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View Diary: Coordinated Attack on Ambassador and US Troops Points to Safe Haven in Libya for al-Qaeda (71 comments)

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    I've read your materials, but the links you are drawing are simply wrong and kind of nonsensical.  Yes, I've read them, but theres a lot of confusion in the links you are trying to draw here.

    Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

    by Mindful Nature on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 09:22:12 AM PDT

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    •  "Growing concern re Libya safe haven" (0+ / 0-)

      Okay, if you don't believe me, or can't understand the point, here's yet another CNN report on the subject published a few months ago.
      May 15, 2012, 12:01 AM ET

      Growing concern over jihadist ‘safe haven’ in eastern Libya

      By Nic Robertson, Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister, CNN

      Diplomats and other observers in Libya say that with elections one month away, the National Transitional Council is struggling to exert control over various militia prominent in the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi. The situation is further complicated by tribal rivalries and a growing presence of Islamist militants in some areas.

      One source briefed by Western intelligence officials says of particular concern is the city of Derna on the Mediterranean coast some 160 miles (300 kilometers) west of the Egyptian border. The source tells CNN that hundreds of Islamist militants are present in and around the town, and there are camps where weapons and physical training are provided to militants. He said one official had described the area as "a disaster zone."


      There have been a number of car bomb explosions in Derna in recent months, apparently as rival Islamist factions compete for supremacy in the area. One is said to have targeted Abdel Hakim al Hasadi, a former member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who spent time in Afghanistan in the 1990s. He told reporters last year he had been handed over to the Americans and sent back to Libya, where he was jailed for six years. The LIFG formally repudiated al Qaeda in 2009 and disbanded shortly afterwards.

      The source said that groups sympathetic to al Qaeda as well as former members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group had converged on Derna – and the presence of one man was especially worrying: senior al Qaeda operative Abdul Basit Azuz. He had been sent to the area last spring by al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and now had some 300 men under his command. Azuz is operating at least one training facility and has sent some of his men to establish contact with other militant Islamist groups as far west as Brega, the source said.

      Al-Zawahiri’s plan was for him to establish a "home base for al Qaeda" in Libya, the source said.

      A senior counter-terrorism official told CNN that western intelligence is aware of Azuz’s presence, his recruitment and training of fighters, and believes his redeployment to Libya had the backing of al-Zawahiri.

      The official said it was unclear whether former LIFG militants were contesting Azuz’z presence in Derna. It was possible, he said, that al Qaeda had grown strong enough in the area to deter such a confrontation.


      Azuz has been close to al-Zawahiri since the 1980s and first traveled to Afghanistan in the early 1990s to join mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation - as did hundreds of Arab fighters.


      One source told CNN that the situation in the east was complicated by the presence of foreign fighters – from Algeria, Morocco and the Sahel – including some from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM.)

      •  Here is where I haven't been clear (0+ / 0-)

        Although this snip points to it.  There are, as the report says, many different competing militant islamist factions in the area, which may, or may not have had anything whatsoever to do with the attack.  Also, many if not most of those islamist factions are not part of Al Qaeda.  yes, there may be an Al qaeda operative in the area, and yes various islamist factions are operating with some impunity.  Because there are so may unclear links and so many different players, it does not make sense to say that the attacks (remember we don't know who, if anyone, planned the attacks, if they were planned) points to, or has any relation to, any groups operating in eastern Libya.  Furthermore, it points even less to the activities of Al Qaeda specifically, which is only one (and not probably the strongest) of the groups that may be involved.

        As to any  causal links to US support for the FSA, which may or may not have fought alongside jihadists, who may or may not have affiliation with Al Qaeda is another step far beyond that.  

        So, my objection is that the attempt to link the attacks to Al Qaeda involves a long chain of unproven suppositions, even granting that the various groups are present.  

        Is taht clearer? (I'll grant you I've been clear as mud up to now)

        Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

        by Mindful Nature on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 12:00:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Libyan AQ is in Syria. They got there somehow. (0+ / 0-)

          I guess every single point needs to be illustrated for you.  Fine.  Here's another:

          Exclusive - Libyan fighters join Syrian revolt against Assad

          REUTERS/Shaam News Network/Handout

          By Mariam Karouny

          BEIRUT | Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:26am BST

          (Reuters) - Veteran fighters of last year's civil war in Libya have come to the front-line in Syria, helping to train and organise rebels under conditions far more dire than those in the battle against Muammar Gaddafi, a Libyan-Irish fighter has told Reuters.

          Hussam Najjar hails from Dublin, has a Libyan father and Irish mother and goes by the name of Sam. A trained sniper, he was part of the rebel unit that stormed Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli a year ago, led by Mahdi al-Harati, a powerful militia chief from Libya's western mountains.

          Harati now leads a unit in Syria, made up mainly of Syrians but also including some foreign fighters, including 20 senior members of his own Libyan rebel unit. He asked Najjar to join him from Dublin a few months ago, Najjar said.

          The Libyans aiding the Syrian rebels include specialists in communications, logistics, humanitarian issues and heavy weapons, he said. They operate training bases, teaching fitness and battlefield tactics.


          In the months since he arrived, the rebel arsenal had become "five times more powerful", he said. Fighters had obtained large calibre anti-aircraft guns and sniper rifles.


          LACK OF UNITY

          Although many rebel units fight under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, their commands are localised and poorly coordinated, Najjar said.

          "One of the biggest factors delaying the revolution is the lack of unity among the rebels," he said. "Unfortunately, it is only when their back is up against the wall that they start to realise they should (unite)."

          Syria's uprising has evolved into an all-out civil war with sectarian overtones, pitting the mainly Sunni rebels against security forces dominated by Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam. Assad is backed by Shi'ite-led Iran and opposed by most Arab states, which are ruled by Sunnis.

          "This is not just about the fall of Assad. This is about the Sunni Muslims of Syria taking back their country and pushing out the minority that have been oppressing them for generations now," Najjar said.


          Harati's unit is known as the Umma Brigade, referring to the global community of Muslims. Najjar said thousands more Sunni fighters from the Arab world were gathering in neighbouring countries prepared to join the cause.

          Harati is reluctant to enlist them because he does not want his cause tarnished by the perception that foreign Islamists are linked to al Qaeda, Najjar said, but he said that many of the foreigners were making their way to Syria on their own.


          •  This is what I'm talking about (0+ / 0-)

            This article discusses the experience of two  Libyan veterans of the civil war who is NOT a member of Al Qaeda,and in fact the leader of the brigade is reported as

            Harati is reluctant to enlist them because he does not want his cause tarnished by the perception that foreign Islamists are linked to al Qaeda, Najjar said, but he said that many of the foreigners were making their way to Syria on their own.
            In other words, he's not Al Qaeda and he's reluctant to bring other foreigners into his brigade lest they be Al Qaeda.  Thus, the example you have of fighters from Libya in Syria strengthens my point that those fighters are not necessarily Al Qaeda as you suggest, becaus ethere are many, many more groups involved.  Also, in this case while Al Qaeda fighters may be there, there are substantial portions of the FSA who are not involved with them and don't want to be.  A lot of people try to blur this distinction, but it is an important point.

            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

            by Mindful Nature on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 03:47:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who is Khatib, and who supports him? (0+ / 0-)

              Kuwait, and other other "sympathizers" in Antakya, as far as has been revealed in news coverage, mostly fawning.  He's the fresh-scrubbed face of foreign fighters in Syria.  But, along and the rest of the Liwa al-Ummah, have committed themselves to Jihad against the Shi'ia in Syria, and follows the teachings of Abdullah Azzam, who Osama bin Laden succeeded as the head the Service Organization after Azzam was assassinated.  That makes Azzam the intellectual father of al Qaeda and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) offshoot, Liwa al-Ummah, commanded by Mr. Khatib.

              The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) currently arming, funding, and commanding entire brigades of the so-called "Free Syrian Army" (FSA), is designated an Al Qaeda affiliate by the United Nations pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), in addition to being listed by both the US State Department and the UK Home Office (page 5).  According to Foreign Policy,

              Khatib divides his time between Syria and Turkey, where he shuttles between Istanbul and Antakya, the city close to the border that has become a hub for the Syrian rebels, to coordinate with sympathizers. "We're putting the word out and gathering popular support for the political battle ahead," he says.

              From its uniforms -- all purchased by Harati in Turkey -- to its arsenal, Liwa al-Ummah appears well funded compared with many other rebel brigades. The arms at its disposal include 12.5 mm and 14.5 mm anti-aircraft guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and rifles including PKCs and M16s. Harati says the brigade has access to "new and improved" weaponry now that rebel forces control several border posts along the frontier with Turkey. But as he is quick to point out, "It's still a very unbalanced war." Like other Syrian rebel factions, the brigade is also developing expertise to produce improvised explosive devices to target Assad's forces.

              Harati says Liwa al-Ummah draws on a network of private donors in Syria and across the Middle East and North Africa for financing. Its Facebook page features several expressions of gratitude to named benefactors in Kuwait.

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