Category Archives: Libya

Osama Bin Laden moved around a lot while on the run

We have always been skeptical that Osama Bin Laden maintained operational control over much of Al Qaeda while he was on the run, dodging US forces.

When US Special Operations forces caught up with Bin Laden and killed him in a compound in Pakistan, it was initially assumed, or at least reported, that he had been laid up there for almost the entire time he was on the run.

It was also widely reported that because Bin Laden was in a secure location for so long, he likely maintained operational control over Al Qaeda globally. That simply did not ring true to us then and it doesn’t now that it has been revealed that Bin Laden in fact lived a vagabond life, moving to five safe houses in widely separated parts of Afghanistan and then Pakistan.

The meme that Bin Laden maintained operational control over Al Qaeda while he was evading US forces was touted to essentially turn the killing of the terrorist leader into an “end-game” event in the so-called “war on terror.”

The Left in particular has promoted that narrative, but some neo-isolationists on the right have subscribed to it as well.

We buy into that rubbish at our peril. Assuming that the Jihadists will end their war against the West in general, and the US in particular, because the SEALs killed Bin Laden is irresponsible.

It defies belief that Bin Laden could possibly have maintained operational control over Al Qaeda given the conditions which he was forced to endure post 9/11.

Al Qaeda has become decentralized and its followers and admirers around the world, such as Mohammed Merah in France, will continue to act with brutal violence. Meanwhile, Al Qaeda “affiliates” continue to be active in Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Libya, Mali and Niger to name a few.

The death of Bin Laden at the hands of US Navy SEALs was a great thing. But to assign “victory” to that single act would in fact be to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2122752/Osama-living-version-Kardashians-Abbottabad-Bin-Laden-fathered-FOUR-children-lived-houses-years-run-Pakistan-9-11.html

We Told You So: 20,000 Libyan Missiles Go Missing

Just as we feared, dangerous missiles have gone missing in Libya by the tens of thousands.

Over the past month we have posted 3 articles about serious questions surrounding the new regime attempting to take total control in Libya and the disposition of thousands of sophisticated weapons in Colonel Qaddafi’s arsenal:

https://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/just-who-are-these-rebels-in-libya/

 

https://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/washington-times-jihadists-plotting-to-subvert-revolution-in-libya/

https://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/more-worries-about-libyas-new-regime-and-weapons-on-the-loose/

Many of the rebels are Jihadists with ties to organizations like Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. That makes the fact that as many as 20,000 surface to air missiles are missing in Libya all the more worrisome.

There are two types in question: the SA-7 and the SA-24 (see our previous post above for details on these systems). The SA-24 is by far the more sophisticated of the two and is believed to be highly coveted by terrorists, Hugo Chavez and the Iranians alike:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/0907/The-deadly-dilemma-of-Libya-s-missing-weapons

Fortunately, there are at least some reports that indicate that the Libyan SA-24s are NOT man-portable, but require a mount for a vehicle, as depicted in the photograph above. They are still deadly, but this characteristic might make them less useful for terrorists operating in a covert manner. Nevertheless, they could be very useful for hostile regimes, such as Iran and they could also be used by insurgents in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and elsewhere.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post:e6d7cd5f-8bef-4f72-a64f-c98fdf99a7a0

These missing weapons and the Jihadist-ties of the rebels in Libya represent one of the biggest failures in the history of NATO.

It is quite probable that NATO supported and facilitated an Islamist revolution in Libya made up at least partially of the West’s deadliest enemies. To make matters worse, despite the fact that NATO forces were in a position to operate with impunity in Libya if needed–and despite the fact there have been reports for months about Libya’s arsenal of weapons and what might happen to them, thousands of sophisticated surface to air missiles have gone missing.

There is simply no excuse for this development. NATO’s top priority never should have been to aid the rebels. NATO’s top priority should have been to secure Libya’s weaponry and NATO failed to do so. As a result, there is a very good chance that innocent people will be killed.

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/nightmare-libya-20000-surface-air-missiles-missing/story?id=14610199

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/09/27/report-20000-heat-seeking-missiles-may-be-missing-from-libyan-warehouse/

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/07/exclusive-libyan-missiles-looted/

 

 

 

More Worries About Libya’s New Regime and Weapons On The Loose

There are two significant worries for the West with regard to the future of Libya in the wake of its revolution.

1. What form will the new regime take? Will it be dominated by Islamists, especially the Muslim Brotherhood?

We already have indications that the new Libyan constitution will be based on Sharia, which is a bad first step from a Western perspective, since Sharia commands of its adherents that they either wage or support violent Jihad to make allah’s religion supreme on earth. A regime dominated by Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood will be inherently hostile toward the West, despite what the Left in the West may wish to believe. Need we remind anyone of the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto?

– Allah is our objective.
– The Prophet is our leader.
– Qur’an is our law.
– Jihad is our way.
– Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.

Perhaps the most ominous sign in Libya is the fact that the apparent leader of the revolution’s armed wing is a violent Jihadist with ties to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. We alluded to this a few days ago…

https://terrortrendsbulletin.wordpress.com/2011/09/02/just-who-are-these-rebels-in-libya/

Now, Pajama’s Media’s Barry Rubin provides more information on Abdelhakim Belhaj, also known as Abdul al-Hakim al-Hasadi:

http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/2011/09/02/libya-an-islamist-terrorist-takes-command-of-main-rebel-forces/

2. Just as worrisome as the Islamist and Jihadist tendencies of the new regime are the disposition of the numerous weapons spread all around Libya–everything from small arms and Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) to advanced, Russian-made MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems), also known as shoulder-fired surface to air missiles.

Up to this point, it has generally been assumed that Jihadist terrorists have been armed with the SA-7 Grail MANPAD. While the SA-7 can be deadly, it is considered a first generation MANPAD that can be effectively neutralized with various countermeasures. We don’t see or hear of many instances these days in which the SA-7 has downed any aircraft.

SA-7 Grail

Unfortunately, it appears that the Libyans had plentiful stocks of the much more advanced SA-24 Grinch. The SA-24 in the hands of Jihadist terrorists and insurgents would pose a much greater threat to both civilian airliners and military helicopters. Given the make-up of the new regime in Libya, not to mention the chaos there over the past several months, there is a very real possibility, if not a probability, that Libyan SA-24s will end up in the hands of organizations such as Al Qaeda, Hamas and the Taliban.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=46018

SA-24 Grinch

SA-24s in the hands of Al Qaeda, Hamas, the Taliban and others represents a exponential increase in the lethality and capability of those groups to inflict casualties on American, NATO, Israeli and other allied militaries, not to mention the ominous scenario in which the SA-24 could be used to attack civilian airliners.

Unfortunately, many on the Left in the West seem to be completely in denial about the National Transition Council (NTC), assuming that the NTC will safeguard all of these weapons and not allow them to fall in the hands of Jihadists. But with so many Jihadists making up the NTC, including its leadership, that wishful thinking is likely to get some innocent people killed.

Nor are MANPADS the only weapons that we need to worry about. Among the weapons stockpiled in and around Libya are various types of anti-tank weapons. We’re not talking about run-of-the-mill RPGs here, we’re talking about ATGWs (Anti-Tank Guided Weapons). Among the weapons thought to be in the Libyan inventory prior to the revolution were AT-3 Saggers, AT-4 Spigots and AT-5 Spandrels. These weapons are light years ahead of the RPG in terms of armor penetration, accuracy and range.

The AT-3 is a 1970s-era, wire-guided weapon. While this missile is unlikely to be able to penetrate the frontal armor on the M-1A2 Abrams main battle tank, it is a major threat to armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles and, whereas the RPG has a maximum range of around 300 meters, the AT-3 has an effective range of between 1000 and 3000 meters. Libyan “rebels” have in fact been observed using AT-3s in the past few months.

AT-3 Sagger

The AT-4 Spigot was originally designed as the replacement for the AT-3 in Soviet service and it has several improvements over the AT-3 including a closer-range engagement capability of just 70 meters, higher flight speed and improved accuracy and armor penetration. It’s maximum effective range is 2,000 meters.

AT-4 Spigot

The AT-5 Spandrel is roughly equivalent to the US TOW ATGW and mainly launched from armored vehicles, although it can also be deployed as a man-portable system. It has a greater armor penetrating capability than the AT-3 and AT-4 and has a range of between 70 and 4,000 meters. Iranian-manufactured copies of the AT-5 were reportedly used with good effect by Hezbollah against Israeli forces in 2006.

AT-5 Spandrel

Finally, none of this addresses the even more worrisome issue of stocks of radiological material and chemical agents in Libya.

There are thought to be Libyan stocks of material suitable for making “dirty” bombs, something that has been a nightmare scenario on the minds of Western security organizations for years. These stocks include uranium yellowcake.

Libya’s chemical agents are believed to mostly be made up of mustard gas. It’s Sarin nerve agents were reportedly never fully completed. The condition of the mustard agents is unknown and mustard gas is in fact bulky and perishable, so we can all “hope” that no Libyan mustard gas falls into sinister, hostile hands. But, as we all know, “hope” is not a policy.

Washington Times: Jihadists plotting to subvert revolution in Libya

As we reported just a few days ago, persistent reports continue of Jihadist elements in and around the revolution in Libya…

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/sep/4/jihadists-plot-to-take-over-libya/?page=1

Just Who ARE These “Rebels” in Libya?

Unfortunately, more and more evidence indicates that at least some of the Libyan rebels, including some real important ones, are Jihadists. Some have ties to Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Take Abdul Hakeem Belhaj. He’s one of the rebel leaders and he got to where he is today by first joining the LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group). He fought in Afghanistan and left in a hurry when US forces toppled the Taliban regime. He ended up in Malaysia, where he was arrested and eventually shipped back to Libya where he was put in prison. He was either freed or escaped during the course of the uprising and now he is a rebel leader.

 

This doesn’t give us a good feeling at all, especially given the fact that Libya has stocks of uranium yellowcake and chemical agents.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/09/02/libya.belhaj.profile/

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/02/world/africa/02islamist.html?_r=1

 

 

Al Qaeda advises Libyan Insurgents to Stockpile Weapons to Establish an Islamic State

Terrorist organizations affiliated with Al Qaeda are advising Libyan insurgents to stockpile weapons in preparation for the post-Gaddafi phase, saying the war in Libya is expected to continue even after the fall of the current regime.

  • Six terrorist groups affiliated with Al Qaeda called on insurgents who want to create an Islamic emirate in Libya to take steps and be ready for after Gaddafi, adding that the next enemy will be the pro-Western Libyan opposition.
Libyans have long played a prominent role in Al Qaeda. The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) trained in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime and supported the Taliban in a number of ways during the 1990s, in return for the Taliban granting them safe haven.
Some claim that a Libyan named Abu Yahya al-Libi will be the successor to Osama Bin Laden to lead Al Qaeda. Yahya Al-Libi actually was captured in Afghanistan but escaped from US custody at Baghram air base in July 2005.
Another prominent Libyan who has been involved with Al Qaeda and the Taliban is Abu Laith al-Libi. This terrorist was arrested in Saudi Arabia in the crackdown following the Khobar Towers bombing in 1995, but, like so many Jihadis, he managed to escape from prison and ended up in Afghanistan, where he became a spokesman for Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
Finally, a Libyan named Atiyah Abd al-Rahman was also a member of LIFG and was imprisoned in Algeria in the 1990s. By 2000, either by escape or being set free, al-Rahman ended up in Afghanistan and became a part of Al Qaeda’s leadership cadre. He reportedly remains near the top of Al Qaeda today and is said to handle the organization’s liason with global Jihadist organizations and Iran.
The point of all this is that there are many Libyans–some of them quite prominent–who are active in Jihad and who very likely are involved in the new insurgency in Libya…the insurgency that NATO and the Obama administration have decided to support…

Evidence Mounts of Jihadi Involvement in Libyan Rebel Forces

More and more, we are seeing evidence that the rebel forces that NATO has intervened on behalf of are Islamist Jihadis, some with links to Al Qaeda with some of those being veterans of the war against US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan…We have collected a series of articles on this subject matter for our readers’ review:

Decoding Libya

by Andrew McCarthy

It has come to light in just the last few days that commanders of the “rebels” (you know, those secular freedom fighters who are supposedly better for us than Qaddafi) include one Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi. And, I’ll be darned, it turns out that Hasadi is a jihadist who fought the United States in Afghanistan, and was detained for years until our forces turned him over to Libya.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/263138/decoding-libya-andrew-c-mccarthy?page=1

Egyptian Joins Jihad on Libyan Front

AFP

http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/World/Story/A1Story20110326-270200.html

Libyan Rebel Commander Admits His Fighters Have Al Qaeda Links

By Praveen Swami

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8407047/Libyan-rebel-commander-admits-his-fighters-have-al-Qaeda-links.html

Jihadis who fought U.S. in Iraq, Afghanistan now enjoy American support in Libya

By Byron York

Evidence is emerging that United States forces are waging war in Libya on behalf of rebels whose ranks include jihadis who fought against the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/03/jihadis-who-fought-us-iraq-afghanistan-now-enjoy-american-support

Why is Obama Helping Al-Qaeda Terrorists Overthrow Gaddafi?

By Jim Hoft

A 2007 West Point study showed that the Benghazi-Darnah-Tobruk region in Libya was a world leader in Al Qaeda suicide bomber recruitment.

The leader of the Libyan rebel forces fought against the US in Afghanistan until he was captured in 2002. He also admitted that his fighters have Al-Qaeda links.

http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/03/why-is-obama-helping-al-qaeda-terrorists-overthrow-gaddafi/

US Troops Join Al Qaeda, Rebels in Libya

By Pamela Geller

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/03/us-troops-join-al-qaeda-rebels-in-libya.html

Jihadist terrorist convicted in the Lockerbie Pan Am 103 bombing had big Swiss bank account

The Jihadist terrorist convicted in the Lockerbie Pan Am 103 bombing who was released by the British government on “humanitarian” grounds earlier this year had 1.8 million British pounds stashed away in a Swiss bank account.

The Brits knew about the account and they still released the guy…

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article6962871.ece

UK Set to Release Lockerbie Bomber on “Humanitarian Grounds”

In 1988, 270 innocent people died a terrifying death due to the work of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who was working for the Libyan government.

After years of investigative work and diplomatic wrangling which we won’t rehash here, al-Megrahi was tried and convicted in a British court to 27 years in prison.

But he is about to go free because he has terminal prostate cancer. This is an afront to justice and an insult to the families of the 270 innocent civilians killed 21 years ago.

Part of murdering people and getting caught and thrown in jail is that you will very likely take your last breath in a barren hospital jail cell all alone. There is nothing honorable in letting monsters like Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi go free out of a false sense of compassion.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/8198603.stm

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