Posted tagged ‘Obama and Libya’

EXCLUSIVE: Libyan Army Spox Says Obama, Clinton “Abandoned the Libyan People to the Terrorists”

July 11, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Libyan Army Spox Says Obama, Clinton “Abandoned the Libyan People to the Terrorists” PJ MediaPatrick Poole, July 11, 2017

Col. al-Mesmari also claims that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade — hired by Hillary Clinton’s State Department to protect the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi — cooperated with Ansar al-Sharia in attacking the consulate compound on September 12, 2012. 

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In an exclusive interview with PJ Media, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman, Col. Ahmed al-Mesmari, says that President Obama and Hillary Clinton “abandoned the Libyan people to face these terrorists alone.”

He also implicates the Obama administration in supporting terrorist militias — including Libyan al-Qaeda leader Abdelhakim Belhadj and Muslim Brotherhood militias allied to al-Qaeda.

Rather than backing the LNA and the elected Tobruk-based Libyan House of Representatives (HoR) in the fight against these terror groups, the Obama administration — along with the United Nations and the European Union — have been trying to impose a “Government of National Accord” (GNA) that has zero constituency in Libya. Further, it is accused of working with terror-linked militias in Tripoli.

With the continuing crisis between several Arab nations — including the Libyan HoR and Qatar — Col. al-Mesmari discusses Qatar’s role in arming and financing terrorist militias in Libya. He also connects the Muslim Brotherhood militias that have been fighting against the LNA with al-Qaeda and ISIS elements operating in the country.

Col. al-Mesmari also claims that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade — hired by Hillary Clinton’s State Department to protect the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi — cooperated with Ansar al-Sharia in attacking the consulate compound on September 12, 2012. 

That attack led to the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Libyans celebrated last week when, after three years of battle, the LNA finally liberated Benghazi from all terrorist groups in the city:

Photo published for Libyan Army recaptures Benghazi from ISIS
Libyan Army recaptures Benghazi from ISIS
The Libyan Army announced on Wednesday that it has recaptured the city of Benghazi from ISIS, Al
english.alarabiya.net

Reuters Top News 

And over the past month, Col. al-Mesmari has publicly charged Qatar with direct support of terrorist groups operating in Libya:

Al Arabiya English 

Official says  and  are ‘triad of terrorism’ in http://ara.tv/95xs3 

The following is an exclusive interview I conducted by email earlier today with Col. Ahmed al-Mesmari, official spokesman for the Libyan National Army:

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1) It’s been six years since the U.S.-led NATO intervention in Libya. Hillary Clinton was the leading voice in the Obama administration for the U.S. action. What responsibility does she and Obama bear for that decision?

The main responsibility falls on NATO, which interfered in Libya in 2011 to end the Gaddafi regime and destroyed all Libyan army weapons and infrastructure, only to then leave Libya alone to fight the terrorists. They took none of the necessary measures to help rebuild the Libyan Army or even help to reactivate other security facilities.

The U.S. administration led by Obama and Hilary Clinton was not up to the challenge in Libya and didn’t give much attention to the Libyan situation.

We don’t have any doubts that the Obama administration and his ambassador to Libya, Deborah Jones, had considerable contact with militias and terrorist groups in Libya.

There was a U.S. plan for Libya that we still don’t know the details about, but in the end they abandoned the Libyan people to face these terrorists alone.

2) Given the current crisis over Qatar’s role in financing extremism, what kind of interference by Qatar has been seen in Libya?

Qatar started working in Libya even before NATO arrived. Qatar interfered in Libya under the cover that it was willing to help the Libyan people’s uprising. Later NATO left the scene and Qatar was all over Libya with their support for Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and other militias.

Qatar also supported these groups with money, weapons, ammunition, in addition to transporting fighters from Libya to Syria via Turkey.

Qatar continues until today supporting al-Qaeda militias and Muslim Brotherhood Shield militias in Tripoli and Misrata.

3) Many in the U.S. remember the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. What role, if any, did Qatar play in financing and arming Ansar al-Sharia who conducted the attack?

First, this operation was led by Ansar al-Sharia, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya, and also another militia called the 17 February Martyrs Brigade, which is one of the Muslim Brotherhood Shield militias that took part in this attack. Qatar is the main supporter and financier of the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda in Libya. In this particular brutal attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi they provided weapons and communication equipment to the terrorist militias.

The paradox here is that the 17 February Muslim Brotherhood militia was the militia that the U.S. contracted to protect the consulate. They had an agreement with the attackers to fake a weapons clash then later opened the gates into the consulate for them.

4) What role does Qatar play now in financing and arming extremists in Libya?

The last clear support of Qatar to terrorist groups was their support of the so-called “Benghazi Defense Brigades,” another al-Qaeda affiliate that was labeled terrorist group by the Libyan HoR and by other Arab countries. The Qatari support to them arrived in Al Jufrah in form of weapons, ammunition, armored vehicles, telecommunication equipment, and money in cash.

5) The Libyan House of Representatives recently designated several Muslim Brotherhood leaders as terrorists. What connections have been discovered tying the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya to extremists?

In Benghazi we fought against the Muslim Brotherhood militias known as Libyan Shields. These militias fought next to Ansar al-Sharia (al-Qaeda) and ISIS against the Libyan Army.

This alliance shows clearly that the Muslim Brotherhood had an alliance with ISIS and al-Qaeda, and we know that all these groups including the Muslim Brotherhood all have terrorist religious views.

6) What connections have been discovered linking the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt with extremists in Libya?

The Muslim Brotherhood is an international terrorist group and all their groups in any country ideologically go back to their “murshid” or Supreme Guide who is in Egypt.

7) One of the leading militia leaders backed by the U.S. has been former al-Qaeda leader Abdelhakim Belhadj. Many U.S. media outlets describe Belhadj as a former extremist.

Based on the available evidence now, is it true that Belhadj has abandoned extremism, or is he still involved in extremist activity?

Not at all, Belhadj is still a terrorist leader. In addition he has a lot of money to support his terrorist group as well as financing other groups in Tunisia and Syria.

Belhadj is a founder of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and will not let go of his terrorist views. For us Belhadj is the leader of LIFG, an al-Qaeda affiliate.

8) We know that arms from various parties in Libya were being sent to extremists in Syria, particularly in 2011 and 2012. What do we know now about those networks, and who exactly were these arms being sent to? What way, if any, was the U.S. involved in those arms transfers?

First, it wasn’t just sending weapons and ammunition, but also fighters from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and other nationalities.

Their first stops were training camps in Sabratha, Tripoli, Misrata, Derna and Benghazi, then later airlifted and transported by sea to Syria via Turkey.

Liwa Al-Umma in Syria was established from these fighters and their commander was the al-Qaeda terrorist Mahdi al-Harati, who is a Libyan-Irish national. He is one of Belhadj’s inner circle and was fully supported by Belhadj and Qatar. Liwa Al-Umma fought next to Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda) in Syria.

We still don’t know exactly what the American role in this was, but we have what makes us believe that the U.S. knew all about it as well as some European countries.

9) This week we saw, after several years of fighting, the Libyan National Army recover all of Benghazi. With that accomplished, what are the next major objectives for the LNA?

Our duty is to protect the Libyan people and we will always be after terrorism and terrorist groups wherever they are. We have no doubt that we will target every al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group in Libya, or any group that affects the security of the Libyan people.

10) We have seen a rise in the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe over the past two years. What role do extremists take in human trafficking in Libya?

You must know that there is zero illegal immigration to Europe from the areas under our control.

We know that some organized crime groups are human trafficking, so some of these groups simply engage in this activity for the sake of the financial income.

We also know that other groups do it to send terrorists to Europe masking them in forms of illegal immigration.

11) Now with a new U.S. administration under President Trump, what are the steps the U.S. can take to assist Libya in moving forward with political and security solutions for the future?

Politics is not my field, so I will leave it to the politicians to answer that question.

Military-wise, we ask the Trump administration to support our armed forces and its leadership so we could easily and fully control our own soil, then we could end illegal immigration by protecting our borders and coast.

Did Obama’s Libyan War Lead to Manchester Arena Bombing?

May 24, 2017

Did Obama’s Libyan War Lead to Manchester Arena Bombing? Front Page Magazine (The Point), Daniel Greenfield, May 24, 2017

(According to an article just posted at Fox News,

Manchester bomber Salman Abedi apparently wasn’t the only member of his family to harbor extremist views as a Libyan counter-terrorism force arrested the suicide bomber’s younger brother late Wednesday — and as reports emerged about their father’s past as a member of an Al Qaeda-backed group.

Hashem Abedi, who was born in 1997, was arrested in Tripoli on Wednesday evening by the Libyan counter-terrorism force Rada on suspicion of links to the Islamic State, a Libyan spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.

— DM)

We know that Salman Abedi, the Muslim terrorist who perpetrated the Manchester Arena bombing, was a second-generation refugee. His parents were refugees from Libya. While some such refugees were indeed fleeing tyranny. Europe and America all too often took in Islamists who plotted takeovers from European bases. That’s why the Muslim Brotherhood and the Ayatollah both operated that way.

US officials are supposedly saying that Abedi went to Libya a few weeks before the attack and came back several days before the attack. 

Two obvious issues

1. Major parts of Libya are now controlled by ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Anyone traveling there should be flagged.

2. If Salman Abedi traveled to Libya to get training or motivation for the attack, which seems likely, then this is another bloody atrocity (like Benghazi) that is on Obama’s dirty hands. His war to empower Islamists in Libya was illegal and widely opposed by the American people. It led to the murder of four Americans, three in Benghazi, and now a number of young girls in Libya.

If anything deserves a special prosecutor, the role of Obama, Hillary and their associates in this illegal war and its horrifying consequences does.

Clinton Speech Wikileaks: Libya’s Institutions ‘Destroyed’, Benghazi ‘My Biggest Regret’

October 12, 2016

Clinton Speech Wikileaks: Libya’s Institutions ‘Destroyed’, Benghazi ‘My Biggest Regret.’, Breitbart, John Hayward, October 11, 2016

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During those vital days of Obama’s re-election campaign, Clinton and Obama pretended Benghazi was a bolt from the blue, a stunning “video protest.” She blamed the man who created the video, not these militia groups and terrorist gangs she now claims to be a keen student of. There’s no way to honestly square what Clinton said in these speeches with the Obama Administration’s conduct in September and October 2012.

Clinton’s speeches in 2013 and 2014 are further evidence, if any were needed, that she and President Obama lied to the American people, and to the Benghazi families, about the attack. They were disastrously wrong about Libya, from the minute Clinton talked Obama into toppling Qaddafi.

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The WikiLeaks dump of those very expensive speeches Hillary Clinton fought to keep secret from the public for so long include some remarkable comments on Libya and Benghazi.

These comments offer a damning indictment of Clinton’s leadership, because it is clear that she and Barack Obama were completely wrong about what would happen to Libya after they toppled dictator Moammar Qaddafi.

For example, she told the Boston Consulting Group in 2013:

So what happened? Well, Khadafy is gone. They start to organize. They had one of the best elections that any of these new countries had. They did not elect extremists. They had a very good outcome of people representing the various factions, but they didn’t – they don’t have a military. They can’t provide security as we found much to, you know, our terrible experience in Benghazi, but we see it all over the country. So the jury is out but it is not for lack of trying by the people who have inherited the positions of responsibility.

The jury wasn’t “out” then, and it is not out today. Clinton and Obama caused a horrific global crisis with their Libyan adventure, and they were completely unprepared for what happened in Benghazi. It’s clear from Clinton’s remarks that she completely misunderstood the security situation.

In the same speech, she explained that now she understands how thoroughly Libya’s “institutions” were “destroyed” by Qaddafi’s rule, and violent overthrow, but sadly for Ambassador Chris Stevens and those who died with him, Clinton did not listen to anyone who tried to warn her about the danger prior to 9/11/2012:

You have a country that had been under the thumb of Khadafy and his henchmen for 42 years. All institutions were destroyed. There was not even a military because he didn’t trust anybody since he had been a Colonel who had done a coup, so he had mercenaries, there were African mercenaries and some European mercenaries that were in his direct pay. They had really just conducted themselves as if the entire Libyan oil fortune was personally theirs.

In a Cisco speech in August 2014, she called the Benghazi attack her “biggest regret,” and repeated her observations about how inadequate the security situation was, as if someone else had been Secretary of State at the time:

Of course it was just devastating that there was this attack on our post and on our CIA annex, which I can talk about now, because it’s all been made public. And that the kind of reliability that governments have to count on from the governments in which they operate, like we’re responsible for the security ultimately of every embassy in Washington.

Well, the Libyan government has no capacity to deliver and the people that we had contracted with were incapable or unwilling to do it.  So that was a deep regret.

And you learn from these events, just as we have over the last 30-plus years, where embassies have been attacked or taken over, or the terrible events in Beirut in 1983-84.  You learn from them, but it always comes down to this very hard choice, should American civilians be in dangerous places?

What’s especially galling about Clinton’s 20/20 hindsight is that Democrats have long made the same argument about Iraq, and Clinton claims to have accepted those arguments after mistakenly voting to authorize the invasion.

In the later years of the Bush presidency, Democrats claimed it was patently obvious, in retrospect, that Iraq wasn’t ready to deal with the savage post-Saddam era, because decades of brutal personality-cult dictatorship had destroyed the institutions upon which democracy depends. Supposedly everyone outside of the Bush Administration could plainly see that nation-building was a doomed enterprise.

But here’s Clinton asking us to pardon her while she learns the same horrible lesson from her own nation-building project. Why should anyone give President Obama and his Secretary of State a total pass for not understanding what would happen after Qaddafi was gone, when so many people outside the Administration were yelling those warnings from the rooftops? Who was responsible for understanding that security situation and taking appropriate precautions, if not the Secretary of State?

Clinton boasted about the wonderful Libyan elections in several of her speeches – “one of the best elections in the whole region after the fall of Qaddafi,” as she put it to Hamilton College in October 2013 – but such arguments cut no ice with Democrats after the liberation of Iraq. It wasn’t long before they were waving off those “purple finger” photos of Iraqi voters as irrelevant.

“You try to help, you try to create relationships, and, you know, the hard guys with the guns have a different idea. So if you don’t have overwhelming force, it’s difficult,” Clinton observed to General Electric’s Global Leadership Meeting in 2014.

How can anyone be surprised that “the hard guys with guns” have undue influence in the Middle East? How can anyone with even a cursory understanding of the Middle East in general, and Libya in particular, reinforced by the grim lessons of Iraq, have imagined anything less than “overwhelming force” would be required?

Clinton told the Global Business Travelers Association in 2013 that it was “just a terrible crime” Ambassador Stevens was killed “doing what was really in the best interests of both the United States and Libya.”

On that, we can all agree, but that’s not how Clinton talked during the crucial days after the Benghazi attack revealed she and Obama had no idea what they had done to Libya, and no contingency plan for coping with a terrorist strike on the anniversary of 9/11.

During those vital days of Obama’s re-election campaign, Clinton and Obama pretended Benghazi was a bolt from the blue, a stunning “video protest.” She blamed the man who created the video, not these militia groups and terrorist gangs she now claims to be a keen student of. There’s no way to honestly square what Clinton said in these speeches with the Obama Administration’s conduct in September and October 2012.

Clinton’s speeches in 2013 and 2014 are further evidence, if any were needed, that she and President Obama lied to the American people, and to the Benghazi families, about the attack. They were disastrously wrong about Libya, from the minute Clinton talked Obama into toppling Qaddafi.

Obama DOJ drops charges against alleged provider of Libyan weapons

October 5, 2016

Obama DOJ drops charges against alleged provider of Libyan weapons, Politico and , October 4, 2016

A Turi associate asserted that the government dropped the case because the proceedings could have embarrassed Clinton and President Barack Obama by calling attention to the reported role of their administration in supplying weapons that fell into the hands of Islamic extremist militants.

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The Obama administration is moving to dismiss charges against an arms dealer it had accused of selling weapons that were destined for Libyan rebels.

Lawyers for the Justice Department on Monday filed a motion in federal court in Phoenix to drop the case against the arms dealer, an American named Marc Turi, whose lawyers also signed the motion.

The deal averts a trial that threatened to cast additional scrutiny on Hillary Clinton’s private emails as Secretary of State, and to expose reported Central Intelligence Agency attempts to arm rebels fighting Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi.

Government lawyers were facing a Wednesday deadline to produce documents to Turi’s legal team, and the trial was officially set to begin on Election Day, although it likely would have been delayed by protracted disputes about classified information in the case.

A Turi associate asserted that the government dropped the case because the proceedings could have embarrassed Clinton and President Barack Obama by calling attention to the reported role of their administration in supplying weapons that fell into the hands of Islamic extremist militants.

“They don’t want this stuff to come out because it will look really bad for Obama and Clinton just before the election,” said the associate.

In the dismissal motion, prosecutors say “discovery rulings” from U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell contributed to the decision to drop the case. The joint motion asks the judge to accept a confidential agreement to resolve the case through a civil settlement between the State Department and the arms broker.

“Our position from the outset has been that this case never should have been brought and we’re glad it’s over,” said Jean-Jacques Cabou, a Perkins Coie partner serving as court-appointed defense counsel in the case. “Mr Turi didn’t break the law….We’re very glad the charges are being dismissed.”

Under the deal, Turi admits no guilt in the transactions he participated in, but he agreed to refrain from U.S.-regulated arms dealing for four years. A $200,000 civil penalty will be waived if Turi abides by the agreement.

A State Department official confirmed the outlines of the agreement.

“Mr. Turi cooperated with the Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls in its review and proposed administrative settlement of the alleged violations,” said the official, who asked not be named. “Based on a compliance review, DDTC alleged that Mr. Turi…engaged in brokering activities for the proposed transfer of defense articles to Libya, a proscribed destination under [arms trade regulations,] despite the Department’s denial of…requests for the required prior approval of such activities.”

Turi adviser Robert Stryk of the government relations and consulting firm SPG accused the government of trying to scapegoat Turi to cover up Clinton’s mishandling of Libya.

“The U.S. government spent millions of dollars, went all over the world to bankrupt him, and destroyed his life — all to protect Hillary Clinton’s crimes,” he said, alluding to the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Republicans hold Clinton responsible for mishandling the circumstances around that attack. And Stryk said that Turi was now weighing book and movie deals to tell his story, and to weigh in on the Benghazi attack.

Representatives of the Justice Department, the White House and Clinton’s presidential campaign either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment on the case or the settlement.

Turi was indicted in 2014 on four felony counts: two of arms dealing in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and two of lying to the State Department in official applications. The charges accused Turi of claiming that the weapons involved were destined for Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, when the arms were actually intended to reach Libya.

Turi’s lawyers argued that the shipments were part of a U.S. government-authorized effort to arm Libyan rebels.

It’s unclear if any of the weapons made it to Libya, and there’s no evidence linking weapons provided by the U.S. government to the Benghazi attacks.

“The proposal did not result in an actual transfer of defense articles to Libya,” the State Department official told POLITICO on Tuesday.

But questions about U.S. efforts to arm Libyan rebels have been mounting, since weapons have reportedly made their way from Libya to Syria, where a civil war is raging between the Syrian Government and ISIL-aligned fighters.

During 2013 Senate hearings on the 2012 Benghazi attack, Clinton, under questioning from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), said she had no knowledge of weapons moving from Libya into Turkey.

Wikileaks head Julian Assange in July suggested that he had emails proving that Clinton “pushed” the “flows” of weapons “going over to Syria.”

Additionally, Turi’s case had delved into emails sent to and from the controversial private account that Clinton used as Secretary of State, which the defense planned to harness at any trial.

At a court hearing in 2015, Cabou said emails between Clinton and her top aides indicated that efforts to arm the rebels were — at a minimum — under discussion at the highest levels of the government.

“We’re entitled to tell the jury, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the Secretary of State and her highest staff members were actively contemplating providing exactly the type of military assistance that Mr. Turi is here to answer for,” the defense attorney said, according to a transcript.

Turi’s defense was pressing for more documents about the alleged rebel-arming effort and for testimony from officials who worked on the issue the State Department and the CIA. The defense said it planned to argue that Turi believed he had official permission to work on arms transfers to Libya

“If we armed the rebels, as publicly reported in many, many sources and as we strongly believe happened and as we believe at least one witness told the grand jury, then documents about that process relate to that effort,” Cabou told Campbell at the same hearing last year.

 

Obama: My Worst Mistake Was Not Planning For Day After Libya Intervention

April 10, 2016

Obama: My Worst Mistake Was Not Planning For Day After Libya Intervention, Washington Free Beacon, April 10, 2016

(Let me count the . . . . DM)

Obama recently blamed French and British leaders in Jeffrey Goldberg’s Atlantic article for causing the chaos in Libya today by ignoring the country after the initial intervention.

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President Barack Obama said Sunday that his biggest failure as president was not planning for the aftermath of the 2011 intervention into Libya, after which the country became a failed state in which jihadists groups have gained strong footholds.

“[My worst mistake was] probably failing to plan for the day after for what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya,” Obama said on Fox News Sunday.

In 2011, the U.S. joined a multi-state coalition of European and Arab countries to intervene militarily in Libya. The intervention was meant to prevent Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi from carrying out attacks against civilians.

Hillary Clinton was the primary advocate for intervening and persuaded a reluctant presidential cabinet to support the effort.

Obama let the Europeans take the lead with military operations in what he termed as an American strategy of “leading from behind.” Ultimately Gaddafi was killed in October of 2011 and his regime overthrown.

None of the intervening countries followed up with a plan to build a post-Gaddafi Libya, however, and the country steadily descended into chaos.

Several jihadist groups were able to entrench themselves in Libya in the following years, including the Islamic State, which has reportedly doubled its presence in Libya over the past year, causing some American policymakers to call for renewed military action in the North African country.

Obama recently blamed French and British leaders in Jeffrey Goldberg’s Atlantic article for causing the chaos in Libya today by ignoring the country after the initial intervention.

Islamist Activist Asks Obama to Support Libyan AQ Group

March 18, 2016

Islamist Activist Asks Obama to Support Libyan AQ Group, Investigative Project on Terrorism, John Rossomando, March 18, 2016

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The revelation of his praise for Palestinians who chose “the jihad way” to liberation forced northern Virginia surgeon Esam Omeish to resign from a statewide immigration commission in 2007. But it hasn’t stopped him from enjoying red carpet treatment from Obama administration officials.

Omeish briefly drew national attention in 2007 when he was forced to resign from the Virginia immigration panel. The move resulted from Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) video showing him praising for Palestinians who chose the “jihad way” during a rally in 2000.

This was no slip of the tongue. At a different event two months earlier, Omeishcongratulated Palestinians who gave “up their lives for the sake of Allah and for the sake of Al-Aqsa. They have spearheaded the effort to bring victory upon the believers in Filastin, insha’allah [God willing]. They are spearing the effort to free the land of Filastin, all of Palestine, for the Muslims and for all the believing people in Allah.”

Nonetheless, high-ranking Obama administration officials engaged with him despite this and his praise for Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. They consulted with him on Libya and included him in other events aimed at engagement with the Muslim community and countering violent extremism.

Now, Omeish is hoping those contacts will help him persuade U.S. officials to change gears in Libya, shifting support from a secular political figure to one with links to al-Qaida. He spelled out those ambitions in a Feb. 29 letter addressed to President Obama posted on Omeish’s Facebook page.

It is co-signed by Emadeddin Z. Muntasser, secretary general of the Libyan American Public Affairs Council (LAPAC). Omeish is identified as the LAPAC president.

Before he was affiliated with the LAPAC, Muntasser was convicted in 2008 of failing to disclose connections between a charity he worked with and jihadist fundraising when he sought tax-exempt status for the charity.

Muntasser ran the Boston branch of the Al-Kifah Refugee Center, which is considered a precursor to al-Qaida, federal prosecutors have said. It was founded by Osama bin Laden’s mentor Abdullah Azzam. Under Muntasser’s leadership, Al-Kifah’s Boston office published a pro-jihad newsletter called Al-Hussam and distributed flyers indicating its support for jihadists fighting on the front lines in places such as Chechnya, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Algeria.

Muntasser’s charity, Care International, was “an outgrowth of and successor” to Al-Kifah, prosecutors say.

Omeish and Muntasser note in their letter that the U.S. has backed the “Libyan National Army,” led by Khalifa Hifter, a former general under dictator Muammar Gaddafi. That’s a bad idea, Omeish and Muntasser wrote, because “many in Libya believe [Hifter] has dictatorial aspirations …”

“He sounds like the Ahmed Chalabi of Libya,” said former Pentagon spokesman J.D. Gordon, a fellow at the Center for a Secure Free Society. “He wants America to fight his battles for him in order to gain the upper hand over his countrymen.”

However, the letter makes no mention of ties between the group Omeish endorses, the Revolutionary Council of Derna, and al-Qaida. Instead, he and Muntasser casts the group as an effective counter to ISIS because the council has “stripped [ISIS] from its social support. [ISIS]’s foreign presence and violent ways made them an evil that local Libyans themselves rejected and defeated” in Derna.

The council’s leaders included two men – Nasir Atiyah al-Akar and Salim Derbi –known to have had ties to al-Qaida.

After ISIS killed al-Akar, the Derna council eulogized him last June for his close ties to Abu Qatada, al-Qaida operative currently in Jordan. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) reports from 2012 connect Akar to Abdulbasit Azzouz, who was al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s man in Libya at the time. Azzouz allegedly was involved with the attack on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi that left U.S. Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans dead.

Derbi, also killed fighting ISIS, previously belonged to the al-Qaida linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and commanded the Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade, which also has al-Qaida ties.

Egypt’s Al-Alam Al-Youm refers to the Revolutionary Shura Council as “a branch of al-Qaida.”

Despite his ongoing connections to key White House decision-makers, Omeish appears headed for disappointment this time.

His letter is not likely to be read by the president’s national security team, a White House source told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT). The U.S. is prepared to support a “Government of National Accord” that is being developed, the White House said in a statement.

However, the Obama administration repeatedly has involved Omeish in policy deliberations about Libya.

White House logs show that Omeish visited nine times since 2011, including a Dec. 13, 2013 visit in which he was photographed with President Obama.

Omeish’s encounter with the president came during the White House’s annual Christmas party, a White House spokesperson said. President Obama never conducts policy discussions at such public meetings, the source said.

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Two photos appear on Omeish’s Facebook page showing him with U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, widely considered an architect of the president’s Libya policy, where she advocated for military intervention. She notably helped draft PSD-11, a secret presidential directive that led to the U.S. supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya among other places.

One photo shows Omeish meeting with Power in February 2012, when she worked as special assistant to the president and senior director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council. The other photo posted the day Obama announced Power’s nomination as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. shows her standing next to Omeish.

White House officials thought enough of Omeish that they invited him to attend an April 2011 speech on Libya by President Obama at the White House. Omeish also attended the installation of Christopher Stevens, the late U.S. ambassador to Libya killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack, and that of his successor, Deborah Jones, in 2013.

Omeish told The Washington Times following the Benghazi attack that he briefed Stevens before the ambassador began his duties in Tripoli.

Omeish and the Muslim Brotherhood

In addition to his comments about Palestinians and jihad, Omeish admits to prior personal involvement in the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. and served as president of the Muslim American Society, which has been described as the “overt arm” of the Brotherhood in America. His association with the Brotherhood likely dates back to his involvement in the Muslim Students Association (MSA) in the 1990s when he became the national organization’s president, which was founded by Brotherhood members in 1963.

Omeish endorsed Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood in a 2012 IRIN News article, stating that although it came in a distant second in Libya’s 2012 elections, it “may be able to provide a better platform and a more coherent agenda of national action.”

Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood subsequently failed to implement a coherent agenda and became deadlocked with its liberal rival, the National Forces Alliance, over establishing a working constitution.

Brotherhood members opposed building a strong Libyan military that could have helped rein in the militias that have since created havoc. Numerous militias tied to the Brotherhood have contributed to Libya’s instability. U.S. State Department officials contracted with the Brotherhood-linked February 17 Martyrs Brigade – a group that also had Al-Qaida ties – to provide security for the ill-fated U.S. consulate in Benghazi. A BBC report described the brigade as the best armed militia in eastern Libya. It additionally held al-Qaida sympathies, according to posts on its Facebook page. A State Department report called reliance on the February 17 militia in the case of an attack such as happened on Sept. 11, 2012 “misplaced.”

LAPAC is but one of an alphabet soup of groups that Omeish helped found as a result of the Arab Spring, aimed at affecting U.S. policy toward Libya.

This includes Libyan Emergency Task Force,(LETF), Libyan Americans for Human Rights, Libyan Council of North America (LCNA), Libyan American OrganizationAmerican Libyan Council, American Libyan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ALCCI), Center for Libyan American Strategic Studies. Former Libyan Ambassador to the U.S. Ali Aujali appointed Omeish the official representative of the Libyan-American community, according to ALCCI’s old website.

LETF lobbied for the U.S. and the international community to establish a no-fly zone to keep Gaddafi from bombing rebellious cities in early 2011. Omeish’s LCNA worked to facilitate meetings between U.S. officials and Libyan rebels, including a meeting with John Kerry while he still was a U.S. senator. ALCCI  works with the Libyan embassy in Washington to “certify and support trade relations between Libya and the United States.”

It remains to be seen whether the advice from Omeish and Muntasser will be ignored. But their gambit, publicly posting their letter urging the president to support Islamists, indicates a confidence generated by years of access and consultation. That raises a host of troubling questions.

 

Libya Being Taken Over by ISIS was Everyone’s Fault Except Obama’s

March 11, 2016

Libya Being Taken Over by ISIS was Everyone’s Fault Except Obama’s, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, March 11, 2016

crying-barry-obama

Nothing is ever Obama’s fault. Ever. Even when he did it.

Like the time he illegally invaded Libya by lying to everyone from the UN to Americans, leading to the killing of an American ambassador and Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS taking over large parts of the country… as had been predicted. But it’s not his fault. Really.

But Obama says today of the intervention, “It didn’t work.” The U.S., he believes, planned the Libya operation carefully—and yet the country is still a disaster.

We did a good job… and yet we failed. It must be someone’s fault.

“The social order in Libya has broken down,” Obama said, explaining his thinking at the time. “You have massive protests against Qaddafi. You’ve got tribal divisions inside of Libya…. We worked with our defense teams to ensure that we could execute a strategy without putting boots on the ground and without a long-term military commitment in Libya.”

Who could have predicted that regime change in a country where the order had broken down, without putting boots on the ground, would lead to complete chaos? No one could have predicted it. No one.

“So we actually executed this plan as well as I could have expected: We got a UN mandate, we built a coalition, it cost us $1 billion—which, when it comes to military operations, is very cheap. We averted large-scale civilian casualties, we prevented what almost surely would have been a prolonged and bloody civil conflict. And despite all that, Libya is a mess.”

I poured gasoline on the haystacks. Then I started shooting off firecrackers. I tied torches to pigs and sent them running around the barn. And despite all that, the barn is on fire.

It was a great plan Obama had.

1. Lie to the UN

2. Build a coalition of countries willing to sign their names without doing anything

3. Spend $1 billion to let Islamic terrorists take over the country

4. Somehow the “prolonged and bloody civil conflict” you claimed to be trying to prevent is still going on and on…

And it’s not Obama’s fault. No way.

Mess is the president’s diplomatic term; privately, he calls Libya a “shit show,” in part because it’s subsequently become an isis haven—one that he has already targeted with air strikes. It became a shit show, Obama believes, for reasons that had less to do with American incompetence than with the passivity of America’s allies and with the obdurate power of tribalism.

“I’m not competent. All my allies suck. Also the tribal country we bombed is all tribal and stuff and who could have predicted that?”

“When I go back and I ask myself what went wrong,” Obama said, “there’s room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up,” he said.

Yes, the only thing that Obama blames himself for… is passing the blame to Europe.