Saturday, July 30, 2011

Libya in Turmoil as Top Military Rebel Leader is Assassinated

Rebel military leader Abdul Fatah Younis has been killed, possibly by his own soldiers. Younis was called before a tribunal, after rumours circulated that he had maintained his connections with Gadhafi.

However, he was shot dead before he had a chance for a hearing.

Some are now saying that his murder was at the hands of one of the militia forces, that has ties to Al Qaeda.
After 24 hours of confusion, rebel minister Ali Tarhouni has declared that Gen Younes was killed by members of the Obaida Ibn Jarrah Brigade, a militia allied to the rebels and named after one of the companions of the Prophet Mohammad, suggesting that Islamist elements were involved.

The assassination of Gen Younes, apparently by his own side, has hurt the opposition just as it was winning broader international recognition and launching an offensive against Gaddafi forces in the west of the country.

The revelation that the militia responsible has Islamist leanings, and had been allowed to operate in the east of the country with apparent impunity, is a serious blow to the credibility of the rebel government, based in Benghazi, which Britain formally recognised last week as the legitimate leadership of Libya.
Their ties with Al Qaeda is not news.

Westpoint had made those connections several years ago.

According to the UK Telegraph:
The result of the present inquiry is that the Libyan branch of Al Qaeda represents a continuum with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group centered in Darnah and Benghazi. The ethnic base of the Libyan Islamic fighting group is apparently to be found in the anti-Qaddafi Harabi tribe, the tribe which makes up the vast majority of the rebel council including the two dominant rebel leaders, Abdul Fatah Younis [my emphasis] and Mustafa Abdul Jalil. The evidence thus suggests that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, the elite of the Harabi tribe, and the rebel council supported by Obama all overlap for all practical purposes.
According to journalist and peace activist, Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley:
The specific institutional basis for the recruitment of guerrilla fighters in northeastern Libya is associated with an organization which previously called itself the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). During the course of 2007, the LIFG declared itself an official subsidiary of al Qaeda, later assuming the name of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). As a result of this 2007 merger, an increased number of guerrilla fighters arrived in Iraq from Libya. According to Felter and Fishman, “The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qaeda, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qaeda on November 3, 2007.”8 This merger is confirmed by other sources: A 2008 statement attributed to Ayman al-Zawahiri claimed that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group has joined al-Qaeda
MacKay and Harper are so out of their league, but unfortunately, now have permission to continue the "mission" until there is a "regime change".

It would appear that we are getting involved in another tribal war, choosing our side poorly, by supporting a branch of Al Qaeda.

What a mess.


  1. Well, well, well. Isn't this the mess many of us worried it would be? This is so Afghanistanic I'm starting to see double. Time to recall the troops before we cause any more damage...

  2. This fracturing was bound to happen. The only viable solution ought to have been taken two months before NATO became involved. The Egyptian military, with its 240-modern F-16s and hundreds of the latest American M-1A1 Abrams tanks, should have been sent in (by Washington). The Egyptian/Libyan border is an area of cross-border tribes which were beset by Gaddafi. Egypt had a right to defend those tribes. It would have been an afternoon's work for them to suppress the Libyan air force and air defences and then an easy drive onto Tripoli for Egyptian tank columns.

    Egypt had every reason to topple Gaddafi, foremost among them, to facilitate a stable transition to a new government by acting quickly enough to prevent an Islamist challenge. These Islamists, including the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda, have been quite open in stating their designs on Egypt itself. Libya would be a great place for them to organize an insurgency against Egypt.

    I advocated this at the outset. Gwynne Dyer endorsed the same policy some 5-weeks later. Yet our demonstrably incompetent political and military leadership chose to oust Gaddafi with an air campaign. Beyond stupid.