by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
March 25, 2011
The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 13 No 3, March 28, 2011
The world is facing a very unpredictable and potentially dangerous situation
in North Africa and the Middle East.
What began as a memorable, promising, relatively
nonviolent achievement of New Politics - the Revolutions in Tunisia and
Egypt - has morphed very swiftly into a recrudescence of old habits:
America, already mired in two decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and
sporadic air attacks in Yemen and Somalia, now, bombing yet another Third
World Country, in this case Libya.
USS Barry launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn
in the Mediterranean Sea
March 19, 2011. US government handout
The initially stated aim of this bombing was to diminish Libyan civilian
But many, senior figures in Washington, including President
Obama, have indicated that the US is gearing up for a quite different war
for regime change, one that may well be protracted and could also easily
expand beyond Libya.1
If it does expand, the hope for a nonviolent
transition to civilian government in Tunisia and Egypt and other Middle East
nations experiencing political unrest, may be lost to a hard-edged
militarization of government, especially in Egypt. All of us, not just
Egyptians, have a major stake in seeing that that does not happen.
The present article does not attempt to propose solutions or a course of
action for the United States and its allies, or for the people of
East. It attempts rather to examine the nature of the forces that have
emerged in Libya over the last four decades that are presently being played
To this end I have begun to compile what I call my Libyan Notebook, a
collection of relevant facts that underlie the present crisis.
This Notebook will be judgmental, in that I am
biased towards collecting facts that the US media tend to ignore, facts that
are the product in many instances of investigative reporting that cuts to
the heart of power relations, deep structures, and economic interests in the
region including the US, Israel, and the Arab States as these have played
out over the last two decades and more.
But I hope that it will be usefully objective
and open-ended, permitting others to draw diverse conclusions from the same
set of facts.2
I wish to begin with two ill-understood topics:
I. Who Are the Libyan Opposition?
II. Where Are the Libyan Rebel Arms
I . Who Are the Libyan
"If Muammar Al Kaddafi behaved paranoid,
it was for good reason. It wasn't long after he reached the age of
27 and led a small group of junior military officers in a bloodless
coup d'état against Libyan King Idris on September 1, 1969, that
threats to his power and life emerged - from monarchists, Israeli
Mossad, Palestinian disaffections, Saudi security, the National
Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL), the National Conference for
the Libyan Opposition (NCLO), British intelligence, United States
antagonism and, in 1995, the most serious of all, Al Qaeda-like
Libyan Islamic fighting group, known as
Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya.
The Colonel reacted brutally, by either
expelling or killing those he feared were against him."3
Kaddafi and Nasser
in a 1969 Photo
2) National Front for the Salvation of
"With the aim of overthrowing Libyan
strongman Muammar Khadafy, Israel and the U.S. trained anti-Libyan
rebels in a number of West and Central African countries.
The Paris-based African Confidential
newsletter reported on January 5th, 1989, that the US and
Israel had set up a series of bases in Chad and other neighboring
countries to train 2000 Libyan rebels captured by the Chad army. The
group, called The National Front for the Salvation of Libya, was
based in Chad."4
"US official records indicate that funding for the Chad-based secret
war against Libya also came from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco,
Israel and Iraq. The Saudis, for instance, donated $7m to an
opposition group, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya
(also backed by French intelligence and the CIA).
But a plan to assassinate Kaddafi and
take over the government on 8 May 1984 was crushed. In the following
year, the US asked Egypt to invade Libya and overthrow Kaddafi but
President Mubarak refused. By the end of 1985, the Washington Post
had exposed the plan after congressional leaders opposing it wrote
in protest to President Reagan."5
"The FNSL [National Front for the Salvation of Libya] was part of
the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition held in London in
2005, and British resources are being used to support the FNSL and
other 'opposition' in Libya... The FNSL held its national congress
in the USA in July 2007.
Reports of 'atrocities' and civilian
deaths are being channeled into the western press from operations in
Washington DC, and the opposition FNSL is reportedly organizing
resistance and military attacks from both inside and outside Libya."6
3) National Conference for the Libyan
"The main group leading the insurrection
is the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition which includes
the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL). The NFSL,
which is leading the violence, is a U.S.-sponsored armed militia of
mostly Libyan expatriates and tribes opposed to al-Qaddafi." 7
4) Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya
(Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, LIFG)
"The LIFG was founded in 1995 by a group
of mujahedeen veterans who had fought against the Soviet occupation
of Afghanistan. Upon their return to Libya they grew angry about
what they viewed as the corruption and impiety of the Libyan regime
and formed the LIFG to create a state that would show what they
believed to be the true character of the Libyan people.
The most significant LIFG attack was a 1996 attempt to assassinate
Kaddafi; LIFG members led by Wadi al-Shateh threw a bomb underneath
his motorcade. The group also stages guerilla-style attacks against
government security forces from its mountain bases.
Although most LIFG members are strictly
dedicated to toppling Kaddafi, intelligence reportedly indicates
that some have joined forces with al-Qaida to wage jihad against
Libyan and Western interests worldwide...
As recently as February 2004, then-Director of Central Intelligence
George Tenet testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that
"one of the most immediate threats [to U.S. security] is from
smaller international Sunni extremist groups that have benefited
from al-Qaida links. They include... the Libyan Islamic Fighting
"In recent days Libyan officials have distributed security documents
giving the details of Sufiyan al-Koumi, said to be a driver for
Osama bin Laden, and of another militant allegedly involved in an
"Islamic emirate" in Derna, in now-liberated eastern Libya. Koumi,
the documents show, was freed in September 2010 as part of a "reform
and repent" initiative organized by Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi's son....
The LIFG, established in Afghanistan in the 1990s, has assassinated
dozens of Libyan soldiers and policemen. In 2009, to mark Gaddafi's
40 years in power, it apologized for trying to kill him and agreed
to lay down its arms. MI6 [British Intelligence] has been accused in
the past of supporting it.
Six LIFG leaders, still in prison,
disavowed their old ways and explained why fighting Kaddafi no
longer constituted "legitimate" jihad.
another freed LIFG member, denied the official claims.
"Kaddafi is trying to divide the
people," he told al-Jazeera. "He claims that there is an
Islamist emirate in Derna and that I am its emir. He is taking
advantage of the fact that I am a former political prisoner."
Derna is famous as the home of a large
number of suicide bombers in Iraq. It is also deeply hostile to
"Residents of eastern Libya in
general, and Derna in particular, view the
tribe) as uneducated, uncouth interlopers from an
inconsequential part of the country who have 'stolen' the right
to rule in Libya," US diplomats were told in 2008, in a cable
since released by WikiLeaks.
The last 110 members of the LIFG were
freed on 16 February, the day after the Libyan uprising began.
One of those released, Abdulwahab
Mohammed Kayed, is the brother of Abu Yahya Al Libi, one of al
Qaida's top propagandists. Koumi fled Libya and is said to have
ended up in Afghanistan working for Bin Laden.
Captured in Pakistan, he was handed over
to the US and sent to Guantánamo Bay in 2002. In 2009 he was sent
back to Libya.9 US counter-terrorist experts have
expressed concern that al-Qaida could take advantage of a political
vacuum if Kaddafi is overthrown.
But most analysts say that, although the
Islamists' ideology has strong resonance in eastern Libya, there is
no sign that the protests are going to be hijacked by them.10
Fighting Group Members released
"Fierce clashes between [Kaddafi's]
security forces and Islamist guerrillas erupted in Benghazi in
September 1995, leaving dozens killed on both sides.
After weeks of intense fighting, the
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) formally declared its existence
in a communiqué calling Kaddafi's government "an apostate regime
that has blasphemed against the faith of God Almighty" and declaring
its overthrow to be "the foremost duty after faith in God."
This and future LIFG communiqués were
issued by Libyan Afghans who had been granted political asylum in
Britain... The involvement of the British government in the LIFG
campaign against Kaddafi remains the subject of immense controversy.
LIFG's next big operation, a failed attempt to assassinate Kaddafi
in February 1996 that killed several of his bodyguards, was later
said to have been financed by British intelligence to the tune of
$160,000, according to ex-MI5 officer David Shayler.
While Shayler's allegations have not
been independently confirmed, it is clear that Britain allowed LIFG
to develop a base of logistical support and fundraising on its soil.
At any rate, financing by bin Laden appears to have been much more
important. According to one report, LIFG received up to $50,000 from
the Saudi terrorist mastermind for each of its militants killed on
the battlefield." 11
"Americans, Britons and the French are finding themselves as
comrades in arms with the rebel Islamic Fighting Group, the most
radical element in the Al Qaeda network [to bring down Kaddafi].
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted the risks of the unholy
alliance in a congressional hearing, saying that the Libyan
opposition is probably more anti-American than Muammar Kaddafi. A
decade ago, this very same delusion of a Western-Islamist
partnership in Kosovo, Bosnia and Chechnya ended abruptly in the
“In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi
admitted that he had recruited ‘around 25’ men from the Derna area
in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of
them, he said, are ‘today are on the front lines in Adjabiya.
Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters ‘are patriots and good Muslims,
not terrorists,’ but added that the ‘members of al-Qaeda are also
good Muslims and are fighting against the invader’.
His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad's president,
said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan
rebel zone and acquired arms, ‘including surface-to-air missiles,
which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries’.
Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against ‘the foreign
invasion’ in Afghanistan, before being ‘captured in 2002 in Peshwar,
in Pakistan’. He was later handed over to the US, and then held in
Libya before being released in 2008.
US and British government sources said Mr al-Hasidi was a member of
the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which killed dozens of
Libyan troops in guerrilla attacks around Derna and Benghazi in 1995
(“Libyan rebel commander admits his
fighters have al-Qaeda links,” Daily Telegraph [London], March 25,
5) Transitional National Council
"A RIVAL transitional government to the
regime of Libyan leader Muammar Kaddafi looks set to win US and
other international support as momentum builds to oust the longtime
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed yesterday that the
Obama administration was reaching out to opponents of Colonel
Kaddafi. She said the US was willing to offer ‘any kind of
assistance' to remove him from power.
Protest leaders who have taken control in Libya's eastern cities
claim to have established a transitional "national council" that
amounts to rival rule. They have called on the country's army to
join them as they prepare for an attack on the capital, Tripoli,
where the Libyan leader retains control.
Confident the Libyan leader's 42-year rule was coming to an end, Mrs
Clinton said yesterday:
‘We are just at the beginning of
what will follow Kaddafi.'"13
"He [Omar El-Hariri, Chief of Armed
Forces for the Transitional National Council] remained under close
surveillance by the security forces until Feb. 17, when the
revolution started. It was not initiated by prominent figures of the
older generation, he said, but began spontaneously when Tunisia and
Egypt inspired the youth. ‘Children of Facebook!' he declared, in
English, with a broad smile."14
"Libyan rebels in Benghazi said they
have created a new national oil company to replace the corporation
controlled by leader Muammar Kaddafi whose assets were frozen by the
United Nations Security Council.
The Transitional National Council released a statement announcing
the decision made at a March 19 meeting to establish the ‘Libyan Oil
Company as supervisory authority on oil production and policies in
the country, based temporarily in Benghazi, and the appointment of
an interim director general" of the company.
The Council also said it "designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as
a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the
appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a
temporary headquarters in Benghazi."15
Peter Dale Scott's Libyan Notebook
II - Where Are the
Libyan Rebel Arms Coming From?
"Libya in turmoil - America's secret plan to arm
Libya's rebels; Obama asks Saudis to airlift weapons into Benghazi"
by Robert Fisk
Independent, March 7, 2011
"Desperate to avoid US military involvement
in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Kaddafi regime
and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can
supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi.
The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a "day of
rage" from its 10 percent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban
on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington's
highly classified request, although King Abdullah personally loathes the
Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago.
Washington's request is in line with other US military co-operation with
the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply involved in the
Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, gave immediate support
to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviet army in
Afghanistan in 1980...
But the Saudis remain the only US Arab ally strategically placed and
capable of furnishing weapons to the guerrillas of Libya. Their
assistance would allow Washington to disclaim any military involvement
in the supply chain - even though the arms would be American and paid
for by the Saudis.
The Saudis have been told that opponents of Kaddafi need anti-tank
rockets and mortars as a first priority to hold off attacks by Gadafi's
armor, and ground-to-air missiles to shoot down his fighter-bombers.
Supplies could reach Benghazi within 48 hours but they would need to be
delivered to air bases in Libya or to Benghazi airport. If the
guerrillas can then go on to the offensive and assault Kaddafi's
strongholds in western Libya, the political pressure on America and NATO
- not least from Republican members of Congress - to establish a no-fly
zone would be reduced.
US military planners have already made it clear that a zone of this kind
would necessitate US air attacks on Libya's functioning, if seriously
depleted, anti-aircraft missile bases, thus bringing Washington directly
into the war on the side of Kaddafi's opponents.
For several days now, US Awacs surveillance aircraft have been flying
around Libya, making constant contact with Malta air traffic control and
requesting details of Libyan flight patterns, including journeys made in
the past 48 hours by Gaddafi's private jet which flew to Jordan and back
to Libya just before the weekend.
Officially, NATO will only describe the presence of American Awacs
planes as part of its post-9/11 Operation Active Endeavour, which has
broad reach to undertake aerial counter-terrorism measures in the Middle
US Awacs monitor Libya
The data from the Awacs is streamed to all
NATO countries under the mission's existing mandate.
Now that Kaddafi has been reinstated as a
super-terrorist in the West's lexicon, however, the NATO mission can
easily be used to search for targets of opportunity in Libya if active
military operations are undertaken.
Al Jazeera English television channel last night broadcast recordings
made by American aircraft to Maltese air traffic control, requesting
information about Libyan flights, especially that of Gaddafi's jet.
An American Awacs aircraft, tail number LX-N90442 could be heard
contacting the Malta control tower on Saturday for information about a
Libyan Dassault-Falcon 900 jet 5A-DCN on its way from Amman to Mitiga,
Kaddafi's own VIP airport.
NATO Awacs 07 is heard to say:
"Do you have information on an aircraft
with the Squawk 2017 position about 85 miles east of our [sic]?"
Malta air traffic control replies:
"Seven, that sounds to be Falcon 900- at
flight level 340, with a destination Mitiga, according to flight
But Saudi Arabia is already facing dangers
from a coordinated day of protest by its own Shia Muslim citizens who,
emboldened by the Shia uprising in the neighboring island of Bahrain,
have called for street protests against the ruling family of al-Saud on
After pouring troops and security police into the province of Qatif last
week, the Saudis announced a nationwide ban on all public
Shia organizers claim that up to 20,000 protesters plan to demonstrate
with women in the front rows to prevent the Saudi army from opening
If the Saudi government accedes to America's request to send guns and
missiles to Libyan rebels, however, it would be almost impossible for
President Barack Obama to condemn the kingdom for any violence against
the Shias of the north-east provinces.
Thus has the Arab awakening, the demand for democracy in North Africa,
the Shia revolt and the rising against Kaddafi become entangled in the
space of just a few hours with US military priorities in the region."16
"Libya rebels coordinating with West on air
Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2011
"Reports from the region suggest that
the Saudis and Egyptians have been providing arms. Though U.S.
officials could not confirm that, they say it is plausible."17
"Egypt Said to Arm Libya Rebels," Wall Street Journal, March 17,
"CAIRO - Egypt's military has begun shipping arms over the border to
Libyan rebels with Washington's knowledge, U.S. and Libyan" rebel
The shipments-mostly small arms such as
assault rifles and ammunition-appear to be the first confirmed case of
an outside government arming the rebel fighters.
Those fighters have been losing ground for
days in the face of a steady westward advance by forces loyal to Libyan
leader Moammar Kaddafi.
The Egyptian shipments are the strongest indication to date that some
Arab countries are heeding Western calls to take a lead in efforts to
intervene on behalf of pro-democracy rebels in their fight against Mr.
Kaddafi in Libya. Washington and other Western countries have long
voiced frustration with Arab states' unwillingness to help resolve
crises in their own region, even as they criticized Western powers for
attempting to do so.
The shipments also follow an unusually robust diplomatic response from
Arab states. There have been rare public calls for foreign military
intervention in an Arab country, including a vote by the 23-member Arab
League last week urging the U.N. to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.
The vote provided critical political cover to Western powers wary of
intervening militarily without a broad regional and international
mandate. On Thursday evening, the U.N. Security Council voted on a
resolution endorsing a no-fly zone in Libya and authorizing military
action in support of the rebels.
Within the council, Lebanon took a lead role drafting and circulating
the draft of the resolution, which calls for "all necessary measures" to
enforce a ban on flights over Libya. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar
have taken the lead in offering to participate in enforcing a no-fly
zone, according to U.N. diplomats.
Libyan rebel officials in Benghazi, meanwhile, have praised Qatar from
the first days of the uprising, calling the small Gulf state their
staunchest ally. Qatar has consistently pressed behind the scenes for
tough and urgent international action behind the scenes, these officials
Qatari flags fly prominently in rebel-held Benghazi.
After pro-Kaddafi forces retook the town of
Ras Lanuf last week, Libyan state TV broadcast images of food-aid
packages bearing the Qatari flag.
Anti-Kaddafi fighters in
The White House has been reluctant to back
calls from leaders in Congress for arming Libya's rebels directly,
arguing that the U.S. must first fully assess who the fighters are and
what policies they will pursue if they succeeded in toppling Col.
U.S. officials believe the opposition includes some Islamist
elements. They fear that Islamist groups hostile to
the U.S. could try to hijack the opposition and take any arms that are
The Egyptian weapons transfers began ‘a few days ago' and are ongoing,
according to a senior U.S. official.
‘There's no formal U.S. policy or
acknowledgement that this is going on,' said the senior official.
But ‘this is something we have knowledge
Calls to Egypt's foreign ministry and the spokesman for the prime
minister seeking comment went unanswered. There is no means of reaching
Egypt's military for comment. An Egyptian official in Washington said he
had no knowledge of weapon shipments.
The U.S. official also noted that the shipments appeared to come "too
little, too late" to tip the military balance in favor of the rebels,
who have faced an onslaught from Libyan forces backed by tanks,
artillery and aircraft.
"We know the Egyptian military council
is helping us, but they can't be so visible," said Hani Souflakis, a
Libyan businessman in Cairo who has been acting as a rebel liaison
with the Egyptian government since the uprising began.
"Weapons are getting through," said Mr. Souflakis, who says he has
regular contacts with Egyptian officials in Cairo and the rebel
leadership in Libya.
"Americans have given the green light to
the Egyptians to help. The Americans don't want to be involved in a
direct level, but the Egyptians wouldn't do it if they didn't get
the green light."
Western officials and rebel leaders in Libya
said the U.S. has wanted to avoid being seen as taking a leadership role
in any military action against Mr. Kaddafi after its invasions of Iraq
and Afghanistan fueled anger and mistrust with Washington throughout the
But the U.S. stated clearly it wants Mr. Kaddafi out of power and has
signaled it would support those offering help to the rebels militarily
A spokesman for the rebel government in Benghazi said arms shipments
have begun arriving to the rebels but declined to specify where they
"Our military committee is purchasing
arms and arming our people. The weapons are coming, but the nature
of the weapons, the amount, where it's coming from, that has been
classified," said the spokesman, Mustafa al-Gherryani.
The U.S. official said Egypt wanted to keep
the shipments covert.
In public, Egypt has sought to maintain a
neutral stance toward the rebel uprising in Libya. Egypt abstained
during the Arab League's vote calling for the U.N. to impose a no-fly
zone on Mr. Kaddafi, according to people familiar with the internal Arab
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian laborers are believed to still be in
On the other hand, the Egyptian military's covert support for the rebels
suggests that it has calculated that Mr. Kaddafi is unlikely to remain
in power, at least in the eastern half of the country, and therefore
Egypt is eager to begin to build good relations with the rebels.
Rebel forces in the past 24 hours appeared to make some progress fending
off pro-Kaddafi forces' assaults and have rolled out new weapons for the
first time since the uprising began last month. Among them are rebel
tanks that have taken up positions on the front lines in recent days.
Rebels also launched fighter-jet attacks on government positions on
Wednesday for the first time so far.
The tanks and fighter jets are believed to have been among the weapons
seized by rebels from defected units of the Libyan army in the eastern
half of the country, but they have received spare parts or trained
mechanics from outside the country to help them deploy them, some rebel
officials have speculated.
Sam Dagher and Adam Entous
contributed to this article.18
"Egypt Arms Libyan Rebels As Kaddafi's
by Benjamin Gottlieb
NeonTommy Annenberg Digital News, March
Arms shipments from Egypt's military have begun flowing across the
border into Libya with U.S. knowledge, Libyan rebels and U.S. officials
Made up mostly of small arms, such as assault rifles and ammunition, the
shipments are the first confirmed reports of an outside government
supporting rebel fighters with weapons. Rebels have been loosing ground
for days against pro-Kaddafi forces aiming to end the conflict before
foreign intervention plans are finalized.
Although the U.N. approved a "no-fly zone" over Libya late Thursday,
rebel forces fear that any planned foreign intervention would be too
little to late.
The shipment of arms indicated an unusually
bold response by an Arab nation intervening in a conflict outside its
There have also been rare public decrees for
the West to intervene in the conflict - the Arab League voted 23-0 last
week encouraging the U.N. to impose the "no-fly zone" over Libya.
In spite of reports of arms flowing across the Egyptian boarder,
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Menha Bakhoum told Reuters that
Egypt would not be involved in any military intervention in neighboring
"Egypt will not be among those Arab
states. We will not be involved in any military intervention. No
intervention period," Bakhoum said.
Bakhoum was responding to comments by U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said Thursday that discussions
were on the table regarding Arab involvement in U.S. and European
intervention in the conflict.
Clinton has said repeatedly that the U.S. desires involvement from a
neighboring Arab nation in any planned intervention.
A Libyan rebel government spokesman in Benghazi, Mustafa al-Gherryani,
said rebels have begun receiving arms shipments from neighboring
nations, however he declined to reveal their origin.
"Our military committee is purchasing
arms and arming our people. The weapons are coming, but the nature
of the weapons, the amount, where it's coming from, that has been
classified," he said.19
"Mideast Revolutions and 9-11 Intrigues
Created in Qatar"
by Yoichi Shimatsu
New America Media, March 1, 2011
"It may puzzle and perhaps dismay young
protesters in Benghazi, Cairo and Tunisia that their democratic hopes
are being manipulated by an ultra-conservative Arab elite which has
underhandedly backed a surge of militant Islamist radicals across North
Credible U.S. intelligence reports have
cited evidence pointing to Qatar's long-running support for the Muslim
Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and jihadist fighters returning from Afghanistan.
The links to Qatar uncovered by anti-terrorism investigators in the wake
of 9-11 need to be reexamined now that the Libyan Islamic Fighting
Group (LIFG), an on-and-off affiliate of Al Qaeda, has seized
armories across half of the North African country. Libya's well-stocked
arsenals contain high-power explosives, rocket launchers and chemical
weapons. LIFG is on the State Department's terrorist list.
Most worrying, according to a U.S. intelligence official cited by CNN,
is the probable loss of chemical weapons.
The Federation of American Scientists
reports that, as of 2008, only 40 percent of Libya's mustard gas was
destroyed in the second round of decommissioning. Chemical canisters
along the Egyptian border were yet to be retrieved and are now
presumably in the hands of armed militants.
After initially letting slip that the earliest Libyan protests were
organized by the LIFG, Al Jazeera quickly changed its line to present a
heavily filtered account portraying the events as ‘peaceful protests'.
To explain away the gunshot deaths of Libyan soldiers during the
uprising, the Qatar-based network presented a bizarre scenario of 150
dead soldiers in Libya having been executed by their officers for
‘refusing to fight'.
The mysterious officers then miraculously
vacated their base disappearing into thin air while surrounded by angry
protesters! Off the record, one American intelligence analyst called
these media claims an ‘absurdity' and suggested instead the obvious:
that the soldiers were gunned down in an armed assault by war-hardened
returned militants from Iraq and Afghanistan...
According to a Congressional Research Service report of January
2008, ‘Some observers have raised questions about possible support for
Al Qaeda by some Qatari citizens, including members of Qatar's large
the 9/11 Commission Report,
Qatar's Interior Minister provided a safe haven to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed during the mid-1990s, and press reports indicate
other terrorists may have received financial support or safe haven in
Qatar after September 11, 2001.'
The national security chief, Interior Minister Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani,
is further mentioned as paying for a 1995 trip by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
‘to join the Bosnia jihad.'
The report recalls how after the 1993 World
Trade Center bombing, FBI officials "narrowly missed an opportunity to
capture" the suspect in Qatar.
‘Former U.S. officials have since stated
their belief that a high-ranking member of the Qatari government
alerted him to the impending raid, allowing him to flee the
1 “Defense Secretary Gates, who recently
warned against any further protracted US ground war, said on March 23
that the end of military action in Libya is unknown and could last
longer than a few weeks. ‘I think there are any number of possible
outcomes here and no one is in a position to predict them,’ Gates told
reporters in Egypt” (C-Span, March 24, 2011).
2 Interested readers may wish to
consult my first exploration,
“Googling ‘Revolution’ in North Africa.”
Dan Lieberman, “Muammar Al Kaddafi Meets His Own Rebels,”
CounterCurrents.org, March 9, 2011.
4 Joel Bainerman, Inside the Covert
Operations of the CIA & Israel's Mossad (New York: S.P.I. Books, 1994),
Richard Keeble, “The Secret War Against Libya,” MediaLens, 2002.
and Empire in North Africa. NATO Invasion of Libya Underway," By
Keith Harmon Snow, 2 March 2011.
Ghali Hassan, “U.S. Love Affair with Murderous Dictators and Hate for
Democracy.” Axis of Logic, Mar 17, 2011.
8 Center for Defense Information, “In the
Spotlight: The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG),” January 18, 2005
9 Qadhafi was concerned about Al Qaeda
terrorism in Libya, and in 1996 Libya became the first government to
place Osama bin Laden on Interpol’s Wanted List (Rohan Gunaratna, Inside
Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror [New York: Columbia UP, 2002], 142).
Thereafter American and Libyan intelligence collaborated closely for
some years against Al Qaeda. Beginning when?
Ian Black, “Libya rebels rejects Gaddafi's al-Qaida spin,” Guardian,
March 1, 2011.
Gary Gambill, "The Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Jamestown Foundation,"
Terrorism Monitor, May 5, 2005,; citing Al-Hayat (London), 20 October
1995 [“communiqué”]; "The Shayler affair: The spooks, the Colonel and
the jailed whistle-blower," The Observer (London), 9 August 1998;
Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, Ben Laden: La Verite
interdite (Bin Ladin: The Forbidden Truth). Cf. also Annie Machon,
Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 And the Shayler Affair (Book
Guild Publishing, 2005) [Shayler].
Yoichi Shimatsu, “Attack on Libya: Why Odyssey Dawn Is Doomed,” New
America Media, March 20, 2011.
“US reaches out to Libyan insurgents,” The Australian, March 1,
“How a onetime friend to Kaddafi became his rival,” Globe and Mail
[Toronto], March 4, 2011.
Libyan Rebel Council in Benghazi Forms Oil Company to Replace
Qaddafi’s,” Bloomberg, March 22, 2011.
Robert Fisk, “America's secret plan to arm Libya's rebels,”
Independent, March 7, 2011.
17 “Libya rebels coordinating with West on
air assault,” Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2011.
“Egypt Said to Arm Libya Rebels,” Wall Street Journal, March 17,
Benjamin Gottlieb, “Egypt Arms Libyan Rebels As Gaddafi's Conquest
Continues,” NeonTommy Annenberg Digital News, March 17, 2011.
Yoichi Shimatsu, “Mideast Revolutions and 9-11 Intrigues Created in
Qatar,” New America Media, March 1, 2011. The al-Thani family’s
protection of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is confirmed by former CIA officer
Robert Baer (Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2003). Cf. Robert Baer,
Sleeping with the Devil (New York: Crown, 2003); Peter Lance, Triple
Cross (New York: Regan/HarperCollins, 2006), 234-37.