Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Libya: Things that make you go "Hmmmm"

From John Rosenthal: Expert: Libyan ‘friends’ collude with our ‘enemies’
An unclassified U.S. diplomatic cable, which was recently released by the House Oversight Committee, shows that U.S. officials were also aware of reports that Libya Shield members refused to stop the Rajma attack or even indeed participated in it.

Nonetheless, the same cable reveals that on September 9 – just one day after that mausoleum attack and just two days before the attack on the U.S. mission – U.S. officials in Benghazi met with none other than Libya Shield commander Wisam bin Hamid. Bin Hamid’s last name is misspelled in the cable as “bin Ahmed.”

The meeting is remarkable not only in light of the evidence of collusion between Libya Shield and Salafist groups like Ansar al-Shariah. It is also remarkable in light of the fact that an unclassified U.S. government report identifies bin Hamid as possibly the head of the al-Qaida network in Libya and comes to the conclusion that his Libya Shield Brigade is one of the main vectors of al-Qaida “infiltration” of the country. The report was completed in August.

Patrick Haimzadeh is skeptical about any direct al-Qaida involvement in Libya. As he puts it, at this point al-Qaida is, in any case, essentially just a “brand-name, like Coca-Cola.” But he stresses that there is a real “ideological convergence” between the Libyan militias and al-Qaida.

He notes, moreover, that many of the militia members are veterans of al-Qaida-led insurgencies against U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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