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'Our Man in Tripoli': US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya's Pro-Democracy Opposition

Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

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There are various factions within the Libyan opposition: Royalists, defectors from the Qadhafi regime including the Minister of Justice and more recently the Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa, members of the Libyan Armed Forces, the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL) and the National Conference for the Libyan Opposition (NCLO) which acts as an umbrella organization.  

Rarely acknowledged by the Western media, Al-Jamaa al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi Libya, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), is an integral part of the Libyan Opposition.

The Libyan Interim Council does not constitute a clearly defined entity. It is based on the representation from newly created local councils established to "manage daily life in the liberated cities and villages". (The Libyan Interim National Council » The Council’s statement)

Opposition forces are in large part made up of an untrained civilian militia, former members of the Libyan armed forces, together with the trained paramilitary Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

The Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which is aligned with Al Qaeda, is in the frontline of the armed insurrection.

The Al Qaeda Network as an Instrument of US-NATO Intervention

Both the LIFG as an entity as well as its individual members are categorized by the UN Security Council as terrorists. According to the US Treasury: "The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group threatens global safety and stability through the use of violence and its ideological alliance with al Qaida and other brutal terrorist organizations" (Treasury Designates UK-Based Individuals, Entities Financing Al Qaida -Affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group - US Fed News Service, February 8, 2006).

Concepts are turned upside down. Both Washington and NATO, which claim to be waging a "War on Terrorism", are supporting a "pro-democracy movement" integrated by members of a terrorist organization.

In a cruel irony, Washington and the Atlantic Alliance are acting in defiance of their own anti-terrorist laws and regulations. 

Moreover, support under "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P) to opposition forces integrated by terrorists is implemented pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which is blatant violation of UNSC resolution 1267. The latter identifies the Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), as a terrorist organization.

In other words, the UN Security Council is in clear violation not only of the UN Charter but of its own resolutions. (The Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee - 1267).

Historical Origins of The Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)

Amply documented, the "Islamic jihad" has been covertly supported by the CIA since the onslaught of the Soviet-Afghan war. (See Michel Chossudovsky, America's "War on Terrorism", Global Research, Montreal, 2005).

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), using Pakistan's military Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), played a key role in training the Mujahideen. In turn, the CIA-sponsored guerrilla training was integrated with the teachings of Islam:

"In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166,...[which] authorize[d] stepped-up covert military aid to the Mujahideen, and it made clear that the secret Afghan war had a new goal: to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal. The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies -- a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987... as well as a "ceaseless stream" of CIA and Pentagon specialists who traveled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan's ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There the CIA specialists met with Pakistani intelligence officers to help plan operations for the Afghan rebels." (Steve Coll, Washington Post, July 19, 1992)

The Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya, was founded in Afghanistan by Veteran Libyan Mujahideens of the Soviet-Afghan war.

From the outset in  the early to mid-1990s, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) performed the role of an "intelligence asset" on behalf of the CIA and Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. Starting in 1995, the LIFG was actively involved in waging an Islamic Jihad directed against the secular Libyan regime, including a 1996 attempted assassination of Muamar Qadhafi. 

"Former MI5 operative, David Shayler, revealed that while he was working on the Libya desk in the mid-1990s, British secret service personnel collaborated with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which is connected to one of Osama bin Laden’s trusted lieutenants. LIFG is now considered a terrorist group in the United Kingdom." (Gerald A. Perreira, British Intelligence Worked with Al Qaeda to Kill Qaddafi, Global Research, March 25, 2011, emphasis added)

Guerrilla-style terrorist attacks, allegedly with the support of MI6, were routinely conducted against Libyan government security forces, police and military personnel:

"Fierce clashes between [Qadhafi's] security forces and Islamist guerrillas erupted in Benghazi in September 1995, leaving dozens killed on both sides. After weeks of intense fighting, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) formally declared its existence in a communiqué calling Qadhafi's government "an apostate regime that has blasphemed against the faith of God Almighty" and declaring its overthrow to be "the foremost duty after faith in God." This and future LIFG communiqués were issued by Libyan Afghans who had been granted political asylum in Britain... The involvement of the British government in the LIFG campaign against Qadhafi remains the subject of immense controversy. LIFG's next big operation, a failed attempt to assassinate Qadhafi in February 1996 that killed several of his bodyguards, was later said to have been financed by British intelligence to the tune of $160,000, according to ex-MI5 officer David Shayler. While Shayler's allegations have not been independently confirmed, it is clear that Britain allowed LIFG to develop a base of logistical support and fundraising on its soil. At any rate, financing by bin Laden appears to have been much more important. According to one report, LIFG received up to $50,000 from the Saudi terrorist mastermind for each of its militants killed on the battlefield." [2005] (Quoted in Peter Dale Scott, Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons? Global Research, March 2011, emphasis added) 

There are contradictory reports as to whether the LIFG is part of Al Qaeda or is acting as an independent jihadist entity. One report suggests that in 2007 the LIFG became "a subsidiary of al Qaeda, later assuming the name of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).(See Webster Tarpley, The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq, Global Research, March 2011)

Continuity in US and Allied Intelligence Operations: Al Qaeda Operatives in Yugoslavia

Since the Soviet-Afghan war, the Al Qaeda network has served as an "intelligence asset" for the CIA. Confirmed by a 1997 US Senate document, Al Qaeda operatives were used by the Clinton administration to channel support to the Bosnian Muslim Army in the early 1990s. (See US Senate, Republican Party Committee, Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base,, 1998)

Amply documented, The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which was supported by NATO, had developed extensive ties to the Islamic terror network. (US Senate, Republican Party Committee, The Clinton Administration Sets Course for NATO Intervention in Kosovo, 1998,, See also Michel Chossudovsky, America's "War on Terrorism", Global Research, Montreal, 2005).   

Al Qaeda in Yugoslavia served as an intelligence asset in the context of NATO's "humanitarian war". Terrorist organizations were covertly supported and funded. In 1999, the NATO intervention came to the rescue of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) which was integrated by Al Qaeda operatives. (US Republican Party Committee documents on Kosovo, op cit):   

"One of the most disturbing aspects of the present [terrorism] crisis [1998 in Kosovo] is that it may have been triggered by our own inept foreign policy in Bosnia and Kosovo. There, beyond all common sense, we find ourselves championing Muslim factions who draw support from the very Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups who are our mortal enemies elsewhere" (Col. Harry G. Summers, "Bringing terrorists to justice," Washington Times, December 8, 1998, emphasis added. The late Col. Harry G. Summers (USA-Ret.) (1932-1999) was a Distinguished Fellow at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA.)

Is Libya's Operation Odyssey Dawn part of a US-NATO pattern? Support an insurgency integrated by terrorists with a view to justifying intervention on humanitarian grounds to "save the lives of civilians"?

This was NATO's justification for intervening in Bosnia and Kosovo. What lessons for Libya?

Former Head of Libyan Intelligence "Double Agent" Moussa Koussa Defects to the UK

The LIFG was supported not only by the CIA and The British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) but also by factions within Libya's intelligence agency, led by former intelligence head and Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, who defected to the United Kingdom in late March 2011.

In October 2001, the head of Libyan Intelligence, Moussa Koussa, met Assistant U.S. Secretary of State William J. Burns. The Koussa-Burns encounter was of crucial importance. Present at the meetings were senior CIA and MI6 officials, including Sir John Scarlett, who at the time (October 2001) was head of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) of the Cabinet, reporting directly to Prime Minister Tony Blair. The JIC oversees, on behalf of the British government, the setting of intelligence priorities for MI6, MI5 and Defense Intelligence.


April 3, 2011