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Thursday, October 18

To what extent is Obama administration backing al Qaeda fighters in MENA?

Last week I explained in answer to a reader's question that the U.S. compound in Benghazi isn't a consulate, but I couldn't recall how the Obama administration had termed it in the early reports about the attack on the compound. Yesterday WND's Jerusalem Bureau Chief Aaron Klein, in his report This is what Benghazi 'consulate' really was filled in the blank; they'd termed it a "mission" or "U.S. mission." As to what the mission was doing in addition to reportedly functioning as a CIA listening post -- from Klein's report:
The U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya actually served as a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East, according to Middle Eastern security officials. Among the tasks performed inside the building was collaborating with Arab countries on the recruitment of fighters – including jihadists – to target Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.
Last month, WND [Klein] broke the story that Stevens played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials. Stevens served as a key contact with the Saudis to coordinate the recruitment by Saudi Arabia of Islamic fighters from North Africa and Libya. The jihadists were sent to Syria via Turkey to attack Assad’s forces, said the security officials.

The officials said Stevens also worked with the Saudis to send names of potential jihadi recruits to U.S. security organizations for review. Names found to be directly involved in previous attacks against the U.S., including in Iraq and Afghanistan, were ultimately not recruited by the Saudis to fight in Syria, said the officials.
As WND reported, questions remain about the nature of U.S. support for the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, including reports the U.S.-aided rebels that toppled Muammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya consisted of al-Qaida and jihad groups. The U.S. provided direct assistance, including weapons and finances, to the Libyan rebels.

Similarly, the Obama administration is currently aiding the rebels fighting Assad’s regime in Syria amid widespread reports that al-Qaida jihadists are included in the ranks of the Free Syrian Army. Earlier this month, Obama announced $50 million more in aid to the Syrian rebels.

During the revolution against Gadhafi’s regime the U.S. admitted to directly arming the rebel groups. At the time rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi admitted in an interview that a significant number of the Libyan rebels were al-Qaida fighters, many of whom had fought U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but he added that the “members of al-Qaida are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.”

Adm. James Stavridis, NATO supreme commander for Europe, admitted Libya’s rebel force may include al-Qaida: “We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al-Qaida, Hezbollah.”

Former CIA officer Bruce Riedel went even further, telling the Hindustan Times: “There is no question that al-Qaida’s Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition. It has always been Gadhafi’s biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi. What is unclear is how much of the opposition is al-Qaida/Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – 2 percent or 80 percent.”

In Syria, meanwhile, the U.S. may be currently supporting al-Qaida and other jihadists fighting with the rebels targeting Assad’s regime.

In August, WND quoted a senior Syrian source claiming at least 500 hardcore mujahedeen from Afghanistan, many of whom were spearheading efforts to fight the U.S. there, were killed in clashes with Syrian forces last month.

Also last month, WND reported Jihadiya Salafia in the Gaza Strip, a group that represents al-Qaida in the coastal territory, had declared three days of mourning for its own jihadists who died in Syria in recent weeks.

There have been widespread reports of al-Qaida among the Syrian rebels, including in reports by Reuters and the New York Times.

WND reported in May there was growing collaboration between the Syrian opposition and al-Qaida as well as evidence the opposition is sending weapons to jihadists in Iraq [emphasis mine], according to an Egyptian security official.

The military official told WND that Egypt has reports of collaboration between the Syrian opposition and three al-Qaida arms, including one the operates in Libya [...]
Somehow I don't think the U.S. use of al Qaeda fighters is Zenpundit's idea of America's "Light Footprint" Era.  Nor do I think that when Tom Dispatch's Nick Turse reported on the "surrogate" army the U.S. was building from "native' forces as part of the light footprint era he envisioned that would include using al Qaeda as surrogates.

If all the above sounds vaguely familiar, reference U.S. use of Pakistan's military (and the House of Saud) to train Afghan mujahideen in order to stick it to the Soviet Union:
[President Carter's] National Security Advisor Brzezinski, known for his hardline policies on the Soviet Union, initiated in 1979 a campaign supporting mujaheddin in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which was run by Pakistani security services with financial support from the Central Intelligence Agency and Britain's MI6.This policy had the explicit aim of promoting radical Islamist and anti-Communist forces.
Carter and Brzezinski started a $3–4 billion covert program of training insurgents in Pakistan and Afghanistan as a part of the efforts to foil the Soviets' apparent plans. Carter's diplomatic policies towards Pakistan in particular changed drastically. The administration had cut off financial aid to the country in early 1979 when religious fundamentalists, encouraged by the prevailing Islamist military dictatorship over Pakistan, burnt down a U.S. Embassy based there.
Don't they ever learn? Sure they do, which is why I'm wondering what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama are up to. I hasten to add I'd be relieved to learn those Washington versions of Bonnie and Clyde hatched a devilishly clever plot. The alternative -- that they're so clueless they think it's a great idea to help topple regimes unfriendly to the Muslim Brotherhood by arming and financing al Qaeda fighters -- would cause me to relocate to Switzerland.


How to apply for Swiss Citizenship.
thank you lol
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