Category Archives: Libya

Libya calls for international airstrikes against ISIS

PARIS: Libya’s foreign minister Tuesday renewed a call for the lifting of an arms embargo and for international airstrikes to help tackle ISIS, which threatens to create a “rear base” in the country.

“The situation is extremely serious,” Mohammad al-Dayri, foreign minister for Libya’s internationally recognized government based in Misrata, said on a visit to Paris. “People are dying, are crucified, are disinterred from their graves, are burned alive. Libyans don’t understand why the international community doesn’t wake up to these dangers.”

Libya has two rival governments and has been torn apart since the international community helped oust Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Libya’s official government has been based in the east since losing the capital a year ago to Libya Dawn, which set up its own government. Neither administration controls much territory.

Dayri said ISIS was present in the towns of Derna, Benghazi, Sirte and Sabratha. “They have not yet seized oil fields, but we fear they might come to control several wells,” he added.

“On Saturday, there was a call from their leaders in Iraq and Syria to reinforce their ranks in Libya. They want to make Libya a rear base.”

He said ISIS currently had limited means in Libya and had faced pushback from local populations working alongside other armed Islamist groups including Al-Qaeda, notably in Derna in June. “After 2011, Libya was abandoned to its fate.”

He called for the U.N. to lift the arms embargo imposed in 2011.

“We are not talking about sophisticated military equipment, but we need the minimum to fight terrorism in an adequate manner,” he said.

“We also hope for an [international] intervention as soon as possible because the danger is growing. But not troops on the ground. We are hoping for aerial support for the Libyan armed forces on the ground.

“The international community waited for Mosul to fall before intervening in Iraq. We don’t want to see Tripoli or Misrata fall,” he said.

ISIS Monday executed four people in Sirte, including at least one member of a rival group whose body was put on display, according to residents and a video published on social media. The video released by the militant group showed a gunmen shooting a man, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, who was tied to a makeshift cross. His body was left there afterward as a warning to others.

The man was identified as an alleged spy for Libya Dawn, a group backing a nonrecognized government in Tripoli, which has flown airstrikes against ISIS in Sirte.

The executions come after ISIS fighters crushed a revolt by a Salafist group and armed residents in Sirte earlier this month, trying to break its grip on the city, located some 500 km to the east of Tripoli.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 26, 2015, on page 10.

Libya, Egypt Seek International Aid in Fight Against Islamic State #ISIS

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AP//Libya’s internationally recognized government, with strong backing from neighboring Egypt, on Tuesday urged fellow Arab countries to provide arms to help it defeat a local Islamic State affiliate and criticized the U.S.-led coalition for confining its efforts to Syria and Iraq.

Egypt criticized what it called international “double standards” and “lethargy” in dealing with the spread of the IS group in Libya, where the militants have exploited the chaos following the 2011 revolt that toppled and killed longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi, seizing his hometown of Sirte and other areas.

Egypt has meanwhile been grappling with a wave of attacks by another IS affiliate based in the northern Sinai Peninsula, and last week IS fighters claimed to have beheaded a Croat abducted on the outskirts of Cairo.

Cairo’s representative to the Arab League, Tarek Adel, said his country would keep pressuring the international community to lift an arms embargo and provide assistance to Libya’s military. Egypt has targeted Libya’s IS (Daesh) branch with airstrikes, including after the group killed 21 captive Egyptian Christians earlier this year.

The Arab League emergency meeting Tuesday was called for after IS fighters in Sirte put down a local revolt against their rule, killing rival Muslim clerics, desecrating the bodies of prisoners and seizing new ground. “Libya is bleeding,” Libyan Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Dairi told the gathering of resident diplomats. He warned that his ill-equipped government is unable to fight off IS, which he said was seeking to establish a base in Libya as it faces U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

Libya has slid into chaos in the years since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising, and is now divided between an elected parliament and government in the far eastern town of Tobruk and an Islamist militia-backed government based in the capital, Tripoli. The North African nation has been under a U.N. arms embargo since 2011. In March, the Security Council renewed the ban, but allowed a sanctions committee to review requests for exemptions. U.N. members are concerned that weapons could fall into the hands of any number of armed groups.

Al-Dairi said U.N.-brokered talks to form a national unity government should not “obstruct” arming the military to fight IS. Egypt’s representative said fighting terrorism should run “parallel” to the political process, and “requires urgent movement on the international and regional levels to dry up the sources of terrorism and their finances and to lift the arms embargo.” “What is surprising is that double-standard with which the international community is dealing with the threats of Daesh,” Adel said, using the Arabic acronym for the IS group. “There is energy and work when it comes to pushing it back in Syria and Iraq, but ignoring the same group’s practices in Libya.”

In a statement over the weekend, Egypt’s foreign ministry sharply criticized the international coalition, saying that “despite our constant urging, it has refused to be more emphatic, decisive and swift in its response to Daesh. This has undoubtedly undermined international efforts to combat terrorism in the region.” In a statement after the Tuesday meeting, the Arab League urged member states to help Libya, separately or as a group, without elaborating. Arab League officials said member states are meeting next week to discuss the formation of a joint Arab force to be used to intervene in regional crises and combat terrorism.

Hillary Clinton Scrubbed Benghazi Emails

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 Hillary Clinton scrubbed her Benghazi emails. That is the logical conclusion drawn by investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson who, while at CBS, fought to break stories exposing the Obama administration’s lies on “phony” scandals from Fast and Furious to Benghazi and for her efforts had her computer hacked and monitored, likely by administration operatives concerned by her revelations and curious about her sources.

Attkisson said on NewsmaxTV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show” recently that she thought it was a common sense conclusion that Hillary Clinton erased the contents of her personal email server, created and used in violation of the National Records Act and State Department rules, because she would rather “take the heat” from destroying information under subpoena and sought by congressional investigators than suffer the political and possibly criminal consequences of the truth about her Benghazi activities.

Attkisson said, “To me this all points to Benghazi and things she did not want to turn over and did not turn over, communications regarding the story that the administration most wants to go away, most wants to controversialize, and most wants to say its a non story. I think that is what it says”

From emails that have been uncovered, and which were addressed to her personal email server, it is clear that she lied to Congress and the American people when she said that she was unaware of the perilous security around our Benghazi diplomatic mission and that while all State Department emails and cables were addressed to her, not all made it to her desk:

Clinton has long denied being in the loop about mounting dangers in Benghazi and her agency’s rejection of security requests from U.S. personnel, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attacks. Though Clinton was sent multiple cables about security prior to the assaults, she explained that she got far too many to read.

“They are all addressed to me,” Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January 2013. “They do not all come to me. They are reported through the bureaucracy.”

The newly reported emails differ from the cables in that they were sent directly to Clinton’s personal email server and, in some cases, were from one of her top aides.

As Shannen W. Coffin points out in National Review, the Federal Records Act and the State Department’s own rules prohibits her keeping of official government emails on her personal server and destruction of records under subpoena also constitutes obstruction of justice. And if she signed form OF-109, which she should have done or been asked to do, she committed perjury:

As Shannen W. Coffin, a contributing editor at National Review and senior lawyer at both the White House and Justice Department under President George W. Bush, points out, a provision titled “Removal Procedures” requires departing federal employees to relinquish any classified materials at the time of departure and to clear the removal through records-management officials….

She doesn’t get to return 55,000 pages of documents nearly impossible to search years later. That she returned these materials in paper form, not an electronically searchable form, is a deliberate attempt to slow down and obstruct any investigation.

If an employee violates the terms of the Form OF-109 she or he has signed, that act is punishable by Section 18 U.S.C. § 1001 of the criminal code, which makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully falsify or conceal facts made in statements to federal agencies concerning matters under their jurisdiction.

The recent Chinese hacking of government personnel records raises the possibility that foreign hackers were well aware of every jot and tittle of Hillary’s activities as Secretary of State, which means she was putting her personal political ambitions above national security. After all, this information was being kept on a personal and unsecured server.

If you’re running for President and had culpability in the deaths of four Americans, including the first U.S. Ambassador killed on duty in three decades, you have a powerful motive to hide and or destroy records that could prove politically and criminally embarrassing. As Attkisson has noted, Hillary’s “plumbers” worked feverishly to keep documents hidden from the Accountability Review Board (ARB) during her tenure as Secretary of State:

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, one of four placed on administrative leave and then reinstated, told former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, now at the Daily Signal, of a weekend operation in a State Department basement office to filter out and hide any damaging documents from ARB that might put the State Department and its top diplomat, Hillary Clinton, in a bad light.

Attkisson reports that Maxwell was working at State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, and his duties included gathering documents and emails relevant to the Benghazi probe when a State Department office director reportedly told Maxwell of the basement group’s marching orders.

“She told me,” Maxwell told Attkisson, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks (of documents) and pull out anything that might put anybody in the (Near Eastern Affairs) front office on the seventh floor in a bad light.'”

Liar, liar, pantsuit on fire. Hillary Clinton even lied about the terrorist attack in Benghazi being caused by a video to the parents of the dead in front of their son’s caskets at their bodies were returned home. If Richard Nixon lost his presidency due to an 18 ½ minute gap on a tape, Hillary’s willful destruction of incriminating evoidence should qualify her only for an orange jumpsuit.

Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

Explosive Judicial Watch docs reveals Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton lied about Benghazi

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After a two year fight (that isn’t over), Judicial Watch released documents it obtained through an FOIA request that shows the intelligence community knew the nature of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi as well as the perpetrators, within 24 hours of the death of Ambassador Stevens.

The anti-Mohammed video was never mentioned.

Here’s John Hinderaker’s thorough report:

Despite the redactions, some of the documents are bombshells. This one was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the White House’s National Security Council on September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack. It says, among other things:

The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

This report also describes the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the Benghazi attack:

The attack on the American consulate in Benghazi was planned and executed by the Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BOAR). [Ed.: Rahman is the Blind Sheikh.] BCOAR is also responsible for past attacks on the Red Cross in Benghazi and the attack on the British ambassador, they have approximately 120 members.

So much for Hillary’s infamous “Was it because of a protest or because of guys out for a walk one night who decide to kill some Americans…?” So much, too, for the scapegoat video.

Here’s a link to the document.

While this is certainly a bombshell, it is not a smoking gun. Recall the narrative put out by the administration; that intelligence was confusing in the days following the Benghazi attack. This memo is clearly marked “Information report, not finally evaluated intelligence.” The administration will claim that this was just one of several reports they received, many of them contradictory, about what happened in Benghazi.

But it’s also clear that the administration cherry picked reports to buttress their claims of confusion, and latched on to at least one report that blamed the “spontaneous attack” on the video. They chose to believe the video was at fault.

Also, there has been speculation for years about the reason Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. This document apparently confirms that Stevens was there to track weapons flowing from chaotic Libya to rebels in Syria:

Other just-revealed documents are also significant. A DOD document confirms that in October 2012, the U.S. knew that weapons were being shipped from Benghazi to Syria for use in the civil war there. It has long been rumored that Ambassador Chris Stevens was in Benghazi for reasons having to do with the flow of weapons out of that city:

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the (Qaddafi) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

There is also another document that eerily describes how Islamic State would rise.

Why did the administration refuse to accept this report, and others like it, that blamed the attack on Islamist terrorists who deliberately planned the attack days in advance? To this day, they insist the video had something to do with the attack and that it was carried out by local militias with no ties to international terror groups. Obviously, politics is playing a big role in the continuation of this false narrative. But ideology is also at work to undermine the truth. These people actually believe their own propaganda about how great they’re doing against terrorism. So when reports like this are presented, they are ignored in favor of other intelligence that comports with their worldview.

Report: Egypt Preparing Large Assault Against ISIS in Libya Despite Opposition From Obama

Egypt is getting ready to launch a large air and ground attack against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in eastern Libya DebkaFile reports, quoting military and intelligence sources.

The Obama administration is reportedly opposed to the operation.

“Egypt is massing large-scale ground and air forces in the Western Desert along the Libyan border, in preparation for a military campaign to capture eastern Libya — Cyrenaica — from the Islamist State of Syria and Iraq — ISIS — occupation,” reports DebkaFile.

“The substantial naval and marine forces assembling at Egypt’s Mediterranean ports indicate the possible launching of the offensive by dropping Egyptian marines on the Libyan coast around Derna (pop: 100,000), which ISIS has made its provincial capital,” it added. “They may be accompanied by simultaneous landings of paratroops from the air.”

Some officials have warned that ISIS may use Libya to launch attacks against Europe.

The DebkaFile report notes that the Obama administration is against a direct invasion of Libya by Egypt, but would support Cairo taking action through local Libyan militias.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi was not convinced by CIA Director John Brennan who related Obama’s position on April 19.

“President El-Sisi was not surprised to hear from the CIA director that the Obama administration objects to a direct Egyptian invasion of Libya, but would not oppose Cairo acting through local Libyan militias,” said DebkaFile.

“Brennan leaned hard on the Egyptian president to follow Washington’s line, but El-Sisi refused,” it added later.

President El-Sisi did tell the CIA director that he does not plan to keep the Egyptian army in Libya. He is planning to pull his troops out after the jihadists are defeated. Ultimately, El-Sisi said he would hand power back to the elected Libyan government.

ISIS’ presence in eastern Libya and Sinai poses an unacceptable threat to El-Sisi’s country, noted the report.

“He has been warned in a number of intelligence reports that the Islamic State’s terrorists have already penetrated some Egyptian towns and even infiltrated certain army units,” it said.

ISIS is reportedly beefing up its presence in eastern Libya with reinforcements from Syria and Iraq to counter Egypt’s planned assault.

“From Syria, they are traveling by air or sea through the Mediterranean; from Iraq, through the Sinai Peninsula, whence oil and drug rings smuggle them across the Suez Canal and Egypt,” said DebkaFile.

Libya has been engulfed in unrest since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and executed in 2011 with the support of the Obama administration. Various tribes, militias, and political groups are competing for power in Libya.

The country has been split by two warring factions. One is led by the elected government operating out of Tobruk and the other by militias in Tripoli.

The Obama administration and other Western nations have been reluctant to intervene.

Egypt, without the support of the U.S., launched airstrikes against ISIS targets in Libya after the jihadist group beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians.

Egypt calls on anti-IS coalition to intervene in Libya

The US-led alliance has previously launched military action against the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq, but not in Libya
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An F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet, attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213, prepare to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) to conduct strike missions against ISIL targets, in the Arabian Gulf in this U.S. Navy handout photograph provided September 23, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
 
An aide to Egypt’s foreign minister has called on the US-led international coalition against Islamic State (IS) to intervene against the militant group in Libya, as it has previously done in Syria and Iraq.

Ambassador Abdel-Rahman Salah said that “terrorism should be dealt with comprehensively wherever it exists”, according to a foreign ministry statement issued on Thursday.

Salah, who took part in a meeting with the anti-IS alliance in Jordan on Wednesday, said that any military action against the militant group should aim to crush it, not merely force it to move its base of operations.

Since last summer, the anti-IS alliance have launched airstrikes against IS in Syria and Iraq, but not in Libya.

Over the last months, IS has emerged as a participant in the Libyan conflict, as two rival governments – one internationally recognised in Al-Bayda, the other Islamist in Tripoli – and their allied militias continue to fight for control of the country.

In mid-February, Egypt launched air strikes on IS group targets in Libya’s Derna in cooperation with the Libyan army, in response to IS publishing a video of the beheading of 20 Coptic Egyptians, allegedly near Tripoli.

Egypt has also pushed for a Security Council resolution to lift a four-year arms embargo on the internationally-backed Libyan government, so that it can fight IS militants.

The Supreme Council of Cyberspace

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