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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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  •  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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