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Former Libyan Al Qaeda Leader Says There Are 1000 jihadists Amongst Rebels

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US, UK still wants to supply them with weapons

Steve Watson
March 30, 2011

A former leader of an al Qaeda linked group in Libya claims that there are around 1000 fundamentalist Islamic fighters in the country that have joined the uprising against Col. Moammar Gaddafi’s forces, a number that jives with intelligence reports and independent estimates. Yet still the allied NATO forces are considering arming the rebels.

Former jihadist Noman Benotman, who renounced his al Qaeda affiliation in 2000, said in an interview that he estimates 1,000 jihadists are in Libya, reports the Washington Times.

Referring to the fighters as “freelance jihadists”, Benotman said that the men were part of a North African terror cell known as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM).

Benotman told the Times that the fighters had attempted but so far failed to co-opt the Gaddafi government.

He also noted that the fighters have not labeled themselves as leaders of the uprising, yet have rather infiltrated the Libyan opposition so as not to appear to be “undermining” the Libyan people.

Benotman acknowledged that the jihadists were “afraid” to be seen imposing their wish to establish an Islamic republic in Libya, noting that the interim council leading Libya’s opposition is seeking democratic elections.

Yesterday in testimony on Capitol Hill, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Admiral James Stavridis, acknowledged the presence of such fundamentalists amongst Libyan rebel groups

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The estimation of a high number of jihadists operative in Libya dovetails with independent analysis, as well as the US military’s own intelligence.

A 2007 West Point report indicated that the Benghazi-Darnah-Tobruk area of Libya is a world capital for al qaeda or mujahideen suicide bomber recruitment.

Author Webster Tarpley details this intelligence in his excellent analysis piece The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq:

The specific institutional basis for the recruitment of guerrilla fighters in northeastern Libya is associated with an organization which previously called itself the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). During the course of 2007, the LIFG declared itself an official subsidiary of al Qaeda, later assuming the name of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). As a result of this 2007 merger, an increased number of guerrilla fighters arrived in Iraq from Libya. According to Felter and Fishman, “The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qaeda, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qaeda on November 3, 2007.” This merger is confirmed by other sources: A 2008 statement attributed to Ayman al-Zawahiri claimed that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group has joined al-Qaeda.

Noman Benotman is a former member of the AQIM (formerly the LIFG), as is a current commander of anti Gaddafi rebels forces in Libya Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi.

al-Hasidi admitted in an interview with an Italian newspaper last week that he had previously recruited al Qaeda linked fundamentalists to fight in Iraq, and said that the fighters are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”.

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Those fighters violently oppose the secular regime of Gaddafi and wish to see it destroyed and replaced with sharia law in Libya.

Despite these facts and admissions, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice says the Obama administration has still not ruled out military support for the Libyan rebels.

Today, British Prime Minister David Cameron echoed Rice’s comments, backing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s view that the UN has sanctioned a move to arm the rebels.

As we have also reported, the al Qaeda linked Libyan rebel army, supported by the United Nations, the United States and the globalist Coalition. is now being led by a known anti-Gaddafi CIA operative.

As we know, in an effort to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1979 and beyond, the CIA armed and trained the Afghan mujahideen. The catalogue of fighters the CIA was working with was know as al Qaeda (The Base). The blowback from this operation has formed the shape of the current global political climate.

To arm and train Libyan rebels would be effectively taking the very same action once again, empowering a force infiltrated by radical fundamentalists that are violently opposed to democratic systems of government.

The ruling global elite care little about these consequences, in fact they have used the same system for well over a century to effectively expand their empire in the middle east, and now into Africa.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, from which the Mujahideen and al Qaeda emerged was itself a creation of British intelligence in the late 1920s. The Brotherhood was armed and trained to oppose the nationalist policies of Egyptian President Nasser.

The fact is that the “British” Empire never went away. It simply upped sticks and moved its headquarters to the US. The same globalist elite are still expanding their empire today.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

This article was posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

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