Arming the Enemy in Libya

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The military mission America is helping to prosecute in Libya against Gaddafi has placed us into some questionable circles – to say the least. Libyan rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, in a recent interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, admitted that some of his rebel fighters, “around 25″ men from the Derna area in eastern Libya, had been recruited by him to fight coalition troops in Iraq.  Al-Hasidi also admitted that he himself had fought against America’s “foreign invasion” in Afghanistan. Thus, it appears that America’ degradation of Gaddafi’s fighting forces, claims of “humanitarianism” notwithstanding, is aiding our Islamist enemies.

According to both U.S. and British officials, Al-Hasidi revealed he had been captured in 2002 in Peshwar, Pakistan. Handed over to the United States, and finally sent to Libya where he was released in 2008, he was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). LIFG was reportedly responsible for the killing of dozens of Libyan troops in a series of guerrilla attacks near the cities of Derna and Benghazi in 1995 and 1996. While LIFG is not part of al Qaeda itself, American military officials point to an “increasingly co-operative relationship” between the two organizations, and al Qaeda has come out in support of the Libyan rebel forces, claiming their victory would lead to “the stage of Islam” in the North African nation.

Al Qaeda is also helping itself.  Idriss Deby Itno, president of Chad, has reported that the terrorist organization’s offshoot in North Africa, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), has helped itself to surface-to-air missiles from a Libyan arsenal.  Speaking to African weekly Jeune Afrique, Deby Itno claimed he was “100 per cent sure” of his assertion.  “The Islamists of al-Qaeda took advantage of the pillaging of arsenals in the rebel zone to acquire arms, including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries in Tenere,” said Deby Itno. Tenere is part of the Sahara desert region stretching from northeast Niger to western Chad. “This is very serious. AQIM is becoming a genuine army, the best equipped in the region,” he added. And despite the fact that he and Muammar Gaddafi are enemies, Deby Itno backed the Libyan leader’s claim that al Qaeda helped to orchestrate the current uprising.  “There is a partial truth in what he says,” he said. “Up to what point? I don’t know. But I am certain that AQIM took an active part in the uprising.” He also characterized Western intervention there as a “hasty decision.”

Other officials in the region confirmed Deby Into’s assertion regarding the stolen weapons.  “We have sure information. We are very worried for the sub-region,” said a Malian security official who wished to remain anonymous.  “We have the same information, about heavy weapons, including SAM 7 missiles.  It is very worrying. This over-arming is a real danger for the whole zone,” said a military source from Niger, who also explained that “AQIM gets the weapons in two ways; people go and look for the arms in Libya to deliver them to AQIM in the Sahel, or AQIM elements go there themselves.”

If a report by Sky Net News is any indication, the Obama administration is impervious to this reality.  According to that website, “Western diplomatic officials” have confirmed that the U.S. is “considering the legality of arming the Libyan rebels.” Ostensibly, one of the “unintended consequences” of U.N. resolution 1970, requiring all member nations to “immediately take the necessary measures” to prevent the supply or sale of weapons to the Libyan government, contained no exceptions for supplying anti-Gaddafi forces.  The administration is exploring a legal framework by which rebel forces could be armed if they could prove such arms were necessary to “defend themselves from Gaddafi’s forces.”

Mark Kornblau, spokesman for US Ambassador Dr. Susan Rice, confirmed the possibility.  “Resolutions 1970 and 1973, read together, neither specify nor preclude such an action,” said Kornblau.  Britain and France are reportedly considering similar options with a coalition diplomat claiming the U.N. mandate “authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack,” and that any action taken “will be consistent with the United Nations Security Resolution and with international law.”

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  • SHmuelHaLevi

    The only solid evidence out of the islamic internal and external "relations" is that ultimetely Internal or external "communications" are effective amonsgt them and or others, (infidlels),only through extreme violence.
    Paper agreements and diplomacy gyrations are not part of the islamic system.

  • JamesFDavis

    There were more Eastern Libyans per capita that went to Iraq to kill US forces than any other country. We should not be helping these terrorist. Gaddafi has been neutralized and as such presents a lesser threat to US national security that these jihadists terrorists

  • ajweberman
  • ApolloSpeaks

    As al-Qaida's fortunes decline in Afghanistan they quickly rise in North Africa due to this ill-conceived Libyan operation percipitated by the French who led us into a quagmire called Vietnam.

  • patriotchad

    As a Chadian, i really appreciated the column. Chad and Libya were at war for the most part of 1980s. At that period god bless President Reagan who helped us militarily defeat Libyan invasion and occupation of the northern part of Chad. Chad was one of the first recipient of the missile stinger that played a decisive role in downing Qaddafi's jets and choppers. Also it"s important to note that a that time the commander of Chadian army is Idriss Deby the current president of Chad . Even at that time, the majority of Gaddafi force in Chad were from eastern Libya. They were religious fundamentalists and we used to called them the Islamic legion of Gaddafi.
    I am really concerned that America give support blindly to this group. My view is Gaddafi is a repented terrorist. He killed more Chadian than he killed Libyans. he installed land mines all over northern Chad and still present. There are at least half million Libyan of Chadian origin in Libya. They were hated by Libyans for generations.
    People from eastern Libya have a fascist attitude toward blacks specially toward Chadians and this did not start after this revolution. Libya has its own native blacks in the regions bordering Chad, Niger and Sudan. They serve in Libyan army and police. They were the first sent to quell the uprising. Libyan are the expert of propaganda in the Arab world. They used the pictures of black skinned Libyan security forces to rally all other Libyans to their cause. Yes there are few African mercenaries but it is not significant.
    It's also important that considering the animosity of eastern Libyan toward Chadians started since the war with Chad in 1980's , Gaddafi will find fertile ground to recruit revenge killer mercenaries in Chad or in Libya within Chadian laborers etc..
    I think what president Obama gave reason for the Libya intervention is simply misleading.
    America went to war in Libya triggered by Bernard Henry Levy a french intellectual and warmonger. This guy convinced Sarkozy so he acted and the Great USA did not want to stay on sideline while the little french is making some noises. Now we all have to live with the consequences of this war.
    Yes there will be consequences and ramifications.
    If the rebels get upper hand they will commit atrocities against gaddafi 's tribes, black Libyans in general, black African migrants specially Chadians and i am pretty much sure that they will go for an Islamic state.
    What the president of Chad who i consider as a dictator is saying is really true. If Gaddafi decide to leave Libya, he will consider Chad as his first choice and his first step to exile.
    The man is horrible but we, Chadian learned to live with him peacefully for two decades after 3 decades of his terror, wars, landmines against our country. During these horrible decades Libyans, specially from Benghazi were all united behind their leader the mad man of the middle east Muhammar in its slaughter of Chadian. We never forgot but have forgiven the past. His removal will bring unprecedented uncertainty. I have personally at least 26 close relatives died fighting Libyan occupation of Chad.

    May god bless them,
    may god bless Reagan
    May god bless America