Abdelhakim Belhadj, a Libyan Islamist who has met Osama Bin Laden twice, fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan, and led the fight to topple Libyan strongman Muammar al-Gaddafi with US backing, has reportedly now been made the leader of ISIS in Libya.
Via Counter Jihad:
Major news out of Libya as the former head of the Al Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and a major player in theU.S.-backed overthrow of Mummar Gaddafi, has reportedly joined the Islamic State and is leading its forces there. This according to The Blaze National Security journalist Sara Carter on twitter, and Fox News’ Catherine Herridge in a Fox News report.
Belhadj’s ties to Al Qaeda were controversial during the run up to U.S. airstrikes in support of the Libyan rebels, but this did not prevent him from maintaining a high profile at the time, including being made head of the Tripoli Military Council, a position he held until resigning to run for office in May 2012. Belhadj has a reputation for involvement in the international jihad has well, playing a role in the 2004 Madrid training bombings, and accused by investigators of being involved in the murder of two Tunisian politicians at behest of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Islamic State fighters landed in Libya back in November of 2014, and have been at work establishing training camps in the Libyan city of Derna before launching a terror offensive which included an attack on a Libyan hotel, attacks on oil field workers, and the execution of 21 Copts in a graphic video which made international headlines. (read more)
The trouble is that Belhaj’s record as a Gaddafi adversary just might be too impressive. Belhaj is a founding member and former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which is listed by both the U.S. State Department and the British Home Office as an international terrorist organization. Several past or present LIFG members have held prominent positions in al Qaeda, including operations chief Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, who was recently killed in a CIA drone attack. The LIFG is hardly Libya’s only militant Islamist force, but it’s easily the biggest and very possibly the most dangerous.
Belhaj himself makes no secret of having met Osama bin Laden in the late 1980s, back when they were both fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. Even so, he denies any sympathy for al Qaeda’s aims. “Meeting with a person with a specific ideology doesn’t mean I agree with that ideology,” Belhaj told The Daily Beast. “I didn’t go to Afghanistan to fight with bin Laden. I went to Afghanistan to support the Afghans and fight with them.”
No matter what he may have thought of al Qaeda, Belhaj found himself in serious trouble after Gaddafi abruptly decided to make peace with the West in 2003. As a gesture of support, the State Department added the LIFG to its list of terrorist organizations, and the vast resources of America’s intelligence services were added to the Libyan regime’s efforts to track down the group’s members. It didn’t take long: Malaysian authorities captured Belhaj in Kuala Lumpur and conveyed him to the CIA in Thailand for interrogation. Belhaj claims he was tortured before his captors determined that he posed no direct threat to the United States and shipped him back to Libya.
The regime locked him away in Gaddafi’s Abu Salim prison, where Belhaj believed he might spend the rest of his life. But shortly after his imprisonment, Seif al Islam Gaddafi, the dictator’s second son, initiated talks with Belhaj and other Islamist leaders about a possible truce and prisoner release. The Internal Security documents seen by Newsweek / The Daily Beast include a 2006 email exchange between a Libyan government operative and an LIFG member, setting up a meeting between the two sides. The negotiations eventually led to freedom for approximately 80 Islamist prisoners in 2008 and the 2010 release of approximately 200 other prisoners, Belhaj included.
Via Libya SOS War Diary (9/26/11) in the aftermath of the Libyan war.
In the case of Abdelhakim Belhadj we have to deal with a potential state leader, and under any circumstance a person with extremely strong influence, who must have an intense love hate relationship to many of the constructions, systems and persons that are tied into the mental fabric of the experiences that dominated the last two decades of his life.The recent PR effort by Al Jazeera et al., an exercise in applied social constructionism, is indicating that he is an image problem for the NTC, US, EU, and NATO – and he is aware of that too. More love/hate.Even though the PR will bolster his ego, it also makes him aware of the fact that he is a problem. Dialectical Problem. Dialectical Problems are hard to bear for unstable personalities. The most likely result of those dialectics and dilemma is that he will become more double dealing, will restrain himself in public, and vent his anger and frustrated aggression the more when it is not seen, wittnessed, or by covert activities.
It´s absolutely not unthinkable that he will be targeted – not right now, but after the NTC is more consolidated and the country more stable, if that ever happens as long as 95 % of it´s population oppose the occupation and everything that comes with it.French, British, US, NATO,Israel,..any of the services that back any of his colleagues or rivals could be the culprit. Alternatively, if he makes it, and he either goes to the very top, or the top of a sub system like the military, it is not unlikely that he will continue to be used as operative for covert militant activities – false flags or similar.If so, he would be the one to doublecross the ones who make use of his services if he can get away with getting revenge. Imagine a false flag going awry because some DIA, CIA, MI5, MI6 spooks think he could be useful.
CNN broke a story today that “dozens” of CIA were in Benghazi on the night of September 11, 2012 – far more than we have been told. Others are telling that story. I’d like to go in a different direction.
AllahPundit at Hot Air says Belhadj has ties to Osama bin Laden. Belhadj says he simply met him twice.
CNN is reporting twenty-one (21) Americans were working inside the CIA Annex on the night of September 11, 2012. They further report that the number of Americans between the Mission and Annex totalled 35 with 7 wounded.
Many sources believe that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was in Benghazi to transact business involving shipping arms to Syrian rebels. CNN reported in October 2011 that a shipment of SA-7 surface-to-air (SAMs) anti-craft missles (MANPADS) and rocket-propelled grenades traveled from Benghazi to Syria through southern Turkey. Stevens met with a Turkish diplomat at the Compound just a few short hours before he died.
SAMs can be used to shoot down airliners. “Thousands” of them went missing after Gaddafi met his end with a bayonet up his rear.
Was the task to gather the missing missiles and ship them out of harms way – maybe back to the U.S. or was the task to covertly smuggle them to Syrian rebels (you know them, the “moderates” that the Obama administration says we were NOT arming)?
Was Belhadj in charge of these SAMs and other weapons, in an exchange aided by Stevens and the Obama administration via the presence of “dozens” of unexplained and unreported CIA agents on the scene? He was the head of the Military Council and in charge of security. He had to be involved.
Gaddafi hated the Muslim Brotherhood. For years he made every attempt to wipe them out, and did a fairly good job of it, at least to the naked eye.
Files examined by Newsweek and The Daily Beast at Tripoli’s notorious Internal Security headquarters last week include extensive records on thousands of detainees. The most common charge? Jihad. The most common sentence? Life imprisonment.
Abu Abdullah Sadeq—Belhaj’s nom de guerre—topped the Gaddafi regime’s most-wanted list for years….together with other Afghan vets he [Belhadj] created the LIFG. “We wanted to tear down the regime,” says Belhaj. Source: The Daily Beast Page 1 September 2, 2011
In 1995 Belhadj tried, he lost and was once again on the run. …
…Belhaj found himself in serious trouble after Gaddafi abruptly decided to make peace with the West in 2003. As a gesture of support, the State Department added the LIFG to its list of terrorist organizations, and the vast resources of America’s intelligence services were added to the Libyan regime’s efforts to track down the group’s members. It didn’t take long: Malaysian authorities captured Belhaj in Kuala Lumpur and conveyed him to the CIA… Source: The Daily Beast Page 2
It seems fairly certain Belhadj’s LIFG is affiliated with al-Qaeda. What were his ties to the Muslim Brotherhood?
Under the Political Isolation Law, if passed, anyone who held a position in the Qaddafi regime over the last 30 years would be banned for 10 years from holding office in the government. The law would effectively remove the President, the Prime Minister, and one-third of the GNC from office and would amount to a legal coup d’etat by the forces of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the Muslim Brotherhood. Source – May 2013
If you missed it, Kevin McCullough radio talk show host writing at Townhall had a bombshell story a few weeks ago. He had in his possession a copy of a document written in Arabic and translated by an Arabic speaker from a U.S. University. The Libyan internal government memo discussed the confessions of 6 Egyptians saying they were responsible for the assault on the Mission and Annex and…further said that Dr. Mohamed Morsi sent them and funded them. Morsi (Mursi) is the deposed Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood former president now sequestered somewhere in Egypt by the Egyptian military. Walid Shoebat says he has a video of one of the attackers at the Mission looking into a security camera saying “we’re sent by Mursi.” Neither of these stories have been touched in the media. Are they true? I don’t know but neither should be difficult to confirm.
The stories of a botched kidnapping sanctioned by the U.S. to exchange Stevens for The Blind Sheikh (Omar Abdel Rahman – in a U.S. prison convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) are rampant. Morsi would likely be jazzed to finance that operation while working side-by-side with Barack Obama and/or Hillary Clinton.
Having been a member of the “Libyan Islamic Fighting Group” or LIFG for decades, he would literally travel to Afghanistan where he would fight American soldiers in the wake of 9/11. He was even captured and enrolled in the United States’ infamous “rendition program.” Upon release from prison in Libya, he would promptly organize and lead armed rebellion against the government Muammar Qaddafi, with extensive NATO arms, cash, and even air cover.
A 2007 West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) report examining the demographics of foreign fighters caught in Iraq fighting then occupying US troops would reveal that the NATO-backed rebels in Libya led by Belhaj were in fact fighters drawn from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) listed by both the US State Department and UK Home Office as a foreign terrorist organization.
In essence then, the United States and its NATO partners knowingly and willfully handed the nation of Libya and its people over to Al Qaeda. Despite Belhaj’s documented terrorist past and present, US politicians would meet with him, showering upon him accolades, praise, and continued political and military support. Among these politicians were US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham who met and literally shook Belhaj’s hand while standing upon the ruins of Libya.
This does appear to be Belhaj pictured with Senators McCain and Graham – I believe that’s Senator Richard Blumenthal on the left.