Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links
Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited “around 25″ men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”.
Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.
His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad’s president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, “including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries”.
Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against “the foreign invasion” in Afghanistan, before being “captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan”. He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008.
US and British government sources said Mr al-Hasidi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which killed dozens of Libyan troops in guerrilla attacks around Derna and Benghazi in 1995 and 1996. /Full piece
From Al Jazeera Libya Live 27th
10:11am [Libyan democracy at work.]
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, in an interview with the local La Repubblica daily on Sunday, set out the broad outlines of a diplomatic plan to resolve the crisis in Libya that could include exile for Gaddafi.
“After the whole of Europe and the United Nations have said that the colonel is no longer an acceptable interlocutor, we cannot envisage a solution in which he would stay in power,” he said.
Frattini said the plan would include a UN-monitored ceasefire, wide consultations with Libya’s many tribal groups and “a permanent humanitarian corridor which we are already working on with the Turkish government.”
Rebels fighting forces loyal to Gaddafi were in control of the key eastern oil town of Ras Lanuf on Sunday, AFP correspondents reported.
Since retaking Ajdabiya on Saturday, opposition rebels now also claim control of Brega and Uqayla.
Al Jazeera’s James Bays reported from Uqayla, where opposition rebels had taken control. He said the recent advances made by anti-Gaddafi fighters could prove problematic for western coalition forces.
“ The coalition forces can say everything they are doing is aimed at protecting civilians. But now it’s not Gaddafi forces who are advancing, it’s opposition forces advancing. The next big place on the map after Ras Lanuf is Sirte. Now that is a big city, it’s Gaddafi’s stronghold. If opposition fighters start advancing on that, how can you say it’s Gaddafi’s forces who are threatening civilians? Gaddafi’s forces will be the ones holding the ground, and those that are advancing would be the opposition fighters. [It will be] much harder I think for the coalition then to act in favour of the opposition in the terms of that UN resolution.”
12:40pm [Open admission that it is about regime change, a coup by the coalition for islamic activists and extremists]
Ambassadors from the 28-nation alliance NATO will meet on Sunday.
They look set to agree to take command of military operations against Muammar Gaddafi as France fights to keep political control in the hands of the US-led “coalition of the willing”, the AFP news agency reported.
At present, the transatlantic organisation is manning naval operations to enforce an arms embargo against the Tripoli regime, and has agreed to take to the air to enforce a no-fly zone to protect civilians against bombings.
There are reports Libyan rebels have taken back control of the town of Bin Jawad, about 525km east of Tripoli, as they push forward towards Gaddafi’s stronghold of Sirte on Sunday, according to Reuters.
The latest advance puts pro-democracy fighters firmly in control of all oil terminals in eastern Libya – Es Sider, Ras Lanuf, Brega, Zueitina, Ajdabiya and Tobruk.
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton told a CBS programme aired on Sunday that the US will not get involved in Syria in the same way it has in Libya because she said each case was unique.
[They have mono planes less than 40 years old...]
According to Reuters news agency, US defence secretary Robert Gates told the same programme the US had seen signs that Gaddafi’s forces were retreating to the west following US air strikes.
Eyewitnesses say pro-Gaddafi forces have resumed shelling the rebel-held city of Misurata, ending a brief lull in fighting following air raids by international forces.
Libyan rebels have said they plan to start exporting oil from fields in their territory “in less than a week”, and said the Gulf nation of Qatar will market the crude.
A rebel representative, Ali Tarhoni, said he signed a contract with Qatar recently and the deal will ensure “access to liquidity in terms of foreign denominated currency”.
A army officer says NATO has begun to execute the no-fly zone operations over Libya and impose a naval arms embargo.
Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, the Canadian general in charge of NATO operations codenamed “Operation Unified Protector”, said on Sunday:
“ Along with its non-NATO partners, NATO will do everything it can to deny any use of air power and it will do so with care and precision to avoid harming the people of Libya.
Our current mission is to close Libya’s airspace to all flights except aid and humanitarian flights.”
So will the coalition now return to to the defined mission rather than fighting the war for the insurgents?
———–Those of limited attention span notice, 8 or 9 paragraphs follow————-
Comment on this Commenter aswasizziz
The bleeding heart fascists don’t like it when anyone mentions depleted uranium.
In addition to what has been used so far, when the American tankbusters get into action then there is going to be a lot more DU hardened munition being used.
At a time when Fukushima is still spewing radioactivity the west starts another radioactive dirty war with fatal consequences for future generation.
Depleted uranium: a strange way to protect Libyan civilians
“In the first 24 hours of the Libyan attack, US B-2s dropped forty-five 2,000-pound bombs. These massive bombs, along with the Cruise missiles launched from British and French planes and ships, all contained depleted uranium (DU) warheads.
DU is the waste product from the process of enriching uranium ore. It is used in nuclear weapons and reactors. Because it is a very heavy substance, 1.7 times denser than lead, it is highly valued by the military for its ability to punch through armored vehicles and buildings. When a weapon made with a DU tip strikes a solid object like the side of a tank, it goes straight through it, then erupts in a burning cloud of vapor. The vapor settles as dust, which is not only poisonous, but also radioactive.
An impacting DU missile burns at 10,000 degrees C. When it strikes a target, 30% fragments into shrapnel. The remaining 70% vaporises into three highly-toxic oxides, including uranium oxide. This black dust remains suspended in the air and, according to wind and weather, can travel over great distances. If you think Iraq and Libya are far away, remember that radiation from Chernobyl reached Wales.
Particles less than 5 microns in diameter are easily inhaled and may remain in the lungs or other organs for years. Internalized DU can cause kidney damage, cancers of the lung and bone, skin disorders, neurocognitive disorders, chromosome damage, immune deficiency syndromes and rare kidney and bowel diseases. Pregnant women exposed to DU may give birth to infants with genetic defects. Once the dust has vaporised, don’t expect the problem to go away soon. As an alpha particle emitter, DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years.
In the ’shock and awe’ attack on Iraq, more than 1,500 bombs and missiles were dropped on Baghdad alone. Seymour Hersh has claimed that the US Third Marine Aircraft Wing alone dropped more than “five hundred thousand tons of ordnance”. All of it DU-tipped.
Al Jazeera reported that invading US forces fired two hundred tons of radioactive material into buildings, homes, streets and gardens of Baghdad. A reporter from the Christian Science Monitor took a Geiger counter to parts of the city that had been subjected to heavy shelling by US troops. He found radiation levels 1,000 to 1,900 times higher than normal in residential areas. With its population of 26 million, the US dropped a one-ton bomb for every 52 Iraqi citizens or 40 pounds of explosives per person.
William Hague has said that we are in Libya ” to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas”.You don’t have to look far for who and what are being ‘protected’.
In that first 24 hours the ‘Allies’ ‘expended’ £100 million on DU-tipped ordnance. The European Union’s arms control report said member states issued licences in 2009 for the sale of £293.2 million worth of weapons and weapons systems to Libya. Britain issued arms firms licences for the sale of £21.7 million worth of weaponry to Libya and were also paid by Colonel Gadaffi to send the SAS to train his 32nd Brigade.
For the next 4.5 billion years, I’ll bet that William Hague will not be holidaying in North Africa.”
Some of Daniel Hannan’s recent posts:
What will it take to make broadcasters notice the MEP corruption scandal? The involvement of a Tory?
(The comments are more enlightening.)
Britain’s share of the Portuguese bail-out could wipe out half of all the government’s spending cuts
MEPs draw up bail-out rules ‘to avoid referendums in certain member states.
As corrupt as the banksters they serve.
From aswasizziz, another DT Libya Live commenter
Let's step back a couple of years to when the DT told us of President Sarkozy's plans for a Mediterranean Union and the resistance to those plans by Colonel Gadaffi who warned that it was a recipe for disaster and would lead to an increase in islamic extremism and uncontrolled immigration into Europe.
Gaddafi attacks Sarkozy plan for Union of the Med
Nicolas Sarkozy's plans for a Mediterranean Union will fuel Islamist terrorism and will be regarded as "imperialism" by many in Africa and the Arab world, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi warned yesterday.
By Bruno Waterfield in Tripoli 12:41AM BST 10 Jul 2008
The comments by the Libyan leader are a major setback to the French President's Mediterranean project, his highest-profile initiative during France's turn at the European Union's six-month rotating presidency which began last week.
Mr Sarkozy has invited all the EU's 27 leaders plus premiers from 17 Mediterranean countries to a summit launching the new "Union" in Paris next week.
But Libya, which will boycott the meeting, has accused the EU of trying to divide Africa and the broader Arab world by drawing a Mediterranean Union map that echoes old colonialist designs for the region.
"We shall have another Roman empire and imperialist design," Col Gaddafi said in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, yesterday. "There are imperialist maps and designs that we have already rolled up. We should not have them again."
Speaking at the Bab Alazizya palace, the same building that was attacked by US fighter planes over 20 years ago in retaliation for a Libyan-sponsored bombing in Berlin, Col Gaddafi predicted that that the EU blueprint for the Mediterranean will be a pretext for a new generation of terrorists.
"I believe this project of the Union for the Mediterranean would increase illegal migration and terrorism and give a justification to Islamist extremists to step up Jihad attacks. These extremists would explain it as crusade against Islam and European colonisation," he said.
"They will talk about jihad in Europe. This project is frightening. This project is dangerous.
"They will interpret it as a new crusade to contain Muslim forces. They will see it as a new colonialism and they will accuse the Arabs that they are traitors, who have abandoned principles and sold out their countries."
Col Gaddafi is angry that original plans to build closer co-operation among a only few southern European and North African states that border the Mediterranean were changed to include the whole EU, the Middle East - and Israel - in the new "Union".
"It is unbelievable that I would come to my own country and people and say that I have a union with Israel. It is very dangerous," he said.
"We Arabs have not been able to unite together. How can we have a union with Scotland or Scandinavia or Israel?"
Germany had blocked Mr Sarkozy's first plan for a Union involving Portugal, France, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Malta, all European countries bordering the Mediterranean, with North African countries and Turkey because Berlin feared dividing the EU.
Col Gaddafi, along with other Arab and Middle Eastern leaders, has felt left out of discussions in Brussels over the Mediterranean Union's membership, scope and subordination to the wider EU.
"They ask us just to come and sign it. That is just an insult," he said.
"They decide and then they tell us. The headquarters will be in Brussels. Should I come and say I handed over the capital city of my country to Brussels?"
Mr Sarkozy is hoping that he can focus the Union for the Mediterranean on concrete and non-controversial issues such as maritime co-operation, tackling pollution, solar energy projects and "civil security co-operation".
"I predict this project will be a complete failure," said Col Gaddafi.
A French official said: "The Libyans are the only country that is not sending the head of government of state but it is sending a representative."
The puppet show in Libya has been set - here are the actors..
The interim Transitional Council members
The Council is composed of thirty one (31) members representing the various regions and cities of Libya. A number of these members have been named while the names of those representing Ajdabiya, Al Kufrah, Ghat, Nalut, Misratah, Az Zintan and Az Zawiya will not be declared for safety reasons. The Council is eagerly awaiting for the naming of representatives from Central and Southern Libya and Tripoli.
1. Counselor: Mustafa Mohammed Abdul Jalil as chairman of The Council.
2. Mr. Othman Suleiman El-Megyrahi (Batnan Area)
3. Mr. Ashour Hamed Bourashed (Darna City)
4. Dr. Abdelallah Moussa El-myehoub (Qouba Area)
5. Mr. Zubiar Ahmed El-Sharif (Representative of the political prisoners)
6. Mr. Ahmed Abduraba Al-Abaar (Benghazi City)
7. Mr.Dr. Fathi Mohamed Baja (Benghazi City)
8. Mr. Abdelhafed Abdelkader Ghoga (Benghazi City)
9. Mr Fathi Tirbil and Dr. Salwa Fawzi El-Deghali (Representative of youth and women)
It was also announced that Mr. Omar Al Hariri will be responsible for for military affairs in the council, and Mr. Mahmood Jibril and Ali Al Issawi as being responsible for foreign affairs and international liaison.
The appointed chairman:
Mustafa Abdul Jalil Fudail was born in the city of Bayda, east Libya in 1952. He graduated from the department of Shari’a and Law in the Arabic Language and Islamic Studies faculty from The Libyan University in 1975. AbdulJalil was appinted assistant to the Secretary of the Public Prosecutor in the city of Al Bayda, then he was appointed a judge in 1978, then a consultant in 1996. In 2002, he was appointed President of the Court Applea, then President of the Court in Al Bayda before being picked as the Jusice minister in 2007 till February 2011
Codewit news http://www.codewit.com/asia/26...
To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal." – Henry Kissinger
From the very beginning of the Libyan uprising/coup, call it what you will, something didn’t strike me as ‘right’, events unfolded in a vacuum as if overnight, chaos took over. As I reported in an earlier piece, all the videos coming out of Libya, were grainy unattributed snatches of events, it was impossible to tell what was really going on, and accompanied by all manner of rumours about what it was alleged Ghadifi’s regime was doing.
Fertile ground for turning fiction into ‘fact’ and, as it has transpired, much of the current hysteria in the Western media rests on two, key rumours that surfaced almost concurrently with the uprising itself:
1. The ‘ African mercenaries’
2. Libyan Airforce bombing civilians
The revelation that Russian military satellites reported no Libyan airstrikesas well as the now all but vanished ‘African mercenaries’ rumour all leads me to suspect that the US/UK meddling in the internal affairs of Libya is at the root of the uprising. If not directly implicated then at the least ‘assisting’ via its various fronts, especially the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, a CIA-NED front organization based in Washington DC created during the Cold War period, and itself the source of rumours concerning what was actually going on during those crucial first few days of the uprising. It’s the Empire up to its usual old dirty tricks…
…Not surprisingly, most of the so-called Left in the West has fallen for it all over again, just as they did over the dismemberment of Yugoslavia.
...Abu Mazen agreed to postpone the vote because the Israelis threatened to release the “tapes” showing him coordinating the attack on Gaza with Israel
It appears the coalition will continue fighting the war for the insurgents.
AlJ (GMT+2) http://blogs.aljazeera.net/liv...
More on those explosions reported in Sirte by AFP:
The nine blasts were heard between 6:20am and 6:35am, and occured as warplanes flew overheard, indicating that they were likely caused by coalition airstrikes.
AFP reports that other than those strikes, and two explosions reported on Sunday evening, the city was "quiet", and appeared deserted.
Reuters reports that according to a foreign journalist in the city, it is still in government hands, contradicting the opposition's claims.
Al Jazeera has so far not been able to independently verify whether or not the city has been taken.
0815: The Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen insists the alliance is not taking sides despite repeatedly targeting pro-Gaddafi forces and enabling the dramatic rebel advance. Pressed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme he said
rebels could theoretically come under attack themselves if they put the lives of civilians at risk.
A no fly zone and fighting a war for a third party are qualitatively different as is asassination. The no fly zone is an excuse used for the war and assassination attempts. Tripoli was not a threat to civilians when it was bombed.
Are Sirte civilians considered a threat to non Gaddafi civilians and therefore a target? Or is it Gaddafi properties being bombed?
Has the coalition people kill count exceeded Gaddafi's yet?
There are a number of aspects that give very strong indications that the coalition is guilty of war crimes.
Seems the insurgents are as honest and dependable as Cameron. Sirte is still in Libyan gov't control.
NATO, now in control has been accused of illegally taking sides. Sirte is threatened by armed forces yet NATO is bombing Sirte.
The justification for the coalition war against the Libyan government is the claim that Libyan forces were bombing Benghazi civilians. This was reinforced by a Libyan jet being shot down over Benghazi.
The jet was in insurgent hands and shot down by an insurgent surface to air missile.
The bombing of Benghazi is unsupported by Russian satellite observation according to Russian military sources.
A war started by fake evidence with fake justification.
Just another western "government" scam for reasons other than given to the UN. Oil, Libyan wealth as gold in the state bank and spread worldwide that is being steadily "frozen" or confiscated and the attempt to establish democracy, a pretext as the insurgents are headed by an islamic extremist and extremists are a significant part of the insurgent "army". Also rescuing Sarkozy's butt after allegations of Libyan sponsorship and arms and nuclear energy contracts signed by him. Dead men tell no tales, hence the bombing of Gaddafi's compound and the building that likely held intelligence information on Sarkozy and others.
As the US and the UK, probably the French have intelligence boots on the ground this must have been known.
I'm still waiting for western official reasons for bombing Sirte. The Libyan government forces are not threatening the citizenry in any way there.
The flood of migrants has begun. ~10,000 reached an island of S. Italy in 3 ships. Another 1200 from Tunisia is mentioned in the TV news.
NATO has said it will more tightly define the rules of engagement. That can only mean it agrees that criticism of the coalition acting as the insurgents' air force is justified. I doubt any will be held accountable - or at best sacrificial goats will be used. Bombing of Tripoli and Sirte, targetting Gaddafi, bombing civilian buildings and military compounds where civilians are not under any threat from Libyan government forces are way beyond the UN licence.
Qatar is aiding the coalition's policing of the "no fly zone" by sending a tanker of petrol to the coalition's insurgents who are running short of it dashing from city to city to show themselves where government forces have retreated.
The insurgents have been attacked 30 km outside Sirte. The claims of victory came from insurgent scouts who entered Sirte and found no government forces. I wonder what the insurgents' air force was bombing there?
Cameron needs to answer questions.
What are UK forces doing interfering in Libya's internal affairs, especially in view of the total lack of hard evidence of mass murder by bombing?
Why are UK forces siding with insurgents that give every appearance of being islamic extremists i.e. they are led by one and it has been admitted that fighters include those that opposed the US and UK in Iraq as well as al Qaeda elements?
The US has begun its withdrawal from participation now NATO seems to be getting its act together. The US propaganda machine has been busy (in the US) following challenges that Obama acted outside the US Constitution (as well as the UN Charter).
Nothing like that will happen in the UK as it is a one party state.