West Point CTC Confirms LIFG Terrorists Leading Libyan Rebellion – then apologizes for them.
by Tony Cartalucci
The 2007 CTC Report
The 2007 West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) report  examining the demographics of foreign fighters caught in Iraq fighting US troops has been cited by alarmed analysts as proof that the current NATO-backed rebellion in Libya is literally handing an entire nation over to Al Qaeda linked terrorists, namely those of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) listed by both the US State Department and UK Home Office as a foreign terrorist organization.
The report indicated that by far, the eastern region of Libya, in particular the cities of Darnah and Benghazi now serving as the epicenter of the NATO-backed rebellion, provided more fighters per capita to combat US troops in Iraq than any other nation, including Saudi Arabia. In the report, it is noted that most of these Libyan fighters were members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) who were involved in an increasingly cooperative relationship with Al Qaeda. This relationship culminated in November 3, 2007, when the CTC report claims that LIFG officially joined Al Qaeda. The report than goes on to elaborately depict just how close together LIFG has been working with Al Qaeda, including the mention of LIFG member Abu Yahya, who is noted as second only to Ayman al-Zawahiri within Al Qaeda – al-Zawahiri at the time was Al Qaeda’s #2 under “Osama Bin Laden.”
The report says of the Libyan fighters’ hometowns of Darnah and Benghazi, that they have both been long associated with Islamic militancy and that the LIFG in particular claimed to have Afghan veterans within their ranks. LIFG’s “Emir” Abu Layth would reference LIFG’s role in uprisings against Qaddafi’s government during his address in November inaugurating his organization’s official inclusion within Al Qaeda:
“It is with the grace of God that we were hoisting the banner of jihad against this apostate regime under the leadership of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which sacrificed the elite of its sons and commanders in combating this regime whose blood was spilled on the mountains of Darnah, the streets of Benghazi, the outskirts of Tripoli, the desert of Sabha, and the sands of the beach.”
The April 2011 CTC Report
Someone, somewhere within the CTC at West Point decided to do damage control as their previous report served as fodder to directly undermine NATO’s mission in Libya. Countering, contradicting, or outright apologizing for, almost point-for-point, the 2007 report, Alison Pargeter wrote, “Are Islamist Extremists Fighting Among LIbya’s Rebels?” The hamhanded effort begins by downplaying concerns over “stark warnings” regarding the West’s support for opposition forces that included militants that fought Americans in Iraq. It cites Muammar Qaddafi himself as being the greatest purveyor of this fear which it promptly discards as “clearly propaganda efforts aimed at scaring not only the international community, but also those in western Libya about what might come next if Qadhafi is overthrown.” Now, Qaddafi’s words in hindsight seem more like prophecy than propaganda as wholesale genocide is conducted across Libya, and notorious Al Qaeda leaders begin declaring themselves “brigade commanders” of entire cities.
The report goes on to concede that indeed there is some merit behind these concerns and goes over a quick review of evidence presented in the earlier 2007 CTC report. The report also notes that, “on an individual basis, it is a certainty that some former LIFG members are fighting with the rebels. One former LIFG fighter, Khalid al-Tagdi, was killed on March 2 in Brega while fighting against regime forces. Similarly, in mid-April, another senior LIFG military commander, Abdelmonem Mukhtar, known as Ourwa, was killed after he was ambushed by Qadhafi forces on the road between Ajdabiya and Brega. Mukhtar had been imprisoned in Iran until the end of 2010 and returned to Libya when the uprisings began where he was made commander of the 160-strong Omar al-Mukhtar rebel battalion.”
Definitively, LIFG fighters are involved in the rebellion, though the CTC is attempting to downplay their role. Furthermore, the CTC attempts to portray the LIFG’s role in fighting US forces in Iraq as merely “going to fight against an occupying force in a Muslim land,” and “is very different from supporting Bin Ladin’s global ambitions or even taking up arms against one’s own government.” Quite clearly, this directly and entirely contradicts the conclusions of the 2007 CTC report which depicted LIFG as having a long collaborative relationship with Al Qaeda before being fully incorporated into the organization in 2007.
The latest CTC report now denies that LIFG ever joined Al Qaeda, citing the London coddled terrorist Noman Benotman, a chief proponent of the current rebel uprising, who claims “we refused right from the beginning to be absorbed into this group because that would make us lose our ability to move freely and independently in Libya.” Despite the less than credible assurances from Benotman, neither he, nor this more recent CTC report can explain why the LIFG “Emir,” Abu Layth al‐Libi, was acting as Al Qaeda’s #3 after al-Zawahiri and “Bin Laden.”
Also worth noting, the CTC report states that many of LIFG’s most hardcore terrorists were still in (as of April 2011 and recently released from) Abu Salim prison in Tripoli – not “political prisoners” as the media is now portraying them. These unrepentant terrorists are now once again run loose throughout Libya, with their former commander al-Hasadi holding large sections of the capital, Tripoli.
In both the 2007 and 2011 CTC report, LIFG is mentioned as working closely with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) , a notorious terrorist organization in Algeria who is once again taking up arms and carrying out attacks ahead of a second US-backed attempt at destabilizing the large North African nation. Algeria has recently sealed its borders with Libya in an attempt to stem the flow of seized weapons being trafficked into the nation by Libyan rebels. The Libyan rebels have also accused the Algerian government of trying to smuggle weapons into Libya to bolster Libyan government troops. With the CTC reports providing us a proper context, we see that indeed NATO has literally breathed new life into Al Qaeda’s North African affiliates, all listed by both the US, UK as well as nations around the world as terrorists organizations, while Algeria and Libya, both under siege by the West are in fact the only governments truly trying to end Al Qaeda’s operations in the region.
The Bottom Line
More recently, a torrent of evidence has been revealed exposing just how completely the rebel movement is run by LIFG members, with LIFG’s Abdulhakim al-Hasidi now the defacto rebel representative in Tripoli and the atrocities synonymous with Al Qaeda’s method of operation becoming ubiquitous across Libya. The CTC had gone out on a limb in April of this year to apologize and downplay the role of these notorious, internationally scorned terrorists and it has now implicated itself as part of what can be considered the greatest betrayal in American history.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of US soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen who were separated from their families for years, faced deadly adversity, injury, mental anguish and even death, because they were told they needed to confront the threat that was international terrorism. Now the very same men they sacrificed so much to fight against, are being apologized for and propped up as the new leaders of an entire nation. This is not just being done by politicians or corporate interests, but also by organizations affiliated with the US military itself.
What’s more is that US pilots, special forces, sailors, and Marines are being called upon now to help depose Qaddafi – a man genuinely dedicated to ending LIFG’s and thus Al Qaeda’s reign of terror in Northern Africa. And as LIFG is still listed as an foreign terrorist organization by the US State Department, it is clear that US Congressmen supporting NATO’s intervention in Libya, including John McCain , Lindsey Graham, and Joseph Lieberman, along with Obama’s presidential cabinet, especially Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are all guilty of knowingly providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization in violation of USC§ 2339A & USC § 2339B. This is an egregious betrayal against both the United States as a nation, and America’s armed forces who have been thoroughly made fools of by a government reveling in their duplicity.
It should be mentioned, that George Bush’s cadre of Neo-Conservatives have played a central role in engineering and gathering support for this current intervention in Libya, and that this isn’t exclusively “Obama’s War.” In fact, a letter written to House Republicans in June of 2011, implored undecided Republicans to pledge full support for NATO’s intervention in Libya and in fact discard the UNSC resolution, as it was holding America “hostage” in achieving the intervention’s real goal, not protecting civilians, but rather deposing Qaddafi from power. The signatories included Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, Max Boot, Frederick Kagan, Karl Rove, Ellen Bork, Robert Kagan, Liz Cheney, William Kristol, Dan Senor, Jamie Fly, Clifford May, Paul Wolfowitz, and James Woolsey as signatories, and all key Neo-Conservatives that helped engineer Bush’s 8 years of “War on Terror,” and still clearly driving it to this very day.
 A full break-down of the 2007 West Point CTC report can be found on Tarpley.net here.
 AQIM is listed as number 37 on the US State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. This organization will be used in an analogous fashion to begin unrest in Algeria, just as LIFG has been used to destabilize Libya.
 John McCain would claim, while in Benghazi, Libya, “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.” From his official press release. From “Warmonger McCain in Benghazi” April 22, 2011