Peter Dale Scott: Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?

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Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?

By Prof. Peter Dale Scott

URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23947

Global Research, March 25, 2011 The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9,
Issue 13 No 3, March 28, 2011.

Peter Dale Scott's Libyan Notebook [Editor's Note: Author's selected
quotations and analysis]

Preface

The world is facing a very unpredictable and potentially dangerous
situation in North Africa and the Middle East. What began as a
memorable, promising, relatively nonviolent achievement of New
Politics - the Revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt - has morphed very
swiftly into a recrudescence of old habits: America, already mired
in two decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and sporadic air
attacks in Yemen and Somalia, now, bombing yet another Third World
Country, in this case Libya.

USS Barry launches a Tomahawk missile in support of Operation Odyssey
Dawn in the Mediterranean Sea, March 19, 2011. US government handout

The initially stated aim of this bombing was to diminish Libyan
civilian casualties. But many, senior figures in Washington, including
President Obama, have indicated that the US is gearing up for a
quite different war for regime change, one that may well be protracted
and could also easily expand beyond Libya.1 If it does expand, the
hope for a nonviolent transition to civilian government in Tunisia
and Egypt and other Middle East nations experiencing political
unrest, may be lost to a hard-edged militarization of government,
especially in Egypt. All of us, not just Egyptians, have a major
stake in seeing that that does not happen.

The present article does not attempt to propose solutions or a
course of action for the United States and its allies, or for the
people of the Middle East. It attempts rather to examine the nature
of the forces that have emerged in Libya over the last four decades
that are presently being played out.

To this end I have begun to compile what I call my Libyan Notebook,
a collection of relevant facts that underlie the present crisis.
This Notebook will be judgmental, in that I am biased towards
collecting facts that the US media tend to ignore, facts that are
the product in many instances of investigative reporting that cuts
to the heart of power relations, deep structures, and economic
interests in the region including the US, Israel, and the Arab
States as these have played out over the last two decades and more.
But I hope that it will be usefully objective and open-ended,
permitting others to draw diverse conclusions from the same set of
facts.2

I wish to begin with two ill-understood topics: I. Who Are the
Libyan Opposition, and II. Where Are the Libyan Rebel Arms Coming
From?

I. Who Are the Libyan Opposition

1) Historically:

"If Muammar Al Gaddafi behaved paranoid, it was for good reason.
It wasn't long after he reached the age of 27 and led a small group
of junior military officers in a bloodless coup d'itat against
Libyan King Idris on September 1, 1969, that threats to his power
and life emerged - from monarchists, Israeli Mossad, Palestinian
disaffections, Saudi security, the National Front for the Salvation
of Libya (NFSL), the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition
(NCLO), British intelligence, United States antagonism and, in 1995,
the most serious of all, Al Qaeda-like Libyan Islamic fighting
group, known as Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya. The
Colonel reacted brutally, by either expelling or killing those he
feared were against him."3

Gaddafi and Nasser in a 1969 Photo. Getty image

2) National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL)

"With the aim of overthrowing Libyan strongman Muammar Khadafy,
Israel and the U.S. trained anti-Libyan rebels in a number of West
and Central African countries. The Paris-based African Confidential
newsletter reported on January 5th, 1989, that the US and Israel
had set up a series of bases in Chad and other neighboring countries
to train 2000 Libyan rebels captured by the Chad army. The group,
called The National Front for the Salvation of Libya, was based in
Chad."4

"US official records indicate that funding for the Chad-based secret
war against Libya also came from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco,
Israel and Iraq. The Saudis, for instance, donated $7m to an
opposition group, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya
(also backed by French intelligence and the CIA). But a plan to
assassinate Gadafi and take over the government on 8 May 1984 was
crushed. In the following year, the US asked Egypt to invade Libya
and overthrow Gadafi but President Mubarak refused. By the end of
1985, the Washington Post had exposed the plan after congressional
leaders opposing it wrote in protest to President Reagan."5

"The FNSL [National Front for the Salvation of Libya] was part of
the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition held in London
in 2005, and British resources are being used to support the FNSL
and other 'opposition' in Libya.... The FNSL held its national
congress in the USA in July 2007. Reports of 'atrocities' and
civilian deaths are being channeled into the western press from
operations in Washington DC, and the opposition FNSL is reportedly
organizing resistance and military attacks from both inside and
outside Libya."6

3) National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO),

"The main group leading the insurrection is the National Conference
for the Libyan Opposition which includes the National Front for the
Salvation of Libya (NFSL). The NFSL, which is leading the violence,
is a U.S.-sponsored armed militia of mostly Libyan expatriates and
tribes opposed to al-Qaddafi."7

4) Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya (Libyan Islamic
Fighting Group, LIFG)

"The LIFG was founded in 1995 by a group of mujahideen veterans who
had fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Upon their
return to Libya they grew angry about what they viewed as the
corruption and impiety of the Libyan regime and formed the LIFG to
create a state that would show what they believed to be the true
character of the Libyan people.

The most significant LIFG attack was a 1996 attempt to assassinate
Gadhafi; LIFG members led by Wadi al-Shateh threw a bomb underneath
his motorcade. The group also stages guerilla-style attacks against
government security forces from its mountain bases. Although most
LIFG members are strictly dedicated to toppling Gadhafi, intelligence
reportedly indicates that some have joined forces with al-Qaida to
wage jihad against Libyan and Western interests worldwide. ....

As recently as February 2004, then-Director of Central Intelligence
George Tenet testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee
that "one of the most immediate threats [to U.S. security] is from
smaller international Sunni extremist groups that have benefited
from al-Qaida links. They include ... the Libyan Islamic Fighting
Group."8

"In recent days Libyan officials have distributed security documents
giving the details of Sufiyan al-Koumi, said to be a driver for
Osama bin Laden, and of another militant allegedly involved in an
"Islamic emirate" in Derna, in now-liberated eastern Libya. Koumi,
the documents show, was freed in September 2010 as part of a "reform
and repent" initiative organised by Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi's son....

The LIFG, established in Afghanistan in the 1990s, has assassinated
dozens of Libyan soldiers and policemen. In 2009, to mark Gaddafi's
40 years in power, it apologised for trying to kill him and agreed
to lay down its arms. MI6 [British Intelligence] has been accused
in the past of supporting it. Six LIFG leaders, still in prison,
disavowed their old ways and explained why fighting Gaddafi no
longer constituted "legitimate" jihad. Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, another
freed LIFG member, denied the official claims. "Gaddafi is trying
to divide the people," he told al-Jazeera. "He claims that there
is an Islamist emirate in Derna and that I am its emir. He is taking
advantage of the fact that I am a former political prisoner."

Derna is famous as the home of a large number of suicide bombers
in Iraq. It is also deeply hostile to Gaddafi. "Residents of eastern
Libya in general, and Derna in particular, view the Gaddadfa
(Gaddafi's tribe) as uneducated, uncouth interlopers from an
inconsequential part of the country who have 'stolen' the right to
rule in Libya," US diplomats were told in 2008, in a cable since
released by WikiLeaks.

The last 110 members of the LIFG were freed on 16 February, the day
after the Libyan uprising began. One of those released, Abdulwahab
Mohammed Kayed, is the brother of Abu Yahya Al Libi, one of al
Qaida's top propagandists. Koumi fled Libya and is said to have
ended up in Afghanistan working for Bin Laden. Captured in Pakistan,
he was handed over to the US and sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2002.
In 2009 he was sent back to Libya.9 US counter-terrorist experts
have expressed concern that al-Qaida could take advantage of a
political vacuum if Gaddafi is overthrown. But most analysts say
that, although the Islamists' ideology has strong resonance in
eastern Libya, there is no sign that the protests are going to be
hijacked by them.10

Libyan Islamic Fighting Group Members released

"Fierce clashes between [Qadhafi's] security forces and Islamist
guerrillas erupted in Benghazi in September 1995, leaving dozens
killed on both sides. After weeks of intense fighting, the Libyan
Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) formally declared its existence in a
communiqui calling Qadhafi's government "an apostate regime that
has blasphemed against the faith of God Almighty" and declaring its
overthrow to be "the foremost duty after faith in God." [3] This
and future LIFG communiquis were issued by Libyan Afghans who had
been granted political asylum in Britain.... The involvement of the
British government in the LIFG campaign against Qadhafi remains the
subject of immense controversy. LIFG's next big operation, a failed
attempt to assassinate Qadhafi in February 1996 that killed several
of his bodyguards, was later said to have been financed by British
intelligence to the tune of $160,000, according to ex-MI5 officer
David Shayler. [4] While Shayler's allegations have not been
independently confirmed, it is clear that Britain allowed LIFG to
develop a base of logistical support and fundraising on its soil.
At any rate, financing by bin Laden appears to have been much more
important. According to one report, LIFG received up to $50,000
from the Saudi terrorist mastermind for each of its militants killed
on the battlefield." [2005]11

"Americans, Britons and the French are finding themselves as comrades
in arms with the rebel Islamic Fighting Group, the most radical
element in the Al Qaeda network [to bring down Gaddhafi]. Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton admitted the risks of the unholy alliance
in a congressional hearing, saying that the Libyan opposition is
probably more anti-American than Muammar Gaddhafi. A decade ago,
this very same delusion of a Western-Islamist partnership in Kosovo,
Bosnia and Chechnya ended abruptly in the 9/11 attacks."12

5) Transitional National Council

"A RIVAL transitional government to the regime of Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi looks set to win US and other international support
as momentum builds to oust the longtime dictator.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed yesterday that the
Obama administration was reaching out to opponents of Colonel
Gaddafi. She said the US was willing to offer any kind of assistance'
to remove him from power.

Protest leaders who have taken control in Libya's eastern cities
claim to have established a transitional "national council" that
amounts to rival rule. They have called on the country's army to
join them as they prepare for an attack on the capital, Tripoli,
where the Libyan leader retains control.

Confident the Libyan leader's 42-year rule was coming to an end,
Mrs Clinton said yesterday: We are just at the beginning of what
will follow Gaddafi.'"13

6) Facebook

"He [Omar El- Hariri, Chief of Armed Forces for the Transitional
National Council] remained under close surveillance by the security
forces until Feb. 17, when the revolution started. It was not
initiated by prominent figures of the older generation, he said,
but began spontaneously when Tunisia and Egypt inspired the youth.
Children of Facebook!' he declared, in English, with a broad smile."14

7) Oil

"Libyan rebels in Benghazi said they have created a new national
oil company to replace the corporation controlled by leader Muammar
Qaddafi whose assets were frozen by the United Nations Security
Council.

The Transitional National Council released a statement announcing
the decision made at a March 19 meeting to establish the Libyan Oil
Company as supervisory authority on oil production and policies in
the country, based temporarily in Benghazi, and the appointment of
an interim director general" of the company.

The Council also said it "designated the Central Bank of Benghazi
as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and
the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a
temporary headquarters in Benghazi."15

Peter Dale Scott's Libyan Notebook

II. Where Are the Libyan Rebel Arms Coming From?

Robert Fisk, "Libya in turmoil: America's secret plan to arm Libya's
rebels;

Obama asks Saudis to airlift weapons into Benghazi," Independent,
March 7, 2011:

"Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event
of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents,
the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to
the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a "day
of rage" from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with
a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to
Washington's highly classified request, although King Abdullah
personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him
just over a year ago.

Washington's request is in line with other US military co-operation
with the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply
involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration,
gave immediate support to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting
the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980 ....

But the Saudis remain the only US Arab ally strategically placed
and capable of furnishing weapons to the guerrillas of Libya. Their
assistance would allow Washington to disclaim any military involvement
in the supply chain - even though the arms would be American and
paid for by the Saudis.

The Saudis have been told that opponents of Gaddafi need anti-tank
rockets and mortars as a first priority to hold off attacks by
Gaddafi's armour, and ground-to-air missiles to shoot down his
fighter-bombers.

Supplies could reach Benghazi within 48 hours but they would need
to be delivered to air bases in Libya or to Benghazi airport. If
the guerrillas can then go on to the offensive and assault Gaddafi's
strongholds in western Libya, the political pressure on America and
Nato - not least from Republican members of Congress - to establish
a no-fly zone would be reduced.

US military planners have already made it clear that a zone of this
kind would necessitate US air attacks on Libya's functioning, if
seriously depleted, anti-aircraft missile bases, thus bringing
Washington directly into the war on the side of Gaddafi's opponents.

For several days now, US Awacs surveillance aircraft have been
flying around Libya, making constant contact with Malta air traffic
control and requesting details of Libyan flight patterns, including
journeys made in the past 48 hours by Gaddafi's private jet which
flew to Jordan and back to Libya just before the weekend.

Officially, Nato will only describe the presence of American Awacs
planes as part of its post-9/11 Operation Active Endeavour, which
has broad reach to undertake aerial counter-terrorism measures in
the Middle East region.

US Awacs monitor Libya

The data from the Awacs is streamed to all Nato countries under the
mission's existing mandate. Now that Gaddafi has been reinstated
as a super-terrorist in the West's lexicon, however, the Nato mission
can easily be used to search for targets of opportunity in Libya
if active military operations are undertaken.

Al Jazeera English television channel last night broadcast recordings
made by American aircraft to Maltese air traffic control, requesting
information about Libyan flights, especially that of Gaddafi's jet.

An American Awacs aircraft, tail number LX-N90442 could be heard
contacting the Malta control tower on Saturday for information about
a Libyan Dassault-Falcon 900 jet 5A-DCN on its way from Amman to
Mitiga, Gaddafi's own VIP airport.

Nato Awacs 07 is heard to say: "Do you have information on an
aircraft with the Squawk 2017 position about 85 miles east of our
[sic]?"

Malta air traffic control replies: "Seven, that sounds to be Falcon
900- at flight level 340, with a destination Mitiga, according to
flight plan."

But Saudi Arabia is already facing dangers from a co-ordinated day
of protest by its own Shia Muslim citizens who, emboldened by the
Shia uprising in the neighbouring island of Bahrain, have called
for street protests against the ruling family of al-Saud on Friday.

After pouring troops and security police into the province of Qatif
last week, the Saudis announced a nationwide ban on all public
demonstrations.

Shia organisers claim that up to 20,000 protesters plan to demonstrate
with women in the front rows to prevent the Saudi army from opening
fire.

If the Saudi government accedes to America's request to send guns
and missiles to Libyan rebels, however, it would be almost impossible
for President Barack Obama to condemn the kingdom for any violence
against the Shias of the north-east provinces.

Thus has the Arab awakening, the demand for democracy in North
Africa, the Shia revolt and the rising against Gaddafi become
entangled in the space of just a few hours with US military priorities
in the region. "16

"Libya rebels coordinating with West on air assault," Los Angeles
Times, March 24, 2011

"Reports from the region suggest that the Saudis and Egyptians have
been providing arms. Though U.S. officials could not confirm that,
they say it is plausible."17

"Egypt Said to Arm Libya Rebels," Wall Street Journal, March 17,
2011:

"CAIRO-Egypt's military has begun shipping arms over the border to
Libyan rebels with Washington's knowledge, U.S. and Libyan rebel
officials said.

The shipments-mostly small arms such as assault rifles and
ammunition-appear to be the first confirmed case of an outside
government arming the rebel fighters. Those fighters have been
losing ground for days in the face of a steady westward advance by
forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The Egyptian shipments are the strongest indication to date that
some Arab countries are heeding Western calls to take a lead in
efforts to intervene on behalf of pro-democracy rebels in their
fight against Mr. Gadhafi in Libya. Washington and other Western
countries have long voiced frustration with Arab states' unwillingness
to help resolve crises in their own region, even as they criticized
Western powers for attempting to do so.

The shipments also follow an unusually robust diplomatic response
from Arab states. There have been rare public calls for foreign
military intervention in an Arab country, including a vote by the
23-member Arab League last week urging the U.N. to impose a no-fly
zone over Libya.

The vote provided critical political cover to Western powers wary
of intervening militarily without a broad regional and international
mandate. On Thursday evening, the U.N. Security Council voted on a
resolution endorsing a no-fly zone in Libya and authorizing military
action in support of the rebels.

Within the council, Lebanon took a lead role drafting and circulating
the draft of the resolution, which calls for "all necessary measures"
to enforce a ban on flights over Libya. The United Arab Emirates
and Qatar have taken the lead in offering to participate in enforcing
a no-fly zone, according to U.N. diplomats.

Libyan rebel officials in Benghazi, meanwhile, have praised Qatar
from the first days of the uprising, calling the small Gulf state
their staunchest ally. Qatar has consistently pressed behind the
scenes for tough and urgent international action behind the scenes,
these officials said.

Qatari flags fly prominently in rebel-held Benghazi. After pro-Gadhafi
forces retook the town of Ras Lanuf last week, Libyan state TV
broadcast images of food-aid packages bearing the Qatari flag.

Anti-Gadhafi fighters in Benghazi

The White House has been reluctant to back calls from leaders in
Congress for arming Libya's rebels directly, arguing that the U.S.
must first fully assess who the fighters are and what policies they
will pursue if they succeeded in toppling Col. Gadhafi. U.S. officials
believe the opposition includes some Islamist elements. They fear
that Islamist groups hostile to the U.S. could try to hijack the
opposition and take any arms that are provided.

The Egyptian weapons transfers began a few days ago' and are ongoing,
according to a senior U.S. official. There's no formal U.S. policy
or acknowledgement that this is going on,' said the senior official.
But this is something we have knowledge of.'

Calls to Egypt's foreign ministry and the spokesman for the prime
minister seeking comment went unanswered. There is no means of
reaching Egypt's military for comment. An Egyptian official in
Washington said he had no knowledge of weapon shipments.

The U.S. official also noted that the shipments appeared to come
"too little, too late" to tip the military balance in favor of the
rebels, who have faced an onslaught from Libyan forces backed by
tanks, artillery and aircraft.

"We know the Egyptian military council is helping us, but they can't
be so visible," said Hani Souflakis, a Libyan businessman in Cairo
who has been acting as a rebel liaison with the Egyptian government
since the uprising began.

"Weapons are getting through," said Mr. Souflakis, who says he has
regular contacts with Egyptian officials in Cairo and the rebel
leadership in Libya. "Americans have given the green light to the
Egyptians to help. The Americans don't want to be involved in a
direct level, but the Egyptians wouldn't do it if they didn't get
the green light."

Western officials and rebel leaders in Libya said the U.S. has
wanted to avoid being seen as taking a leadership role in any
military action against Mr. Gadhafi after its invasions of Iraq and
Afganistan fueled anger and mistrust with Washington throughout the
region.

But the U.S. stated clearly it wants Mr. Gadhafi out of power and
has signaled it would support those offering help to the rebels
militarily or otherwise.

A spokesman for the rebel government in Benghazi said arms shipments
have begun arriving to the rebels but declined to specify where
they came from.

"Our military committee is purchasing arms and arming our people.
The weapons are coming, but the nature of the weapons, the amount,
where it's coming from, that has been classified," said the spokesman,
Mustafa al-Gherryani.

The U.S. official said Egypt wanted to keep the shipments covert.
In public, Egypt has sought to maintain a neutral stance toward the
rebel uprising in Libya. Egypt abstained during the Arab League's
vote calling for the U.N. to impose a no-fly zone on Mr. Gadhafi,
according to people familiar with the internal Arab League
deliberations.

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian laborers are believed to still
be in Libya.

On the other hand, the Egyptian military's covert support for the
rebels suggests that it has calculated that Mr. Gadhafi is unlikely
to remain in power, at least in the eastern half of the country,
and therefore Egypt is eager to begin to build good relations with
the rebels.

Rebel forces in the past 24 hours appeared to make some progress
fending off pro-Gadhafi forces' assaults and have rolled out new
weapons for the first time since the uprising began last month.
Among them are rebel tanks that have taken up positions on the front
lines in recent days. Rebels also launched fighter-jet attacks on
government positions on Wednesday for the first time so far.

The tanks and fighter jets are believed to have been among the
weapons seized by rebels from defected units of the Libyan army in
the eastern half of the country, but they have received spare parts
or trained mechanics from outside the country to help them deploy
them, some rebel officials have speculated.

-Sam Dagher and Adam Entous contributed to this article.18

Benjamin Gottlieb, "Egypt Arms Libyan Rebels As Gaddafi's Conquest
Continues," NeonTommy Annenberg Digital News, March 17, 2011:

Arms shipments from Egypt's military have begun flowing across the
border into Libya with U.S. knowledge, Libyan rebels and U.S.
officials said Thursday.

Made up mostly of small arms, such as assault rifles and ammunition,
the shipments are the first confirmed reports of an outside government
supporting rebel fighters with weapons. Rebels have been loosing
ground for days against pro-Gaddafi forces aiming to end the conflict
before foreign intervention plans are finalized.

Although the U.N. approved a "no-fly zone" over Libya late Thursday,
rebel forces fear that any planned foreign intervention would be
too little to late.

No-Fly Zone

The shipment of arms indicated an unusually bold response by an
Arab nation intervening in a conflict outside its borders. There
have also been rare public decrees for the West to intervene in the
conflict - the Arab League voted 23-0 last week encouraging the
U.N. to impose the "no-fly zone" over Libya.

In spite of reports of arms flowing across the Egyptian boarder,
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Menha Bakhoum told Reuters
that Egypt would not be involved in any military intervention in
neighboring Libya.

"Egypt will not be among those Arab states. We will not be involved
in any military intervention. No intervention period," Bakhoum said.

Bakhoum was responding to comments by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton, who said Thursday that discussions were on the table
regarding Arab involvement in U.S. and European intervention in the
conflict.

Clinton has said repeatedly that the U.S. desires involvement from
a neighboring Arab nation in any planned intervention.

A Libyan rebel government spokesman in Benghazi, Mustafa al-Gherryani,
said rebels have begun receiving arms shipments from neighboring
nations, however he declined to reveal their origin.

"Our military committee is purchasing arms and arming our people.
The weapons are coming, but the nature of the weapons, the amount,
where it's coming from, that has been classified," he said.19

Yoichi Shimatsu, "Mideast Revolutions and 9-11 Intrigues Created
in Qatar," New America Media, March 1, 2011

"It may puzzle and perhaps dismay young protesters in Benghazi,
Cairo and Tunisia that their democratic hopes are being manipulated
by an ultra-conservative Arab elite which has underhandedly backed
a surge of militant Islamist radicals across North Africa. Credible
U.S. intelligence reports have cited evidence pointing to Qatar's
long-running support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and
jihadist fighters returning from Afghanistan.

The links to Qatar uncovered by anti-terrorism investigators in the
wake of 9-11 need to be reexamined now that the Libyan Islamic
Fighting Group (LIFG), an on-and-off affiliate of Al Qaeda, has
seized armories across half of the North African country. Libya's
well-stocked arsenals contain high-power explosives, rocket launchers
and chemical weapons. LIFG is on the State Department's terrorist
list.

Most worrying, according to a U.S. intelligence official cited by
CNN, is the probable loss of chemical weapons. The Federation of
American Scientists reports that, as of 2008, only 40 percent of
Libya's mustard gas was destroyed in the second round of decommissioning.
Chemical canisters along the Egyptian border were yet to be retrieved
and are now presumably in the hands of armed militants.

After initially letting slip that the earliest Libyan protests were
organized by the LIFG, Al Jazeera quickly changed its line to present
a heavily filtered account portraying the events as peaceful
protests'. To explain away the gunshot deaths of Libyan soldiers
during the uprising, the Qatar-based network presented a bizarre
scenario of 150 dead soldiers in Libya having been executed by their
officers for refusing to fight'. The mysterious officers then
miraculously vacated their base disappearing into thin air while
surrounded by angry protesters! Off the record, one American
intelligence analyst called these media claims an absurdity' and
suggested instead the obvious: that the soldiers were gunned down
in an armed assault by war-hardened returned militants from Iraq
and Afghanistan....

According to a Congressional Research Service report of January
2008, Some observers have raised questions about possible support
for Al Qaeda by some Qatari citizens, including members of Qatar's
large ruling family. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, Qatar's
Interior Minister provided a safe haven to 9/11 mastermind Khalid
Shaikh Mohammed during the mid-1990s, and press reports indicate
other terrorists may have received financial support or safe haven
in Qatar after September 11, 2001.'

The national security chief, Interior Minister Abdullah bin Khalid
al-Thani, is further mentioned as paying for a 1995 trip by Khalid
Shaikh Mohammed to join the Bosnia jihad.' The report recalls how
after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, FBI officials "narrowly
missed an opportunity to capture" the suspect in Qatar. Former U.S.
officials have since stated their belief that a high-ranking member
of the Qatari government alerted him to the impending raid, allowing
him to flee the country.'"20

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor
at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs
Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and
the Deep Politics of War. His most recent book is American War
Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road
to Afghanistan. Peter Dale Scott is a Research Associate of the
Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

His most recent book is American War Machine: Deep Politics, the
CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan.

His website, which contains a wealth of his writings, is here.

Notes

1 Defense Secretary Gates, who recently warned against any further
protracted US ground war, said on March 23 that the end of military
action in Libya is unknown and could last longer than a few weeks.
I think there are any number of possible outcomes here and no one
is in a position to predict them, Gates told reporters in Egypt
(C-Span, March 24, 2011).

2 Interested readers may wish to consult my first exploration,
Googling Revolution in North Africa.

3 Dan Lieberman, Muammar Al Gaddafi Meets His Own Rebels,
CounterCurrents.org, March 9, 2011.

4 Joel Bainerman, Inside the Covert Operations of the CIA & Israel's
Mossad (New York: S.P.I. Books, 1994), 14.

5 Richard Keeble, The Secret War Against Libya, MediaLens, 2002.

6 "Petroleum and Empire in North Africa. NATO Invasion of Libya
Underway," By Keith Harmon Snow, 2 March 2011.

7 Ghali Hassan, U.S. Love Affair with Murderous Dictators and Hate
for Democracy. Axis of Logic, Mar 17, 2011.

8 Center for Defense Information, In the Spotlight: The Libyan
Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), January 18, 2005

9 Qadhafi was concerned about Al Qaeda terrorism in Libya, and in
1996 Libya became the first government to place Osama bin Laden on
Interpols Wanted List (Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global
Network of Terror [New York: Columbia UP, 2002], 142). Thereafter
American and Libyan intelligence collaborated closely for some years
against Al Qaeda. Beginning when?

10 Ian Black, Libya rebels rejects Gaddafi's al-Qaida spin, Guardian,
March 1, 2011.

11 Gary Gambill, "The Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Jamestown
Foundation," Terrorism Monitor, May 5, 2005,; citing Al-Hayat
(London), 20 October 1995 [communiqui]; "The Shayler affair: The
spooks, the Colonel and the jailed whistle-blower," The Observer
(London), 9 August 1998; Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquii,
Ben Laden: La Verite interdite (Bin Ladin: The Forbidden Truth).
Cf. also Annie Machon, Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers: MI5, MI6 And
the Shayler Affair (Book Guild Publishing, 2005) [Shayler].

12 Yoichi Shimatsu, Attack on Libya: Why Odyssey Dawn Is Doomed,
New America Media, March 20, 2011.

13 US reaches out to Libyan insurgents, The Australian, March 1,
2011,

14 How a onetime friend to Gadhafi became his rival, Globe and Mail
[Toronto], March 4, 2011.

15 Libyan Rebel Council in Benghazi Forms Oil Company to Replace
Qaddafis, Bloomberg, March 22, 2011.

16 Robert Fisk, America's secret plan to arm Libya's rebels,
Independent, March 7, 2011.

17 Libya rebels coordinating with West on air assault, Los Angeles
Times, March 24, 2011.

18 Egypt Said to Arm Libya Rebels, Wall Street Journal, March 17,
2011,

19 Benjamin Gottlieb, Egypt Arms Libyan Rebels As Gaddafi's Conquest
Continues, NeonTommy Annenberg Digital News, March 17, 2011.

20 Yoichi Shimatsu, Mideast Revolutions and 9-11 Intrigues Created
in Qatar, New America Media, March 1, 2011. The al-Thani familys
protection of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is confirmed by former CIA
officer Robert Baer (Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2003). Cf. Robert
Baer, Sleeping with the Devil (New York: Crown, 2003); Peter Lance,
Triple Cross (New York: Regan/HarperCollins, 2006), 234-37.

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Copyright Peter Dale Scott, The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue
13 No 3, March 28, 2011., 2011

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