by Tony Cartalucci
“I have met with these brave fighters, and they are not Al-Qaeda. To the contrary: They are Libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation. We should help them do it.” – Senator John McCain in Benghazi, Libya April 22, 2011.
October 20, 2012 – The Washington Times, in an article titled, “Ambassador Stevens warned of Islamic extremism before Benghazi attack,” reported:
Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, in a diplomatic cable from Libya last June, cited the apparent rise of “Islamic extremism” and the spotting of “the Al Qaeda flag” over buildings outside the city of Benghazi, where he and three other Americans were ultimately killed in an attack on Sept. 11.
The Washington Times would quote Stevens as writing:
“A number of local contacts agreed, noting that Islamic extremism appears to be on the rise in eastern Libya and that the Al Qaeda flag has been spotted several times flying over government buildings and training facilities” in a small Libyan city about 100 miles east of Benghazi.”
While all of this is depicted by the Western media as a recent revelation made only after the death of Ambassador Stevens, journalists around the world had documented and warned of the dangers of arming “pro-democracy protesters” who were clearly militant extremists, actively carrying out terrorism for at least three decades in the Cyrenaica (eastern Libya) region. These warning came just as NATO bombs began to fall on Libya in 2011, and were reiterated many times before the bombing concluded.
Video: March, 2011, shortly after NATO began bombing Libya, journalists the world over were warning that the so-called “pro-democracy” protesters the West was purportedly protecting were in fact notorious extremist groups with a 30 year history of terrorism in Libya and abroad. Dr. Webster Tarpley provided documented evidence collected from the US Army’s own West Point study, indicating the the epicenter of the so-called “revolution,” was in fact the global epicenter of Al Qaeda recruitment. It would be in this epicenter that John McCain would give his speech, and where Ambassador Stevens would later be killed.
Geopolitical analyst Dr. Webster Tarpley, in March of 2011, published a report titled, “The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq,” where a 2007 West Point study implicated Libya’s Cyrenaica region as the global epicenter for Al Qaeda recruitment. The most prominent militant group in the region was the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), listed by the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf) as an international terrorist organization.
The United Nations, in addition to labeling LIFG as a terrorist organization, designated it as being in association with Al Qaeda, a designation that was made in 2001, a decade before NATO’s military intervention.
While the Western press and State Department officials attempt to claim the extremists operating in Benghazi are merely “affiliated” with Al Qaeda, this is an understatement. LIFG is Al Qaeda, and has been officially since 2007. The West Point report titled, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” stated:
The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al‐Qa’ida, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al‐Qa’ida on November 3, 2007. (page 9, .pdf)
To this day, LIFG leaders are alleged to occupy the highest echelons of Al Qaeda, with the recently deceased Abu Yahya al-Libi (the Libyan) having played a role in both terror outfits. With West Point’s 2007 report and the UN’s 2001 official designation, it is clear that NATO’s decision to arm these groups was an act of unprecedented, blatant state sponsorship of terrorism. That the UN mandated NATO’s intervention, undermines entirely the “primacy of international law.”
Warning Signs Were Covered Up, Not Ignored.
While the Western press glossed over stories covering the hoisting of Al Qaeda flags described by Ambassador Stevens in his cables, the development was covered across the alternative media, including in, “John McCain: Founding Father of the Terrorist Emirate of Benghazi,” where the full implications and genesis of these prevailing extremists forces were examined in detail. Alternative analysis was quickly dismissed as “conspiracy theories,” even as Ambassador Stevens was sending his cables to Washington conveying exactly the same information.
The West did not “ignore” these warnings. It covered them up intentionally through a concerted campaign of deceit, cognitive infiltration, and ridicule. The intelligence services of Washington and London had been supplying weapons and aid to the terrorists of Benghazi for 30 years, fought along side them in Afghanistan against the Soviets in the 1980’s, armed and unleashed them in Kosovo in the 1990’s, and willfully bolstered their numbers, armament, and operational capacity in 2011 in order to overthrow the Libyan government.
The terror emirate of Benghazi that consumed Ambassador Stevens is a monster of the West’s own willful, premeditated creation – the West fully cognizant of the implications – and a monster the West is currently still arming, funding, and supporting, this time along the Turkish-Syrian border.
US, NATO, and “International Community” to Willfully Repeat “Mistake” in Syria.
Indeed, the very terrorists that have turned Benghazi into a terror emirate, with Al Qaeda flags waving freely over government buildings, and responsible for the death of a US Ambassador, are being sent to the Turkish-Syrian border where NATO member Turkey is harboring them while the US arms them with Saudi and Qatari purchased weapons.
In November 2011, the Telegraph in their article, “Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” would report:
Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, “met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,” said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there.”
Another Telegraph article, “Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels,” would admit
Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested “assistance” from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.
“There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”
Later that month, some 600 Libyan terrorists would be reported to have entered Syria to begin combat operations and more recently, CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo, revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants, particularly Libyans. It was admitted that:
Meanwhile, residents of the village where the Syrian Falcons were headquartered said there were fighters of several North African nationalities also serving with the brigade’s ranks.
A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a “platoon” of Libyan fighters to armed movement.
On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.
The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as … a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.
CNN’s reports provide bookends to 2011’s admissions that large numbers of Libyan terrorists flush with NATO cash and weapons had headed to Syria, with notorious terrorist LIFG commanders making the arrangements.
In essence, Syria has been under invasion for nearly a year by Libyan terrorists – the very same terrorists who have overrun Benghazi and killed a US ambassador, fully facilitated by NATO. In addition to these terrorists, Turkey and the United States are also arming and funding Muslim Brotherhood militants as well as fighters from US State Department-listed Ansar al-Islam.
To explain this to the public, the Western press is claiming that the weapons are inadvertently ending up in the hands of extremists, despite the CIA operating along the border allegedly steering weapons into the hands of “more secular” militants.
In June of 2012, the New York Times in an article titled, “C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” claimed:
A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.
The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.
The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said.
Then, apparently right under the nose of the CIA and NATO, the New York Times reported on October 14, 2012 in their article, “Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria,” that:
Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.
Clearly, there are only two explanations. The CIA is inept and should be held accountable for its profound and repeated failures, or the same verified lies told by the West in regards to Libya are being repeated in Syria.
Either way, the West, though its demonstrable actions, has forfeited its self-proclaimed authority to intervene beyond its borders, based on “international law” it willfully, openly, and repeatedly violates, selectively enforces, and otherwise manipulates to achieve its extraterritorial ambitions – and must be excluded entirely from any solution implemented to resolve the violence unfolding in Syria.