Ben Johnson, The White House Watch
Even as the Obama administration celebrates the killing of American-born al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki and his traitorous friend Samir Khan in Yemen, its analysts are beginning to admit their war by decree in Libya empowered Islamic extremists bent on exporting jihad throughout the region. Thanks to Obama’s policies, al-Qaeda-linked radicals may be pillaging Muammar Qaddafi’s stockpile of weapons and receiving shipments of contraband from overseas.
In the closest thing to an admission Obama administration figures lied us into war, Reuters reports:
During the half-year campaign by rebels to drive Muammar Gaddafi from power, U.S. and NATO officials downplayed fears that al Qaeda or other militants would infiltrate anti-Gaddafi forces or take advantage of disorder to establish footholds in Libya.
Since then, however, the assessment of top experts inside the U.S. government has sharpened.
Former CIA asset and Obama adviser Bruce Riedel summarizes, “There is a great deal of concern that the jihadi cadre now are going to be exporting their ideas and weapons toward the east and west.”
This author reported the cause of their alarm a month ago. The National Transitional Council (NTC), the body the United States now exclusively recognizes as the official government of Libya, elected Abdel Hakim Belhaj commander of the Tripoli Military Council in late August. Belhaj is the co-founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which the State Department designated a foreign terrorist organization in December 2004. The New York Times relates that LIFG members received “combat experience in Iraq or Afghanistan” — fighting the United States. Belhaj, who met Osama bin Laden twice, now commands 8,000 troops, Libya’s largest fighting force.
U.S. analysts, who covered up the links the “rebels” have to Islamic fundamentalists, now worry Belhaj and his LIFG warriors have raided Qaddafi’s arsenal, despoiling it of anti-aircraft weapons that could one day be turned against U.S. or NATO planes.
The radicals may not need Qaddafi’s weapons, as other nations in the area are reportedly replenishing their cache. Rebels in the city of Zintan intercepted a cargo shipment to Belhaj from the nation of Qatar, which Belhaj insisted contained food and milk. Those who opened it say it contained weapons. Taking note of the interference Mohamed Benrasali, a leading figure in the Libyan government, replied, “We are very sorry the Qataris have taken the decision to support Belhaj’s brigade. This will backfire on our Qatari friends.”
Despite Benrasali’s tough talk, one suspects the fire will aimed in his direction.
Qatar was influenced to support the rebels by Sheik Ali Salabi, a Libyan Islamic scholar who lives in the monarchy….