While claiming credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden (OBL), President Barack Obama was forging an alliance with al-Qaeda, first, to overthrow the government of Libya, and now, the government of Syria. This reckless and lawless policy of allying with the perpetrators of 9/11/2001, and now, 9/11/2012, to conduct war without the consent of Congress, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, runs the immediate danger of leading to world war, which can only mean thermonuclear war.
This is “the elephant in the room,” which explains why the Obama Administration has lied and attempted to cover up the true facts about Benghazi. The policy of allying with al-Qaeda, and covering up that alliance and its consequences, is, indeed an impeachable offense.
The President of the United States as well as all members of the Senate and the Congress swears an oath to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.” The President has violated that oath. The question is whether members of Congress will have the courage to fight for the truth and for justice on behalf of the victims of this criminal policy and will uphold their own oath of office.
The recent report issued by the Senate Homeland Security Committee states that DNI Clapper offered to provide the committee with a detailed timeline regarding the development of the talking points used by UN Ambassador Susan Rice, but despite repeated requests has not done so. The timeline has reportedly not been delivered “because the Administration has spent weeks debating internally whether or not it should turn over information considered ‘deliberative’ to the Congress.”
Thus, Obama seems to be moving in the direction of covering up his lies by asserting executive privilege regarding so-called “deliberative” discussions as he did in the case of Operation Fast and Furious.
This updated fact sheet presents the presently available evidence from the public domain. A serious Congressional investigation would uncover far more. Here are the facts known thus far:
The Case of Libya
In the case of Libya, the evidence is overwhelming. Under the guise of humanitarian interventionism, President Obama ordered American military forces to create a no-fly zone, provide close air cover for and approved the provision of weapons to al-Qaeda groupings to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi. He did this in violation of the U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.
The opposition in Libya was dominated by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which was created in the 1990s by Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who had fought with al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, from 1988 to 1992. (On Feb. 15, 2011, the LIFG changed its name to the Libyan Islamic Movement for Change.) After Kabul fell in 1992, Belhadj moved to Sudan with Osama bin Laden.
In 1995, British MI6 approached the LIFG, many of whose leading members resided in the U.K., to carry out a coup against Qaddafi. After the coup and four assassination attempts against Qaddafi failed, many members of the LIFG were jailed in the Abu Selim prison in Tripoli.
Four leading members of the LIFG, who later participated in the overthrow of Qaddafi, escaped back to Afghanistan in 1998 where they provided training to al-Qaeda in camps situated in Jalalabad and Kabul.
Kronos Advisory LLC in its Dec. 16, 2011 report “A View to Extremist Currents in Libya” reports that JTF-GTMO analysts have asserted that most LIFG fighters fought with bin Laden in Afghanistan and trained at the OBL-sponsored Torkham Camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. LIFG fighters played a critical role preparing al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters for operations targeting Western forces.
Leaked JIF-GTMO detainee assessments reveal training provided at a camp in Afghanistan by one LIFG military committee official was so renowned that Yemeni al-Qaeda member Zuhail Abdo Anam Said al-Sharabi, who underwent training to become a suicide bomber for an aborted component of the original 9/11 attacks, told interrogators he traveled to Afghanistan to undergo training there to prepare for participation in the 9/11 plot.
A note contained in the 9/11 Commission Report reveals that the so-called mastermind of the 9/11 attack, Khalid Shaykh Mohammad, claimed to have provided members of the LIFG computer training.
LIFG member Abu Anas al-Libi was indicted along with Osama bin Laden for the August 7, 1998 al-Qaeda bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He is now believed to be operating clandestinely in Libya.
JTF-GTMO detainee assessments reveal the LIFG’s guesthouse in Jalalabad, Afghanistan was visited by many prominent terrorists, including in 2000 by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who later became the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
In 2001, when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, Belhadj, who had returned to Afghanistan in 1998, fled to Tora Bora with Osama bin Laden. Sami al-Saadi, the spiritual leader of the LIFG, elected to stay in Kabul to fight the U.S. forces. Both eventually escaped. Two other members of the LIFG who later participated in the Obama-led overthrow of Qaddafi, were arrested by the Pakistanis and handed over to the U.S. They were Abul Hakim al-Hasadi and Abu Sufian bin Qumu, both originally from Derna, Libya. Al-Hasadi, who had fought for five years in Afghanistan, was sent back to Libya and jailed. When he was released in 2008, he recruited Libyans to join Al-Qaeda to fight the U.S. in Iraq. Qumu was sent to Guantanamo until he was later returned to Abu Salim prison in Tripoli. He was released in 2010.
In 2004, Belhadj and Sami Al-Saadi were captured by the CIA in Bangkok, Thailand, and returned to Libya, where they were also imprisoned in Abu Selim. This was shortly after Tony Blair had organized the recognition of Qaddafi by the West. At the time, Blair stated that Qaddafi wanted to join the West in combating al-Qaeda.
Al-Saadi, who Taliban leader Mullah Omar once called the “Sheikh of the Arabs,” was the author of a plan to overthrow Qaddafi. This plan was found in the home of Abd al-Rahman al-Faquih in Birmingham, U.K., during a police raid in the middle of the last decade. Al-Faquih had been convicted in absentia by a Moroccan court for complicity in the May 2003 suicide bombings in Casablanca. This same war plan would later be employed against Qaddafi, beginning in February 2011.
In March 2010, due to the intervention of Tony Blair, Saif Qaddafi (Muammar’s son) announced the release of Belhadj and 233 other members of the LIFG from Abu Selim as part of a reconciliation of the Qaddafi government with the LIFG and the Muslim Brotherhood. The mediator in this effort, which began in 2005, was the Libyan, Muslim Brotherhood-linked, Qatari-based cleric Ali al-Sallabi. Less than a year after they were released, Belhadj and the other members of the LIFG became the core of the opposition to Qaddafi. According to the Wall Street Journal, bin Qumu began training jihadists in Derna in April of 2011.
LIFG Designated a Terrorist Organization
At the time of the operation to overthrow Qaddafi under the cover of a UN resolution, the LIFG was designated a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department, the U.K. Home Office, and the United Nations Security Council.
On September 25, 2001, President Bush signed an executive order to freeze the LIFG’s assets in the U.S. In December 2001, the LIFG was added to the terrorism exclusion list. On December 8, 2004, the LIFG was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department. An excerpt from the U.S. State Department report reads as follows:
“On November 3, 2007, senior Al Qaeda leaders announced that LIFG had officially joined al-Qaeda. Activities: Libyans associated with the LIFG are part of the broader international terrorist movement. The LIFG is one of the groups believed to have planned the Casablanca suicide bombing in May 2003. Spanish media in August 2005 linked Ziyad Hashem, an alleged member of the LIFG’s media committee, as well as the imprisoned amir Abdallah al Sadeq (Belhaj), with Tunisian Islamist Serhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, the suspected ringleader in the 2004 Madrid attacks.”
Abdallah al Sadeq is the nom de guerre of Abdel Hakim Belhadj. According to Kronos Advisory LLC, in 2011, Belhadj admitted that he was called twice by Fakhet weeks before the Madrid bombings. He said he did not answer the phone, but called Fakhet’s Jordanian business partner instead. The Spanish investigation named him a co-conspirator.
Excerpts from the UN resolution read as follows: “LIFG commanders, including Abu Yahya al-Liby and the now-deceased Abu al-Laith al-Liby, have occupied prominent positions within Al-Qaeda’s senior leadership. On 3 November 2007, LIFG formally merged with al-Qaeda. The merger was announced via two video clips produced by Al-Qaeda’s propaganda arm, Al-Sahab. The first clip featured Usama bin Laden’s (QI.B.8.01) deputy, Aiman Muhammed Rabi al-Zawahiri (QI.A.6.01), and the second featured Abu Laith al-Liby, who then served as a senior member of LIFG and a senior leader and trainer for Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.”
Obama Provides Weapons to the Enemy
According to a Dec. 5, 2012 New York Times article, in the Spring of 2011 President Obama approved the provision of weapons by Qatar and the U.A.E. to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, led by Abdel Hakim Belhadj. According to a Wall Street Journal article on Oct. 17, 2011, 20,000 tons of weapons were provided not to the Transitional National Council, but directly to militias run by Belhadj in 18 shipments. A dozen other Qatari-funded shipments came to Libyan rebels allied with the LIFG via Sudan.
The shipments continued in September even after the fall of Tripoli. According to the New York Times article Obama insisted that the weapons not be weapons produced in the U.S., so that they would not be traceable to the U.S. According to the New York Times, these weapons are now being shipped to Al-Qaeda in Syria and Mali. It is most likely that these weapons were used to kill Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans, but Obama took precautions to ensure that the weapons could not be traced back to him. To have thus intentionally attempted to conceal the source of the weapons reveals criminal intent.
The Perpetrators of the Benghazi Attack
Before Qaddafi was overthrown by the al-Qaeda affiliated LIFG, the military wing of the Transitional National Council (TNC) was initially run by Gen. Abd al-Fatah Yunis. However, he was assassinated on July 28, 2011. Some reports indicate that the assassination was carried out by Ansar al-Sharia, headed by bin Qumu. According to Associated Press a deputy of Yunis, Mohammed Agoury, stated that the February 17 Brigade was behind the assassination.
Once Qaddafi was driven from Tripoli, the former emir of the LIFG, Belhadj, became the military commander of the Tripoli Military Council. The Benghazi Military Council, in turn, was run by Ismael al-Sallabi, an ally of Belhadj and the brother of Ali al-Sallabi, who is described as the spiritual leader of the revolution. Approximately one week after Belhadj was named commander of the Tripoli military Council in August 2011, he and Ismail al-Sallabi accompanied TNC Chairman Jalil on a trip to Qatar, where they met with the financiers of the revolution and NATO officials, according to the report issued by Kronos Advisory LLC.
Three of the military brigades operating in the Benghazi area – Ansar al-Sharia, Libyan Shield, and the February 17 Brigade, the latter two of which operate in coordination with the Libyan Ministry of Defense – participated in the attack on the United States mission and a CIA annex in Benghazi, killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. These three organizations were the chief American combat allies in the drive to overthrow Qaddafi.
To be specific: Ansar al-Sharia, led by Abu Sufian bin Qumu, a former al-Qaeda Guantanamo detainee; the Libya Shield, which met the Marines who came from Tripoli at the airport and accompanied them to the CIA annex, led by Wisam bin Hamid, identified by the Library of Congress as possibly the head of al-Qaeda in Libya; and the February 17 Brigade, which provided security for the mission, led by Ismail Sallabi, are all run by the al-Qaeda-affiliated LIFG. Two other organizations implicated in the attack are the Supreme Security Council (SSC), under the command of the deputy interior minister and LIFG senior member Wanis al-Sharif, and the British run Blue Mountain Group, a private security firm that employed Libyans.
The leader of the Ansar al-Sharia (ASS) brigade in Benghazi and Derna that actually carried out the assault on the U.S. mission and CIA annex in Benghazi on 9/11/12, is Sufian bin-Qumu. As the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s report issued on Dec. 30, 2012 states: “The group took credit on its own Facebook page for the attack before later deleting the post.” The same report also says individuals affiliated with Ansar al-Sharia were allegedly involved in storming the Tunisian consulate in Benghazi on June 18, 2012. According to his Guantanamo detainee assessment report, Qumu received monthly stipends from one of the financiers of the original 9/11/2001 attack:
“Detainee’s alias is found on a list of probable Al-Qaida personnel receiving monthly stipends. His alias was found on al-Qaeda’s 11 September attacks financier Mustafa Al Hawsawi’s laptop as an Al-Qaeda member receiving family support.”
The assessment continues: “Detainee is assessed as a former member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a probable member of Al-Qaeda. The detainee is assessed as a MEDIUM to HIGH risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.
“Prior history: he served as a tank driver in the Libyan armed forces as a private. The Libyan Government states he was addicted to illegal drugs/narcotics and had been accused of a number of crimes including murder, physical assault, armed assault and distributing narcotics. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 1993 he escaped and fled eventually to Afghanistan and trained at Osama Bin Laden’s Torkham Camp. After Afghanistan he moved to Sudan where he worked as a truck driver for one of OBL’s companies. He joined the LIFG and was assigned to the military committee. He left Sudan, allegedly withdrew from the LIFG in 1998 and returned to Afghanistan. Captured in 2001, he was sent to Guantanamo.”
According to the report, he has admitted associations with al-Qaeda/LIFG facilitator Ayyub Al Libi, Abu Abdullah al Sadiq, which is the nom de guerre of Abdel Hakim Belhadj who is the leader of LIFG, and Abu Al Munihir, a.k.a. Sami Al Saadi, who drew up the war plan to overthrow Qaddafi in the mid-2000s.
An August 2012 report from the Library of Congress, “Al-Qaeda in Libya: A Profile,” reports that in June 2012, Ansar al Sharia held a demonstration in Benghazi attended by several other militias including Free Libya, which it reports is Libya Shield, the al-Sahati Brigade, headed by Ismael al Sallabi and the Abu Obeida Bin al-Jarrah brigade headed by Amed Abu Khattala (Bukatela). The Library of Congress report states that these militias “probably make up the bulk of al-Qaeda’s network in Libya.”
According to Canadafree press.com, Ansar al-Sharia also provided security for the hospital where Ambassador Stevens was taken after the attack.
The last signed diplomatic cable from Ambassador Stevens back to the State Department in Washington, dated Sept. 11, 2012 described a tense Sept. 9 meeting in Benghazi between U.S. security officials and two leaders of Libya Shield, Wissam bin Hamid (misidentified as Wisam bin Ahmed) and Shaykh Muhammad al-Garabi, in which they argued that if the Muslim Brotherhood candidate for Prime Minister, Alwad al Barasi, should win, he would appoint the commander of the February 17 Brigade, Fawzi Bukatif, as Minister of Defense.
“Bukatif’s appointment,” the memo says, “would open the MOD and other security ministries and offices to plum appointments for his most favored brigade commanders – giving February 17 and Libya Shield tacit control of the armed forces.” On the other hand, if Jibril, whom the U.S. government was supporting, won, “they would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi, a critical function they asserted they were currently providing.”
According to al-Fetn.com, Bin Hamid fought against American forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan before returning to the Benghazi-Derna area of eastern Libya to “ally” with Washington to overthrow and execute Qaddafi. The same al-Fetn.com reported in late October 2011 that bin Hamid became the head of a newly formed “supreme board of the Libyan mujahideen.”
According to the Library of Congress, bin Hamid is widely identified as the actual head of al-Qaeda in Libya. He also held a demonstration in Sirte in March 2012, which was attended by the head of al-Qaeda in Magreb in Sahel, Mokhtar bel Mokhtar. Yet, his Libya Shield militia was entrusted with security for the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and the Sept. 9, 2012 meeting likely provided the group with the travel plans of Ambassador Stevens, who arrived in Benghazi on Sept. 10 for a scheduled several-day visit. According to the Senate Homeland Security Committee report, U.S. Government security personnel who arrived at the Benghazi airport from Tripoli were delayed for at least three hours by Libya Shield. “The exact cause of this hours-long delay, and its relationship to the rescue effort, remains unclear and merits further inquiry.” The report asks: “Was it part of a plot to keep American help from reaching the Americans under siege in Benghazi?” The attack on the CIA annex only began after Libyan Shield fighters escorted a Marine rescue team from the airport to the location hours after the initial attack on the U.S. mission, where Ambassador Stevens was killed.
February 17 Brigade:
According to Joan Neuhaus Schaan, a fellow in Homeland Security and Terrorism at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston, the February 17 Brigade, which provided security for the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, was founded by Ismail Sallabi, a known member of al-Qaeda and the LIFG. Both the Kronos Advisory LLC report of Dec. 16, 2011 and a Brookings Doha Center policy briefing dated May 2012, entitled “Libyan Islamists Unpacked: Rise, Transformation, and Future,” also report that Sallabi heads the February 17 Brigade based in Benghazi.
On Sept. 16, 2011 the Guardian identified Sallabi as the head of the Benghazi Military Council, the counterpart to the Tripoli Military Council led by Abdel Hakim Belhadj. According to Al Arabiya News, the commander of the February 17 brigade is Fawzi Bukatif.
According to al-Hayat, Belhadj was in Benghazi in April 2011, where he helped organize the February 17 Brigade. Included in the security force for the Benghazi mission proper, were four members of the February 17 Brigade, described by a State Department source as “a friendly militia which has basically been deputized by the Libyan government to serve as our security, our host government security.” An additional 16 militia members were part of the quick-reaction security team based at the CIA compound described as the mission’s “annex.”
Ismael al-Sallabi (who is the brother of Libya’s leading Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamist, Ali al-Sallabi) also leads the Martyr Rafallah Sahati Brigade, which began as a battalion of the February 17 Brigade. The Brigade’s commander, Shaykh Muhammad al-Garabi who is also associated with Libya Shield, met with U.S. officials on Sept. 9, along with Wisam ben Hamid of the Libya Shield.
The State Department Accountability Review Board (ARB) report questions whether the February 17 Brigade guards at the U.S. mission ever alerted the February 17 Brigade barracks less than 2 km away from the mission of the attack. The Senate Homeland Security Committee report notes that U.S. annex personnel attempted to contact the February 17 Brigade to ask for assistance upon being notified about the attack on the mission. When they left for the mission they made a second attempt to contact the February 17 Brigade. Both attempts were of no avail.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee report states that “U.S. Department of State personnel were concerned about the involvement of members of the February 17 Brigade in the extrajudicial detention of U.S. diplomatic personnel in at least one incident in Benghazi…. Some U.S. personnel also questioned the Brigade’s loyalty to the Libyan government and their capacity or desire to safeguard American interests.”
Moreover, the contract between the State Department and the February 17 Brigade had expired by the time of the attack. On August 29, 2012, the principal U.S. diplomatic officer in Benghazi wrote that “In early September, a member of the February 17 Brigade told another Regional Security Officer in Benghazi that it could no longer support U.S. personnel movements. The RSO also asked specifically if the militia could provide additional support for the Ambassador’s pending visit and was told no.”
Supreme Security Council:
According to the ARB, the Supreme Security Council was asked to station a marked police car at the gates of the mission 24/7 during Ambassador Stevens’ visit. The SCC, which is under the direction of the Interior Ministry, did not do so. Instead, an individual in a Libyan Supreme Security Council police uniform was seen taking photos of the mission on the morning of the attack and the SSC vehicle deployed to the U.S. mission in the evening left just before the terrorist attack was launched. The individual in charge of the SSC in Benghazi was deputy interior minister Wanis al-Sharif. Wanis al-Sharif has been identified by Associated Press as a senior leader of the Libyan Islamic fighting Group.
Al-Sharif’s explanations of the events on Sept. 11 were complete disinformation. He announced that no one was in the mission at the time of the attack and then, after the news of the deaths was announced, he tried to put the blame on the U.S. by falsely claiming there was a peaceful demonstration outside the mission over the video film in the U.S. attacking the Prophet Mohamed until US security guards started firing. He also claimed that those responsible for the attack were pro-Qaddafi elements.
According to the Libya Herald, Wanis al-Sharif was sacked on September 17, as was Hussein Abu Humaida, the head of the Benghazi security directorate. Both were replaced by Colonel Salah al-Din Awad Doghman.
Blue Mountain Group:
The Blue Mountain Group, a British security firm that hired local Libyans is also suspect. The ARB report indicates no guards were present outside the compound immediately before the attack ensued and that a member of the Blue Mountain contingent responsible for guarding the perimeter may have left a gate open, allowing the assailants to gain access to the mission facility unimpeded. The Senate Homeland Security Committee report indicates: “After an improvised explosive device (IED) was thrown over the wall of the U.S. facility in Benghazi on April 7, 2012,… a spot report on the day of the event stated that shortly after the event two individuals were questioned. The suspects included one current and one former guard employed by Blue Mountain Group.”
The United Kingdom is known to have been a safe-haven for the LIFG throughout the 1990s and up until October 2005 when the UK finally designated it as a terrorist organization. In October 2001, the Bush administration provided Libya with the names of Libyan militants living in the UK. On February 8, 2006, the U.S. Treasury Department designated five individuals and four entities including the Sanabel Relief Agency, based in the UK for their roles in financing the LIFG. On October 30, 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department designated three additional U.K.-based individuals for their roles raising funds for the LIFG. According to the Treasury Department’s press release regarding the designations, the U.K. “is the greatest source of funding for the LIFG.”
Abdel Hakim Belhadj
Any serious investigation of Benghazi would have to look closely at the role of Abdel Hakim Belhadj, the emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and, after the overthrow of Qaddafi, the commander of the Tripoli Military Council. As such, he was given responsibility, as of Aug. 30, 2011, for the security of all foreign embassies in Tripoli, including the U.S. Embassy, until he stepped down as commander of the TMC to form his own political party (Watan) in May 2012. He was also put in charge of coordinating defense on a national level.
On Nov. 17, 2012, the Saudi-based publication Arab News published an article by Ali Bluwi, reporting that the attack on the Benghazi mission was carried out in revenge for the killing of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a senior Libyan member of al-Qaeda, killed in a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan in June 2012.
The article also reports that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens “prevented Abdel Hakim Belhadj from assuming the portfolio of defense or interior in Libya.”
Furthermore, according to former Muslim Brotherhood member Walid Shoebat, Belhadj is the al-Qaeda operative that the Libyan expatriates claim was the principal organizer who directed the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi.
On May 31, 1997, the LIFG published a letter of support to Omar Abdal Rahman (aka the Blind Sheikh), who was convicted of seditious conspiracy for his involvement in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. In this letter, LIFG emir Belhadj warned the “tyrant Americans” to take heed of the growing anger among Muslims. Both an attack on the International Committee for the Red Cross Red Crescent in Benghazi on May 22, 2012 and the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi on June 6, 2012 were claimed by the Brigades of the Imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman.
Al-Qaeda’s “Talking Points”
Although it is clearly established that there was no demonstration outside the mission, the terrorist attack had no relationship to an anti-Muslim video and was clearly a premeditated terrorist incident, the Obama administration adopted the “talking points” employed by senior al-Qaeda-allied LIFG operatives Wanis al-Sharif, Ismael al Sallabi and Abdel Hakim Belhadj.
On Sept. 12, Wanis al-Sharif told the press that there had been a demonstration protesting a US video attacking Mohammed. He also falsely claimed that U.S. security guards fired first.
On Sept. 12, Ismail al-Sallabi said on radio that what we saw in Benghazi yesterday was an intifada to protect the name of the prophet.
On September 21, Abdel Hakim Belhadj told the Guardian: “We are fully aware that this despicable hate film, “Innocence of Muslims,” does not reflect the American people’s views and that the producers of this film are an extremist minority…. [A] hate campaign led by a small number of extremist Islamophobes has led to unacceptable counter-reactions by small extremist groups.”
As late as October 9, Belhadj gave an interview to the daily al-Sharq al-Awsat in which he stated: “The information we received is that the issue at the beginning was spontaneous. The people gathered in front of the consulate, and then an exchange of fire took place between the two sides – between the consulate’s guards and the demonstrators, some of whom were armed. This later resulted in the regrettable action which claimed the life of the U.S. Ambassador.”
Al-Qaeda in Syria:
While Belhadj was commander of the Tripoli Military Council, he deployed on behalf of Obama, the British Empire, and Saudi Arabia, to provide al-Qaeda military personnel, training and weapons in the attempt to overthrow the Syrian government. Numerous news sources, including the Daily Telegraph, have reported that, in November 2011, less than a month after the assassination of Qaddafi on October 20, Belhadj traveled to Turkey to meet with the Syrian Free Army, to provide it with training and weapons to overthrow Assad. Belhadj’s trip to Turkey was supported by the head of the Transitional National Council Mustafa Abdel Jalil.
According to Albawaba.com and thetruthseeker.co.uk, during that same month, some 600 LIFG terrorists from Libya entered Syria and began military operations. The individual who leads the Libyan fighters is Mahdi al-Harati, now head of the Liwa al-Ummah Brigade in Syria. According to an Aug. 9, 2012 article in Foreign Policy magazine by Mary Fitzgerald, entitled “The Syrian Rebels’ Libyan Weapon,” al-Harati is a Libyan-born Irish citizen, who was a commander of the Tripoli Brigade, run by Belhadj during the overthrow of Qaddafi in Libya.
The Tripoli Brigade was one of the first rebel units to enter the Libyan capital in August 2011. After Tripoli was taken by the rebels, al-Harati was appointed deputy head of the Tripoli Military Council, serving under Abdel Hakim Belhadj. In late 2011, Harati stepped down as commander of the Tripoli Brigade and as deputy head of the Tripoli Military Council, and left for Syria.
According to Harati, more than 6,000 men across Syria have joined Liwa al-Ummah since its establishment. Harati stresses that 90% of its members are Syrians, the rest are Libyans, most of them, former members of the Tripoli Brigade, along with a smattering of other Arabs. According to Reuters, Liwa al-Ummah includes 20 senior members of the Tripoli Brigade.
According to documents obtained and released by former Muslim Brotherhood member Walid Shoebat, an array of records provided to Libyan expatriates from sources inside the Libyan government establish that al-Qaeda operatives in Libya are facilitating the passage of jihadists through Libya to Syria. Specifically, Abdul Wahhab Hassan Qayad, a leading member of the LIFG whose brother, al-Qaeda leader Yahya al-Libi, was killed in Pakistan in June 2012 by a U.S. drone attack, now works in the Libyan Interior Ministry where he is in charge of Border Control and Strategic Institutions. The position allows him to arrange open-border passage for al-Qaeda operatives, facilitating not only the flow of terrorists into Libya, but also al-Qaeda efforts to transport terrorists and weapons into Syria from Libya via Turkey.
According to numerous reports, al-Qaeda’s strategy in Libya is not to operate openly in its own name for security reasons, but rather to operate under the name of various militias. Nonetheless, at least two known Core al-Qaeda operatives are known to have been deployed from Pakistan to Libya.
One of the State Department documents released by the House Oversight Committee in October was from the Research and Information Support Center, dated March 1, 2012. It gives the following assessment of the presence of al-Qaeda in the Benghazi area:
“In late December 2011, reports indicated that the al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan had sent experienced jihadists to Libya to build a new base of operations in the country. Between May and December 2011, one of these jihadists had recruited 200 fighters in the eastern part of the country. Documents seized in Iraq indicate that many foreign fighters who participated in the Iraqi insurgency hailed from eastern Libya.”
According to the August 2012 Library of Congress “Al-Qaeda in Libya” report, the individual sent is believed to be Abd al-Baset Azzouz, who has been close to al-Qaeda head Al-Zawahiri since 1980. According to the same report, he is likely located currently in Libya with another senior Libyan al-Qaeda operative Abd al Hamid al Ruqhay, alias Abu Anas al-Libi, who moved, in the late 1980s, living at various times in Afghanistan and Sudan, where he is believed to have met Osama bin Laden and joined al-Qaeda.
The Status of Two Identified Suspects
The two suspects identified thus far as involved in the attack on the U.S. mission are Ali Harzi and Amed Abu Khattala (Bukatela). Ali Harzi was apprehended after 9/11 in Turkey after the attack reportedly on his way to Syria. He was sent back his native land, Tunesia and has since been released for “lack of evidence.” According to Investors.com, Sen. Saxy Chambliss stated that Harzi was confirmed to be a member of Ansar al-Sharia. Eli Lake of the Daily Beast reports that Harzi is not considered to be a ringleader of the attack but is considered a suspect because he used social media to tip off friends about the attack. His brother is believed to be Tariq Abu Ammar, a member of al-Qaeda in Iraq whose job is to arrange travel of fighters from North Africa to Syria.
Amed Abu Khattala (Bukatela), according to the publication Magharebia is a suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the US mission, as well as a suspect in the assassination of Major General Yunis on July 28, 2011. He has also been identified as a suspect in connection with the assassination of Benghazi police chief, Faraj Drissi on Nov. 20, 2012. He was the commander of the Abu Obeida Bin al-Jarrah brigade, which was disbanded after 9/11. He has been linked as well to Ansar al-Sharia. He is now living freely in Benghazi and has never been interviewed by U.S. investigators. On Jan. 6, he was the target of an unsuccessful assassination.
Benghazi Attack Precursor to Al-Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood Coup
On September 12, Mahmoud Jibril was indeed defeated in his quest to become Prime Minister by Mustafa Abushagur by two votes, and the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Alwad al Barasi, became deputy prime minister. When Abushagur failed to gain approval for his proposed cabinet, he was voted out as Prime Minister on Oct. 7. He was replaced by Ali Zeidan whose proposed cabinet was approved on Oct. 31. Half of the cabinet members are now members of the National Forces Alliance and half selected by the Muslim Brotherhood Justice and Construction Party. Thus, the Muslim Brotherhood has succeeded in gaining a major foothold in the new government of Libya just as it has done in Egypt and threatens to do elsewhere due to the deliberate policy of the Obama Administration, the British Empire, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
On September 24, Fawzi Bukatif, commander of the February 17 Brigade, and Ismail al-Sallabi, founder of the February 17 Brigade and also head of the al-Sahati Brigade, were relieved of their commands and replaced by Army colonels.
On November 20, Colonel Faraj Drissi, the Benghazi security chief appointed after the attack on the U.S. Benghazi mission, was assassinated outside of his home. On Dec. 16 a senior police source informed the Libya Herald that the suspected assassin, who had been detained by police, identified seven prominent Islamists in connection with the assassination and related attacks. The most significant among these are: Sufyan ben Qumu, the head of Ansar al-Sharia, Rafallah al-Sahati chiefs Mohammed al-Garabi and Ismael al-Sallabi and Obeida militia chief Ahmed Bukatela. Libya’s new Interior Minister, Ashour Shuwail, stepped in on Dec. 20 to deny that those named, including Ismail al-Sallabi and the group Ansar Al-Sharia, were being sought in relation to the events in Benghazi. Al-Garabi denied any involvement and Ismael al-Sallabi, speaking from Turkey, also claimed innocence.
Meanwhile, in the capital city of Tripoli, the Libyan military tribunal investigating the assassination of General Abdel Fattah Younis near the city of Benghazi on July 28, 2011, issued a summons to former National Transitional Council (NTC) leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil, an ally of Belhadj. Tripoli militia forces immediately blocked roads for three days to protest the court’s summoning of Jalil. As a result, the tribunal announced that it was abandoning its inquiry.
On January 2, 2013, the acting head of the criminal investigation department in Benghazi, Captain Abdelsalam al-Mahdawi, was abducted. He was seized at gunpoint as he was reportedly about to name suspects in the murder of former Benghazi police chief Faraj al-Drissi.
On January 3, 2013, the President of Libya, Mohammet Megaryef, survived an assassination attempt in a hotel in the southern oasis of Sabha where he was then staying.
The grip of the LIFG on the government of Libya was then strengthened on January 11 when Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan appointed the deputy emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Khalid al-Sharif, as the deputy minister of defense of Libya.. When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, Khalid al Sharif escaped Afghanistan to Pakistan, where he remained until 2003. In 2003 he was captured in Pakistan and handed over to the US which later transferred him to Libya in 2005. He was released with Belhadj and others on March 23, 2010 but re-imprisoned by Qaddafi once the revolution began. After the liberation of Tripoli by Belhadj he began working with the Tripoli military council and then went on to form the National Guard, which according to the Libya Herald is involved directly with the Border Guard, patrolling the borders and providing security to oil installations. It also helps the Judicial Police in interrogations and supervising many prisons.
On January 19, there was an attempted assassination of Libya’s Minister of Defense, Mohammed Mahmoud al Bargati, as he was leaving the airport in Tobruk, eastern Libya. Tobruk has been identified as an area controlled by smugglers of arms across the Egyptian-Libya border.
On January 20, the Tripoli Post ran a column proposing that all of the armed militia could be integrated into the National Guard, which is headed by Khalid al-Sharif.
The Hostage-Taking In Algeria
On January 16, al Qaeda in Magreb launched a major terrorist attack in Algeria. This operation is directly related to Obama’s alliance with al-Qaeda in Libya. First, as reported above, weapons provided by Qatar with Obama’s approval to Belhadj and the LIFG have been supplied to al Qaeda in Mali. Second, the leader of the hostage-taking in Algeria is Mokhtar bel Mokhtar, an Algerian who fought against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s. As reported above, the Library of Congress reports that in March 2012, Wisam bin Hamid, the leader of Libya Shield, whom a Palestinian newspaper identified as the leader of al-Qaeda in Libya, held an al-Qaeda-type demonstration in the city of Sirt. The same newspaper reported that Mokhtar bel Mokhtar, the leader of AQIM in the Sahara, attended the parade as the honored guest of Wisam. Thus, the leader of the Algerian terrorist action is a known ally of the individual who heads Libya Shield, a group which the Obama administration continues to rely upon for security in Benghazi despite its complicity in the assassination of our ambassador and three other Americans.
On January 24, the New York Times reported that a senior Algerian official said that “several Egyptian members of the squad of militants that lay bloody siege to an Algerian gas complex last week also took part in the deadly attack on the United States Mission in Libya in September.” On January 19, the Tripoli Post ran a story entitled: “Terrorists Who Attacked Algerian Gas Complex May Have Been Trained in Libya,” in which they report, “A US official said that the hostage-takers appeared to have crossed the Libyan border … to carry out the attack.” The article further reports that there are three camps in the desert town of Sabha, Libya and that “it was highly possible that these camps were connected to the attack.” The Libya Herald ran an article entitled: “Terrorist source claims Libyan connection with In Amenas attack, in which they report that the terrorists “did indeed have support from Libya.”
On January 24, several European governments urged their citizens to evacuate Benghazi in response to what the U.K. described as a “specific and imminent threat to Westerners.” The Libyan press indicated that sources said the threat existed of an attack on a Libyan oil field similar to the attack which had just occurred in Algeria.
What Must Be Done
President Obama swore an oath to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic,” as did every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Obama has broken that oath by supporting the enemies of the U.S. Constitution. As many members of the House Foreign Relations Committee pointed out in recent hearings, the issue here is the policy of the Obama administration which contributed to causing the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in Benghazi, and if continued in respect to Syria, threatens to bring the world to the brink of thermonuclear war.
Whether an investigation is launched by a select committee or by standing committees the Congress must get to the bottom of the Benghazi 9/11/12 attacks beginning with a thorough airing of the ongoing alliance between the Obama White House and al-Qaeda. Nothing short of a thorough probe will prevent a replay of the first two 9/11 attacks, perhaps on a far grander scale.
What makes this particularly urgent is that in using al-Qaeda to overthrow Assad in Syria, the British Empire, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and their stooge Obama are pushing the world to the edge of a thermonuclear war with Russia and China. The crimes of Obama of failing to provide sufficient security to the mission and not responding after the attack by providing military assistance, are the result of the underlying policy. The crimes of Obama are not the result of bureaucratic sloppiness. These crimes and the lies of the Obama Administration’s “talking points,” which were designed to cover them up, are a result of the underlying crime of having allied with known enemies of the United States of America. As RSO officer Eric Nordstrom testified before the House Oversight Committee in October, “In my view, the Taliban is inside the building.”
The killings of the Ambassador and three other Americans were carried out by the very terrorists Obama and his masters intentionally supported to overthrow Qaddafi, and are supporting now to overthrow Assad.
The designation of al-Nusra in Syria as a terrorist organization is just a fig leaf. As reported in the September 11 memo sent by Ambassador Stevens to Washington, Wisam bin Hamid and al-Garabi told U.S. officials on Sept. 9 “fluid relationships and blurry lines” define membership in the brigades in Benghazi. “They themselves were members of multiple brigades, they said.” The same is true in Syria.
As this fact sheet conclusively demonstrates to be the case in Libya, and as the Syrian opposition itself has affirmed in respect to Syria by proclaiming that they are all al-Nusra,— the entire Syrian opposition is dominated by al-Qaeda.
Obama is in bed with al-Qaeda. Petraeus was forced to resign for less. Obama must be forced to resign or be impeached now.
Policy questions to be asked by Congressional investigators:
1.The LIFG was listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the U.S. State Department, the UN Security Council and the UK Home Office before it officially disbanded in February 2011 and merely renamed itself the Libyan Islamic Movement for Change. In 2007 Al-Qaeda announced the merger of Al-Qaeda and the LIFG. There are numerous links between the LIFG and 9/11/2001 known to the U.S. from interrogations in Guantanamo. How does the Obama administration justify allying with leading members of the LIFG in Libya? Did Obama authorize the decision to work with the LIFG? Given the U.S. State Department designation of the LIFG as a FTO did anyone in the State Department object to this policy? Why has the Obama administration not designated the Libyan Islamic Movement for Change as a FTO?
2.The emir of the LIFG Abdel Hakim Belhadj fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and then moved with him to Sudan in 1992. He ran training camps for Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the late 1990s. He fled Kabul in 2001 and went with Osam bin Laden to Tora Bora. He was listed as a co-conspirator in the 2004 Madrid bombings. In Libya he received weapons from Qatar approved by Obama. He became the military commander of the Tripoli Military Council in August 2011 and was responsible for security at all foreign embassies. Why did we ally with a known terrorist to overthrow Qaddafi? Why did we allow Qatar to provide him with weapons, bypassing the Transitional National Council? Did the Obama administration protest his becoming responsible for security for all foreign embassies?
3.General Yunis, the military commander of the TNC, was assassinated on July 28, 2011. The assassination paved the way for Belhadj to become the military commander of the Tripoli Military Council. A deputy of Yunis, Mohammed Agoury, told Associated Press that the February 17 Brigade was behind the assassination. Other sources have said that Ansar al-Sharia was responsible. Why did the Obama Administration hire the February 17th Brigade to provide security in Benghazi under these circumstances?
4.After Belhadj became head of the Tripoli Military Council he and Ismael al-Sallabi traveled with TNC Chairman Jalil to Qatar to meet with NATO officials. Who attended this meeting? Why did NATO choose to meet with known terrorists? Who authorized this meeting?
5.Bin Qumu is head of Ansar al-Sharia. Ansar al-Sharia took credit for the attack on the U.S. Mission on its own Facebook page. The Senate Homeland Security committee report says individuals affiliated with Ansar al-Sharia were allegedly involved in storming the Tunisian consulate in Benghazi on June 18, 2012. Bin Qumu is known to be a member of the LIFG and Al-Qaeda and was assessed to be a MEDIUM to HIGH risk to U.S. interests. He received a monthly stipend from one of the financiers of the original 9/11. He began training rebel forces in Derna in April of 2011. What actions did the Obama administration take against him and Ansar al-Sharia before Sept. 11? Why is Ansar al-Sharia not listed as a FTO? On what basis did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton argue that an entry on Ansar al-Sharia’s own Facebook page claiming credit for the attack is not evidence?
6.U.S. officials met with Wisam bin Hamid and Muhammad Al-Garabi on Sept. 9. The Library of Congress reports that Wisam bin Hamid is possibly the leader of al-Qaeda in Libya. He leads Libya Shield, which is the same as Free Libya. He hosted a demonstration in Sirte in March 2012 attended by the head of Al-Qaeda in Magreb, Mokhtar Bel Mokhtar, as his honored guest. Mokhtar Bel Mokhtar has been identified as the leader of the hostage-taking event which took place beginning Jan. 13 at a British Petroleum gas field in Algeria. Bin Hamid also participated in another rally in Benghazi with other militias on June 7-8, 2012. The Library of Congress reports that these militias “probably make up the bulk of al-Qaeda’s network in Libya.” Why did U.S. officials meet with him? Which officials met with him? Why did we rely on Libya Shield for security in Benghazi? On Nov. 28 the New York Times reported that US investigators of the Benghazi terrorist attack have been escorted by “Mr. Hamid.” Why do we continue to rely on Wisam bin Hamid and Libya Shield for security while investigating a crime in which Wisam bin Hamid must be a suspect?
7.The Supreme Security Council police car assigned to the mission left the scene of the terrorist attack just as it began. An individual wearing a SSC police uniform took photos of the mission on the morning of the attack. On Sept. 12 Wanis al-Sharif, deputy interior minister for Eastern Libya in charge of the SSC in Benghazi and a senior leader of the LIFG spread disinformation about the terrorist attack. On September 17 he was sacked by his own government. Why was Wanis al-Sharif sacked? What are we doing to identify the individual who took photos? Have we interviewed al-Sharif to find out why he lied and why he did not provide a marked police car outside the mission 24/7? Have we interviewed the driver who left the scene? As deputy interior minister what is his involvement in running weapons to al-Qaeda in Syria and Mali?
8.The Senate Homeland Security Committee report indicates that a current and a former employee of Blue Mountain were suspects in the bombing of the mission on April 6, 2012. The ARB report says that a Blue Mountain guard may have left the gate to the mission open and had done so on a previous occasion. Why did we continue to employ Blue Mountain?
9.The February 17th Brigade was formed by Ismael al-Sallabi. Belhadj was in Benghazi in April 2011 to help form the brigade. According to the Senate Homeland Security Committee report, the Feb. 17th Brigade was involved in extrajudicial detentions of U.S. diplomatic personnel prior to Sept. 11. On Sept. 11, according to the ARB the Feb. 17th Brigade guards at the mission failed to notify the Feb. 17th Brigade barracks. According to the Senate Homeland Security Committee the February 17th Brigade failed to respond to two calls for assistance from the CIA annex. On September 24, Ismael al-Sallabi and Fawzi Bukatif the founder and commander of the February 17th Brigade, were sacked by the Libyan government. Why did we rely on the Feb. 17th Brigade for security in the first place, given that it was created by known LIFG operatives? Why did we continue to employ the Feb. 17th Brigade after they conducted extrajudicial detentions and after their loyalties were called into question? Why were al-Sallabi and Bukatif sacked?
10.Belhadj traveled to Turkey to meet with the Syrian Free Army in November 2011 to provide money, weapons and fighters to overthrow the Syrian government. Did Obama know about the trip? Did Obama approve this trip? Did this trip result in an agreement to provide weapons, personnel and training to the Free Syrian Army?
11.600 LIFG fighters went to Syria in November 2011 led by al Harati, the deputy commander of the Tripoli Military Council under Belhadj. Who knew about and approved this deployment?
12.Belhadj and the LIFG are now providing weapons to Al-Qaeda in Syria and Mali. Why has the U.S. or NATO not intercepted these weapons, which in the case of Syria are transported to Turkey by ship?
13.It is reported that Ambassador Stevens opposed Belhadj becoming either Minister of Defense or Minister of the Interior in Libya. Is this true and if so, why?
14.The Libyan Interior Ministry official in charge of border control is Abdul Wahhab Hassan Qayad, a leading member of the LIFG whose brother, al-Qaeda leader Yahya al-Libi, was killed in Pakistan in June 2012 by a U.S. drone attack. What contact does the Obama administration have with him about the transport of jihadists and weapons to and from Libya? What is his involvement in the events in Benghazi on Sept. 11 given the killing of his brother in June 2012, which some sources identify as a motivation for the attack?
15.Wisam bin Hamid and Muhammad al-Garabi told U.S. officials on Sept. 9 that they would not continue to provide security for the mission, if Jabril became prime minister. On September 12, one day after Sept. 11 Jabril was defeated. Now the Muslim Brotherhood controls nearly a half of the cabinet positions in Libya and the Muslim Brotherhood candidate for Prime Minister, Barasi, who was supported by them, is a deputy Prime Minister. Did the U.S. and Ambassador Stevens support the Jabril for Prime Minister in the General National Congress elections which took place Sept. 10-12? Did the Obama administration support this ascension of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Libya?
16.The last meeting Ambassador Stevens had in Benghazi before the terrorist attack was with the Turkish ambassador. What was the purpose of Ambassador Stevens’ meeting with the Turkish ambassador in Benghazi just before the attack on Sept. 11?
17.The Accountability Review Board (ARB) report states that UK diplomatic personnel were in Benghazi on Sept. 11. The attack began immediately after UK security personnel left the U.S. mission. What was the purpose of this one-day visit and did they meet with Ambassador Stevens?
18.Besides the mission, the U.S. also maintained an annex in Benghazi run by the CIA. What was the purpose of the CIA annex in Benghazi? Why was the mission in Benghazi “never formally notified to the Libyan government” as reported by the ARB? Was it involved in support operations for supplying weapons or personnel to Syria?
19.Leading spokesmen for the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group stated that the attack on the mission in Benghazi on 9/11 was a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim video. Did the Obama administration tailor its talking points to protect its al-Qaeda assets in Libya who were responsible for the terrorist attack?
20.On January 11, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan appointed the deputy emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Khalid al-Sharif, as the deputy minister of defense of Libya. Did the Obama administration protest this appointment of an individual who was the second in command of the al-Qaeda-allied LIFG? Is the U.S. military now working directly with Khalid al-Sharif in his position as deputy defense minister?
21. Khalid al-Sharif is also the head of the Libyan National Guard which is under the Ministry of Defense and involved directly with the Border Guard, patrolling the borders and providing security for Libyan oil installations. On January 24, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands advised their citizens to leave Benghazi due to an imminent terrorist threat. The Libyan press reports that the threat is that of an attack on a Libyan oil field. Has the Obama administration demanded that Khalid al-Sharif be dismissed? If not, why not? What has the Obama administration done to prevent the Libyan militias from being consolidated in the National Guard under Khalid al-Sharif’s control?
- France Displays Unhinged Hypocrisy as Bombs Fall on Mali (landdestroyer.blogspot.com)
- The Geopolitical Reordering of Africa: US Covert Support to Al Qaeda in Northern Mali, France “Comes to the Rescue”! (socioecohistory.wordpress.com)
- Hypocrisy: US Arms Al Qaeda in Syria, Mass-Slaughters Civilians in Afghanistan (EndtheLie.com)
- Hypocrisy: US Arms Al Qaeda in Syria, Mass-Slaughters Civilians in Afghanistan (activistpost.com)