lift a longstanding ban that protects Americans and our interests. The Obama Administration should focus its attention on getting answers to the lingering questions surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attacks and ensure that Americans are kept safe and sound,” Goodlatte said.

Terror-related threats towards Americans continue to happen in Libya one year after the attack in Benghazi. One terrorist incident that happened in the 1990′s is being handled by a U.S. court this week. Libyan Abu Anas al-Liby appeared in federal court in New York on Wednesday and is accused of having links to al-Qaeda and of connection to the bombings of two US embassies in 1998. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“In the weeks and months leading up to the attacks in Benghazi, the Obama Administration ignored looming terrorist threats,” said Rep. Chaffetz in a statement. He added, “It is unbelievable that this Administration would again put Americans in harm’s way by lifting a decades old security ban on a country that has become a hotbed of terrorist activity. We must work with the Libyans to build mutual trust that ensures safety and prosperity for both countries to enjoy.”

Why Now? U.S. Nabs Top Al-Qaeda Suspect Known for Years

USS San AntonioBY CLARE LOPEZ:

This past weekend, U.S. Delta forces converged on a man parking his car in broad daylight in the middle of Tripoli, Libya and nabbed a senior al-Qaeda operative who went by the nom du guerre Abu Anas al-Libi. Al-Libi was wanted by the United States for his role in the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings.

He is alleged to have conducted pre-attack casing and surveillance of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya prior to the August 7, 1998 suicide truck bombing there that killed more than 200 people and injured another 5,000. It is likely that al-Libi will be brought to New York City, where he is under indictment, to stand trial.

Al-Libi’s involvement with Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’eda (AQ) goes back much further than 1998, however, and his command position within the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group probably brought him into contact with former U.S. Liaison to the Libyan Opposition Christopher Stevens during the 2011 Libyan revolution.

Why al-Libi hadn’t been put away much earlier by either the U.S. or our British allies takes this story deep into international intrigue and a long history of Western intelligence associations with known al-Qa’eda jihadis.

******************

The August 2012 Library of Congress study, “Al-Qaeda in Libya: A Profile,” suggests that al-Libi’s role in Libya was coordination between Ayman al-Zawahiri and AQ Central and the Libyan militias.

By the time that U.S. career diplomat Christopher Stevens was named official U.S. Liaison to the Libyan rebels in mid-March 2011, AQ-LIFG fighters like al-Libi, Ben Qumu and Belhadj were leading the revolution against Qaddafi. Stevens’ job was to coordinate U.S. diplomatic, intelligence, logistical, military and weapons support to al-Qaeda jihadis such as these. The pending NYC Federal District Court indictment against al-Libi for the 1998 Nairobi Embassy bombing would just have to wait.

And wait it did … until a random day in early October 2013, when the U.S. government suddenly decided that it needed, urgently, to snatch an unsuspecting al-Libi off the street in Tripoli, where he had been living since the end of the Libyan revolution with his wife and four children.

Soon, Secretary of State Kerry was crowing about how terrorists “can run but they can’t hide” – but the thing was, al-Libi hadn’t been running or hiding for a long time. The U.S. knew perfectly well where he was for at least the prior two years — and didn’t seem to care.

Just to recap: ​

  • Al-Libi lived openly in the UK from 1995-2000, with the permission of the British government and no extradition request from the U.S., which knew he was there.
  • Al-Libi may have been in CIA custody from 2002 until an unknown date.
  • Al-Libi returned to live in Tripoli, Libya in December 2010, with his home address published by the UN Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
  • Al-Libi was likely a close working partner of Christopher Stevens, the U.S. Liaison to the Libyan al-Qaeda rebels in 2011.
  • Al-Libi continued to live at the published address of his Tripoli home from 2011-2013.

 

Al-Libi’s seizure now makes as little sense as did the apparent U.S. and UK indifference to his outstanding Nairobi indictment and his jihadist credentials for all the years that preceded it. (Despite the close relationship among former LIFG jihadis like al-Libi and Abu Sufian ben Qumu, until now, there has been no indication that al-Libi was involved in 9/11 attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans.)

Still, al-Libi undoubtedly would be able to answer a lot of questions about events leading up to that assault, as well as questions about those individuals and militias involved in its planning and execution. Reportedly, an FBI interrogation team is headed out to the USS San Antonio in the Mediterranean Sea (where al-Libi is being held) and plans to ask al-Libi about AQ operations in Libya.

Funny: If that’s what they’re after, seems they could have just read the cables Chris Stevens had been sending back for the last several years. “Die Hard in Derna” from June 2008 would have been a good one to start with.

Read more at The Clarion Project

U.S. Forces Capture Key Al-Qaeda Mastermind in Libya

Clarion Project National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro talks about the significance of this and other simultaneous operations on Fox News.

Ryan M.

Libya al Qaeda Leader CapturedU.S. Special Forces captured a key terrorist and Al Qaeda mastermind in the Libyan capital of Tripoli Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai (who was also known by the name of Abu Anas al-Libi).

Al-Ruqai, who had a $5 million bounty on his head, had been on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists since the list was established after the 9/11 terror attack in 2001. He was wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, which killed more than 220 people.

Al-Libi, was seized on the streets of the Libyan capital on Saturday.

At the same time, a U.S. Navy SEAL force swam ashore in Somalia in a surprise pre-dawn attack aimed at capturing an Al-Shabaab leader specifically linked to the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Al Shabaab is an Islamic terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda who have been terrorizing East Africa with horrific attacks on schools, churches and, most recently, the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya.

After the SEAL force came under heavy attack, the mission was aborted with no casualities.

As the Clarion Project’s National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro explains on Fox News, the significance of the fact that the U.S. had “actionable intelligence” on the whereabouts of these terrorist leaders.

In addition, Mauro discusses the growing threat of Al Qaeda in Africa as well as the very real capabilities of Al-Shabaab to carry out similar attacks on American soil. The organization has developed a sophisticated recruitment of fighters, both from the Somali community in the United States as well as from hundreds of those who have been illegally entering the U.S. from Mexico.

And Jennifer Griffin reporting:

Theft of US weapons in Libya involved hundreds of guns, sources say

download (16)By Adam Housley:

EXCLUSIVE: The recent theft of massive amounts of highly sensitive U.S. military equipment from Libya is far worse than previously thought, Fox News has learned, with raiders swiping hundreds of weapons that are now in the hands of militia groups aligned with terror organizations and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The equipment, as Fox News previously reported, was used for training in Libya by U.S. Special Forces. The training team, which was funded by the Pentagon, has since been pulled, partly in response to the overnight raids last August.

According to State Department and military sources, dozens of highly armored vehicles called GMV’s, provided by the United States, are now missing. The vehicles feature GPS navigation as well as various sets of weapon mounts and can be outfitted with smoke-grenade launchers. U.S. Special Forces undergo significant training to operate these vehicles. Fox News is told the vehicles provided to the Libyans are now gone.

091113_hn_housley2_640Along with the GMV’s, hundreds of weapons are now missing, including roughly 100 Glock pistols and more than 100 M4 rifles. More disturbing, according to the sources, is that it seems almost every set of night-vision goggles has also been taken. This is advanced technology that gives very few war fighters an advantage on the battlefield.

“It’s not just equipment … it’s the capability. You are giving these very dangerous groups the capability that only a few nations are capable of,” one source said. “Already assassinations are picking up in Tripoli and there are major worries that the militias are using this stolen equipment to their advantage. All these militias are tied into terrorist organizations and are tied to (salafists).”

The “salafists” are a jihadist movement among Salafi Muslims. This growing movement in Libya directly endangers the U.S.-supported government, and sources worry that this sensitive equipment is now going to be used by these groups in an attempt to overthrow the government and install a more hardline Muslim leadership.

Some diplomats, who asked to remain anonymous, say they are seeing the kinds of conditions that opened the door to the Sept. 11 Benghazi attack now appearing in Tripoli and across the rest of Libya.  They worry that American convoys and western convoys will be attacked using these stolen weapons and vehicles.

Read more at Fox News

 

One Year Later: Why We Were in Benghazi

benghazi_dead_afpby JOHN SEXTON:

It has been nearly a year since the attack which killed four Americans in Benghazi. During that time various minute-by-minute accounts of the attack have been published. In addition, the administration’s decisions to refuse additional security requests and to revise its talking points after the attack have been examined in detail.

But Benghazi may be a case where most observers have missed the forest for the trees. This is not an attempt to add new information so much as it is to collate the information that already exists from the most reputable journalistic sources.

To begin with, Benghazi was a CIA operation involving weapons, one which had no cover beyond a small mission that provided a diplomatic fig leaf for the effort. Officially the CIA was there to track and collect dangerous weapons left over from the war that ousted Qaddafi. But the evidence suggests the CIA was also either tacitly or actively involved in a multi-national effort to ship those weapons to Syrian rebels. Our covert effort in Benghazi, Libya was connected to our escalating involvement in Syria.

The general outlines of this CIA effort have been reported. One fact which has not been highlighted is that the UN arms embargo of Libya, which the United States helped pass in 2011, makes shipping weapons in or out of the country a violation of international law. Indeed, the way the UN resolution is written even knowingly allowing such shipments to take place may be a violation of the agreement.

Arming Syrian Rebels

In 2012 the Obama administration publicly claimed it was working on diplomatic and humanitarian responses to the situation in Syria. But behind the scenes the United States was aware that a network of arms shipments was being created to support the rebels. This network involved shipping weapons from Qatar and later Libya to Turkey where they could be taken across the border and distributed to militias in Syria.

In June of 2012 the NY Times reported that a contingent of CIA agents were “operating secretly” in Turkey to help vet which groups would receive these weapons. But later reporting by the Times would indicate the CIA was doing more than vetting.

From offices at secret locations, American intelligence officers have helped the Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia, and have vetted rebel commanders and groups to determine who should receive the weapons as they arrive, according to American officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.

So the CIA was acting as a kind of personal shopping assistant. But according to an unnamed former official the network itself was the result of prodding by CIA director David Petraeus who encouraged various nations to work together toward the goal of arming the Syrian rebels. The flow of arms increased substantially throughout 2012 and really took off in the fall. But all of the shipments were still being transported and paid for by other nations.

That changed in June of this year the Obama administration convinced members of the intelligence committee to allow the CIA to begin contributing weapons directly to the existing arms pipeline. The decision was reported in the Guardian with Rep. Mike Rogers expressing doubt whether Obama’s policy would work. Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff was also concerned saying “It’s too late to affect the outcome with a small amount of arms.”

The WSJ reported at the time “The Central Intelligence Agency has begun moving weapons to Jordan from a network of secret warehouses and plans to start arming small groups of vetted Syrian rebels within a month, expanding U.S. support of moderate forces battling President Bashar al-Assad, according to diplomats and U.S. officials briefed on the plans.”

To sum up, the CIA encouraged the creation of a multi-national arms pipeline, helped shop for weapons to fill it, vetted the groups who would receive those weapons in Syria and, since June of 2013, contributed U.S. weapons to the mix. With that backdrop in place we can now return our attention to Libya.

There is much more at Breitbart

Libyan Intelligence: Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi Involved in U.S. Consulate Attack

by Raymond Ibrahim:

According to a Libyan intelligence document, the Muslim Brotherhood, including Egyptian President Morsi, were involved in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, where several Americans, including U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, were killed.

Image of the Libyan intelligence document

On Wednesday, June 26, several Arabic websites, including Veto Gate, quoted the intelligence report, which apparently was first leaked to the Kuwaiti paper, Al Ra’i.  Prepared by Mahmoud Ibrahim Sharif, Director of National Security for Libya, the report is addressed to the nation’s Minister of Interior.

It discusses the preliminary findings of the investigation, specifically concerning an “Egyptian cell” which was involved in the consulate attack. “Based on confessions derived from some of those arrested at the scene” six people, “all of them Egyptians” from the jihad group Ansar al-Sharia (“Supporters of Islamic Law), were arrested.

According to the report, during interrogations, these Egyptian jihadi cell members “confessed to very serious and important information concerning the financial sources of the group and the planners of the event and the storming and burning of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi…. And among the more prominent figures whose names were mentioned by cell members during confessions were: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi; preacher Safwat Hegazi; Saudi businessman Mansour Kadasa, owner of the satellite station, Al-Nas; Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Hassan; former presidential candidate, Hazim Salih Abu Isma’il…”

It should be noted that these findings are unsurprising: the supremacism of prominent Brotherhood figure Safwat Hegazi is such that he publicly declares the Brotherhood “will rule the world“;  Saudi Mansour’s hate-mongering, pro-Brotherhood TV station repeatedly aired footage of the YouTube Muhammad movie inciting violence around the Muslim world; popular Sheikh Muhammad Hassan holds that smiling to non-Muslims is forbidden, except when trying to win them over to Islam;  and Sheikh Hazim Abu Ismail is simply an openly anti-freedom, anti-infidel religious leader.

As for President Morsi, a video made during the consulate attack records people speaking in the Egyptian dialect: as they approach the beleaguered U.S. compound, one of them yells to the besiegers, “Don’t shoot—Dr. Morsi sent us!”

 

More evidence of slain U.S. ambassador’s secret activities

christopher-stevens-340x161By AARON KLEIN:

JERUSALEM – A Libyan weapons dealer from a group hired to provide security to the U.S. mission in Benghazi told Reuters he has helped ship weapons from Benghazi to the rebels fighting in Syria.

The detailed account may provide more circumstantial evidence the U.S. Benghazi mission was secretly involved in procuring and shipping weapons to the Syrian opposition before the deadly attack last September that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

According to informed Middle Eastern security officials speaking to WND on multiple occasions, the Benghazi mission was a planning headquarters for coordinating aid, including weapons distribution, to the jihadist-led rebels.

After the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi, the arming efforts shifted focus to aiding the insurgency targeting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.

Two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack, WND broke the story that murdered U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens himself played a central role in arming rebels and recruiting jihadists to fight Assad, according to Egyptian security officials.

In November 2012, Middle Eastern security sources further described both the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels, which was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Many rebel fighters are openly members of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida.

The information may help determine what motivated the deadly attacks in Benghazi.

In an interview with Reuters published Tuesday, Libyan warlord Abdul Basit Haroun declared he is behind some of the biggest shipments of weapons from Libya to Syria. Most of the weapons were sent to Turkey, where they were then smuggled into neighboring Syria, he said.

Haroun explained he sent a massive weapons shipment from the port in Benghazi in August 2012, days before the attack on the U.S. compound. The weapons were smuggled into Syria aboard a Libyan ship that landed in Turkey purportedly to deliver humanitarian aid.

Ismail Salabi, a commander of the February 17 Brigade, told Reuters that Haroun was a member of the Brigade until he quit to form his own brigade.

The February 17 Brigade provided external security to the attacked Benghazi U.S. compound, including the villa where Stevens lived when he was in Benghazi. Stevens held his last meeting with a Turkish diplomat in the compound and ultimately died there in the attack.

The February 17 Brigade is part of the al-Qaida-linked Ansar Al-Sharia, a militia that advocates the strict implementation of Islamic law in Libya and elsewhere.

Ansar al-Sharia initially used Internet forums and social media to claim responsibility for the Benghazi attack. Later, a spokesman for the group denied it was behind the attack.

Witnesses told reporters they saw vehicles with the group’s logo at the scene of the Sept. 11 attack and that gunmen fighting at the compound had stated they were part of Ansar al-Sharia.

Some witnesses said they saw Ahmed Abu Khattala, a commander of Ansar al-Sharia, leading the attack. Contacted by news media, Khattala denied that he was at the scene.

Meanwhile, a Libyan official speaking to Reuters said he had allowed weapons to leave the port of Benghazi for Syria.

MANPADS

Haroun told Reuters he runs the weapons smuggling operation with an associate, who helps him coordinate about a dozen people in Libyan cities collecting weapons for Syria.

Last month, WND reported the U.S. Benghazi compound was involved in weapons collection efforts.

In a largely unnoticed speech to a think tank seven months before the Benghazi attack, a top State Department official described an unprecedented multi-million-dollar U.S. effort to secure anti-aircraft weapons in Libya after the fall of Gadhafi’s regime.

The official, Andrew J. Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, said U.S. experts were fully coordinating the collection efforts with the Libyan opposition.

He said the efforts were taking place in Benghazi, where a leading U.S. expert was deployed.

In January, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed the efforts when she told Congress the CIA was leading a “concerted effort to try to track down and find and recover … MANPADS” looted from Gadhafi’s stockpiles.

Haroun did not mention any U.S. involvement in his weapons dealings.

However, last March the New York Times reported the CIA had worked with rebel commanders to coordinate the shipment of arms to the Syrian rebels since early 2012.

Last year, Business Insider alleged a connection between Stevens and a reported September shipment of SA-7 MANPADS and rocket-propelled grenades from Benghazi to Syria through Turkey.

Syrian rebels then reportedly began shooting down Syrian military helicopters with SA-7s.

Stevens’ last meeting on the night of the Benghazi attack was with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin.

One source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi “to negotiate a weapons transfer in an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists.”

‘Largest weapons shipment’

Fox News may find another one of its exclusive reports vindicated.

In October 2012, Fox News reported the Libyan-flagged vessel Al Entisar, which means “The Victory,” was received in the Turkish port of Iskenderun, 35 miles from the Syrian border, just five days before Stevens was killed.

Read more at WND

7 Things We Learned from the Benghazi Whistleblower Hearing

images (35)By Brian Preston:

The Republicans mishandled the Benghazi whistleblowers’ hearing. What should have been stretched across several days to give the nation time to digest it all, was instead packed into a single day filled with an overwhelming amount of information. The media’s attention span is not that long. The verdict in the Jodi Arias trial came along in the afternoon and blew Benghazi off the networks, most of which didn’t want to cover it at all. Even Fox joined the drive-by media, taking Benghazi off the air in favor of the irrelevant Arias trial. Following the announcement of the Arias verdict, charges were read in the Cleveland kidnapping case. Those were aired live as well, relegating Benghazi again.

Nevertheless, for those who slogged through the entire day of hearings and ignored local crime stories, new information was there to be learned.

1. There were multiple stand-down orders, not just one. Special operations forces were told, twice, by their chain of command not to board aircraft to Benghazi to rescue the Americans then under attack. The U.S. deputy diplomat, Greg Hicks, testified that the military commander, Lt. Col. Gibson, had his team ready to go twice. They were on the runway about to board a flight to Benghazi in the middle of the attack. They were ordered to stand down and remain in Tripoli to receive wounded who would be coming out of Benghazi. One of the orders came in the middle of the attack, the other came toward the end after Hicks’ team had traveled from Tripoli to Benghazi. The fact that Hicks’ team was able get to Benghazi before the end of the assault strongly suggests that the special operations team could have made a real difference.

At the same time, the State Department’s commander on the scene, Hicks, ordered his personnel into Benghazi and went there himself. Hicks testified that Gibson never told him who issued the stand-down orders. He commented that Gibson told him that the military stand-down was a shock: “This is the first time in my career that a diplomat has more balls than someone in the military.”

Hicks also testified that the U.S. government never even requested military overflight to support the Americans in Benghazi. The U.S. had an unarmed drone overhead and could have gotten permission to fly fighters over the scene, at least, but never asked.

2. Ambassador Stevens’ reason for going to Benghazi has been cleared up. Hicks testified that Ambassador Stevens traveled to Benghazi to fulfill one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s wishes. Despite the fact that security was worsening in Benghazi for months leading up to the 9-11 attack, Clinton wanted to make the post there permanent. Her State Department had denied repeated requests from the U.S. team in Libya to upgrade security there, but she wanted to use the permanent post as a symbol of goodwill. Stevens was committed to that goal and told Clinton he would “make it happen.” He was in Benghazi on 9-11 furthering Clinton’s goal. She had denied requests to beef up security at Benghazi and then blamed his death on a YouTube movie. Hicks’ testimony raises the question of Clinton’s competence and grasp on reality, strongly suggesting that she put political perceptions ahead of the facts on the ground in Benghazi.

3. Clinton was briefed at 2 am on the night of the attack, was never told that a movie had anything to do with the attack by those on the ground in Libya, yet blamed the movie anyway. Hicks also testified that he was shocked when Ambassador Susan Rice blamed a YouTube movie for inspiring the 9-11 attack. He testified that he had briefed Secretary Clinton directly via phone at 2 a.m. and told her that Benghazi was a terrorist attack. He never mentioned a YouTube video, which he never once believed had anything to do with the attack. But Clinton shocked him by blaming the movie on Sept 12. She would blame it, again, while standing before the coffins of the slain Americans, on Sept. 14. During the attack, Clinton told Hicks that no help would be on the way to relieve the Americans under sustained assault.

4. Whistleblowers were intimidated into silence. Hicks testified to a pattern of behavior that leads to the reasonable conclusion that many officials within the State Department wanted him to remain silent after the Benghazi attack. He said that on the night of the attack he was personally commended both by Secretary Clinton and President Barack Obama. But he later questioned why Ambassador Rice blamed the YouTube movie, and from that point on his superior, Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Beth Jones, questioned his “management style” and told him directly that no one in State should want him on their team in the field again. He was eventually demoted to a desk job after having been deputy to Ambassador Stevens, and remains in that post. Hick also testified that the Accountability Review Board, convened by Clinton last fall allegedly to determine the facts of the attack, never had stenographers in the room during his tw0-hour interview. Nordstrom concurred. Thompson was not even allowed to testify to the ARB despite having direct knowledge of the attacks due to his position on the U.S. Foreign Emergency Support Team. Thompson testified that the FEST was designed to go from zero to wheels up very quickly but was not deployed at all. He wanted to tell his story to the ARB, but was not allowed to. Hicks also testified that for the first time in his career, the State Department assigned a lawyer/minder to attend witness interviews with the ARB. He also testified that Jones told him not to be personally interviewed by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Republican House member who was investigating the attack on behalf of the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee. It all adds up to a pattern of witness control and intimidation.

Read more at PJ Media