Al-Qaeda Using Former “Secret” Base In Libya To Provide Aid To Syrian Jihadists

April 23, 2014 – San Francisco, CA – – According to a story broken by the Daily Beast’s Eli Lake, a Salafist and close ally of bin-Laden [Ibrahim Abu Bakr Tantoush] has turned a formerly covert American base in Libya into a conduit for channeling arms and personnel into Syria to aid the largely al-Qaeda affiliated foreign jihadists.

“…Last week, the Libyan press reported that the camp (named “27” for the kilometer marker on the road between Tripoli and Tunis) was now under the command of Ibrahim Ali Abu Bakr Tantoush , a veteran associate of Osama bin Laden who was first designated as part of al Qaeda’s support network in 2002 by the United States and the United Nations. The report said he was heading a group of Salifist fighters from the former Libyan base…” [source, Eli Lake, Jihadists Now Control Secretive U.S. Base in Libya]

Tantoush is admittedly in Libya, where he recently gave an interview to local media.

The al-Qaeda kingpin has a long history of jihadism having been indicted in 2000 for the bombing of American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

As the Gatestone Institute notes, another senior al-Qaeda operative is also in the country, planning attacks on Americans and American assets.

“…The leading jihadist commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar -- also known as Khalid Abu Al-Abbas, and by his nickname "Al-A'war" ("the one-eyed") -- is hiding in Libya. From there, according to security sources quoted in media reports , he is planning to mastermind terrorist attacks against Westerners and their interests across Africa's Sahel region. Belmokhtar, born in Algeria in 1972, and an Algerian citizen, was a key member of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM]. After an internal power struggle, he decided in December 2012 to form a new group, known as the Signatories in Blood…” [source, Anna Mahjar-Barducci, Libya: Jihadi Terror Leaders' Safest Haven, Gatestone Institute]

In a backhanded way seemingly confirming these reports, Deputy Secretary of State, Nick Burns has been dispatched to Libya:

“…Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns is in Tripoli, Libya to meet with senior Libyan officials, including interim Prime Minister Thanaie and General National Congress First Deputy President Ezzidine Mohammed Al-Awami, and to hear from civil society and political leaders on the full range of issues related to Libya's ongoing transition. This trip reaffirms U.S. support for the Libyan people as they work to achieve the aspirations of the revolution: a sovereign, democratic, prosperous, and secure country…” [ U.S. Dept. of State]

We have no idea what the hell Burns means by “…support for the Libyan people as they work to achieve the aspirations of the revolution,” since Team Obama destabilized the entire region with the ill-conceived ousting of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

In what has become typical for this WH, no effort was made to secure Gaddafi’s considerable stockpiles of heavy weapons as part of its “liberation” of Libya. As a result as many as 20,000 surface to air missiles have gone unaccounted for and are assumed to be in jihadist hands. [see, Ben Wedeman and Ingrid Formanek , Exclusive: Libyan Missiles Looted , CNN]

Judging by its record in this part of the world, one might think that Team Obama would discontinue its efforts to rely on a nonexistent governmental structure in Libya to restore order and perhaps start the process of killing the bad guys who seem to be operating out in the open in plain sight.

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