Category Archives: Benghazi

Sunni Awakening in Lebanon

Syria’s Civil War is leaking out of its borders into Lebanon. The two countries share a porous border and very close communal ties. Cross-border ties between Lebanese and Syrians have deep roots, and with the Syrian revolution unfolding, solidarity took on a political and paramilitary character.

The Sunni-Shiite faultline in Lebanon is being projected onto the Syrian civil war. As tensions between Sunnis and Shiites rise in Syria, so too do they mount in Lebanon.
Sunni militants in Lebanon view their jihad against the Shiite movement as a mirror image of the Syrian rebels’ fight against the Alawite-dominated regime of Assad. They see the Lebanon’s Shiite movement of Hezbullah and the Assad regime as both enemies of the Sunnis.


In 1970, Hafez al-Assad, an Alawite, took power in Syria. Some Shiites recognize Alawites as fellow Shiites, some do not.


Hezbollah ("Party of Allah") is a Shiite jihadist group and political party based in Lebanon

The Assad regime has a history of lashing out when it feels under siege, coupled with a tradition of violent interference in Lebanese affairs to destabilise its neighbor.

Border areas have been caught in the Syrian revolution, with weapons smuggling, refugee flows and attacks against Lebanese villages along the frontier coming from Sunnis or Shiites, depending on the villagers’ allegiances.


Source: UN agency report, "Revised Syria Regional Response Plan"

The stream of refugees (most of them living with Lebanese host families or finding sanctuary in public spaces and mosallahs) has had political and military consequences as Lebanese Sunnis, bearing witness to the increasing brutality of the Assad regime, step up their involvement.

In the early stages of the Syrian Civil War, which began in March 2011, Sunni support for the Syrian opposition only consisted of fiery speeches and sermons, of public demonstrations against the Assad regime, and of modest smuggling of light weapons. But as the conflict hardened, logistical assistance also was extended to Syrians seeking refuge in Lebanon. Over time, the influx of refugees and dissidents into north Lebanon changed the nature of the border areas’ involvement.


Source: UN agency report, "Revised Syria Regional Response Plan"

Clashes among Sunnis and Shiites have been on the rise in Lebanon, with the risk of cascading violence turning into a Lebanese-on-Lebanese struggle by the knock-on effects of sectarian conflict. Often in Lebanon, communal belongings coincide with religious ones. When a Sunnni or a Shiite is killed or kidnapped, the whole community won’t rest until it takes revenge. Mutual retaliation between Lebanese Sunnis and Shiites could easily become a vicious and unending circle of violence.
Heightened insecurity is leading many armed groups to take matters into their own hands, with tit-for-tat kidnappings and killings, and with the erection of roadblocks that impede critical transportation routes.

Each Lebanon’s faction -- either Sunni or Shiite -- wagers on success by one Syrian side or the other, waiting to translate the ensuing regional balance of power into a domestic one.

The Shiite movement Hezbollah can not contemplate a future with a Sunni-dominated Syrian regime. The Assad regime constitutes Hezbollah’s immediate strategic depth as well as the bridge connecting it to Iran. The relationship between the two allies became organic and even personal, between Bashar Assad and Hassan Nasrallah.

After Syria’s 2005 military withdrawal from Lebanon, Hezbollah’s political independence rose. An asymmetrical relationship grew into a strategic partnership.
On a strategic level, Hezbollah has been engaged in a common struggle against the March 14 Alliance, Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and France – which they believe are intent on defeating the Assad regime and Iran.


The March 14 Alliance is a coalition whose elements are united by their anti-Assad-regime stance.

Hezbollah doubted that the Arab uprisings -- from Egypt to Barhain -- would spread in Syria because the Assad regime was considered to be in tune with Arab sentiment about the U.S., Israel and the Palestinians.

"I personally believe that Syrian President Assad believes and is serious and determined about reform…. I know that he is ready to undertake very serious reforms but calmly, with care and responsibility. This factor influences our stance …. In Bahrain the regime was closed. Mubarak was closed. Qadhafi was closed. Zein Al Abideen Bin Ali was closed. In Syria the regime is not closed. On the contrary, he is saying: I am ready and I believe in reforms and I am serious and I want to carry them out …. The fall of the regime is an Israeli-US interest, aiming at getting Syria to sign any peace deal with Israel. … As a resistance movement against Israel, we are required to adopt a responsible stance that is committed to the security and stability of Syria as a government and people."
-- Sayyed Nasrallah, May 25th, 2011

Hezbollah also views any threat to the Assad regime as a threat directed at its principal ally, Iran. The Assad regime has been Iran’s closest strategic partner for the past three decades, its bridgehead to the Levant, and a country without which Tehran’s ability to supply Hezbollah would be severely diminished.


In June 2006, Iranian defence minister Najjar stated that Iran "considers Syria's security its own security, and we consider our defense capabilities to be those of Syria."

If Hezbollah has tied its fate to the Assad regime, it also has to safeguard its posture in Lebanon -- not only at present, but also in anticipation of a regime change in Damascus. That is why it has acquiesced in policies that went against the interests of the Assad regime, while providing that same regime with practical support on the ground, such as lending snipers to Assad forces and killing Syrian protesters. United-States officials assert that Damascus, Hezbollah and Iran are in close military cooperation, even forming an elite militia.

Conversely, the Sunni-dominated Future Movement (Tayyar Al-Mustaqbal) of Lebanon and its Sunni partners see no alternative to the Assad regime’s demise, however long it will take and no matter the costs.


The Future Movement is now led by Saudi-Lebanese Saad-eddine Rafiq Al-Hariri

.
Lebanese Sunnis view the Syrian civil war as an opportunity to seek revenge against the Assad regime, as well as a chance to challenge Hezbollah’s hegemony in Lebanon.


Source: http://www.kaloustian.eu/

Hezbollah continues to enjoy a lopsided military advantage in Lebanon over Sunnis, forcing them to think twice before challenging it. But confrontation would not serve the Shiite organisation, for it would attract further domestic and regional condemnation and isolation.

Sunnis are feeling gradually more emboldened, eager for revenge, while Shiites are feeling more and more exposed, fearful of their growing regional isolation.

"The emergence of Sunni power will change the balance of power in Lebanon"
-- Paul Salem (the director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon)

The Syrian uprising is helping Sunni jihadists in both Lebanon and Syria bolster their standing and mutual ties that had been debilitated in the 1980s. Solidarity with their embattled brethren has led Sunnis to turn regions of Lebanon into sanctuaries and transit points for the supply of weapons to Syrian rebel forces and for staging ground for attacks by those Syrian rebels. This has been the case in northern Lebanon, notably the border regions of Tripoli and Akkar.

Arms smuggling into Syria began as a commercial affair, but has expanded with the Future Movement using Turkey as the hub for supporting armed opposition groups. The price of weapons rose as a result of mounting demand.


Source: The Daily Star

The price of weapons rose also as pro-Assad Lebanese authorities intercepted several large arms shipments.

In April 2012, Lebanese authorities intercepted a cargo ship, the Sierra-Leone-registered Lutfallah II (لطف الله ٢), in Lebanese waters. The ship was carrying three containers of heavy and light weapons destined for the rebels in Syria, according to BBC, 29 April 2012.


After the entry of the ship Lutfallah II into Lebanese waters and its discovery on April 28, two other warehouses full of imported weapons ("heavy machine guns, shells, rockets, rocket launchers and other explosives") for the Syrian opposition were uncovered on the coast of Tripoli.

The ship is reported to have begun its voyage from Libya, stopped off in Alexandria in Egypt, and finally headed for the port of Tripoli in northern Lebanon, before it was intercepted.

Many ships have been reported leaving the Misurata port in Libya and heading towards Tripoli in Lebanon, using Egyptian ports for “transit.”

Russia Today reports Franklin Lamb saying "There is an eyewitness, Hassan Diab, who saw the ship Lutfallah II, carrying a Sierra Leone flag, being loaded in Benghazi, Libya. We know that Qatar and Saudi Arabia control five warehouses in the area of Benghazi. So the great suspicion is that the intercepted arms are from those left over from the Libya campaign."
"The boat went from Tripoli to Turkey, back down to Egypt and then to Libya, then to Tripoli, Lebanon. It was seized on the way there," Mr. Lamb said.

The news service Akhbar wrote that "informed Egyptian sources" reported that an Egyptian port police saw the Lutfallah II transiting through Alexandria.

The owner of the ship is named Mohammed Khafaji (محمد خفاجي), a resident of Damietta, Egypt, who works for KHAFAJI MARITIME Co., "one of the leading shipping companies in Middle East", privately established in 1999, which provides "world-wide shipping, Managing, and Chartering services."

Ten years ago, Mohammed Khafaji bought the German-built Lutfallah II, whose load is 3,900 tons, from Denmark. He then bought another five ships five years ago. He is suspected of human trafficking, of transporting his human cargo from Egypt to Greece, from where the trafficked persons would make their way into Europe through networks of commercial mafias.
As for Khafaji’s involvement in using his ship for arms smuggling, sources indicated to the Ahbar News Service that a voyage from the port of Alexandria to Tripoli normally costs around US$20,000.
The ship was only carrying three containers and the regular price per container is between US$1,500 and US$2,000. This means that the total market price he would have received for the trip to Tripoli would amount to no more than US$6,000.
Information about the ship was apparently obtained by an official Lebanese security agency while the weapons were being packed in Libya.
The manifest says that each of the three containers on board were carrying 31 tons, which is beyond the capacity of the containers.
Even more peculiar is that the ship’s number does not appear in the insurance documents, contrary to maritime transport regulations.

The owner of the shipping company, Motaweh Omar Rima, was in Saudi Arabia when he was contacted by a group of Syrian rebels asking him to support the “Syrian revolution.”
It came through a Lebanese person who said that the plan was to unload the shipment and transport it to pre-arranged locations in Akkar, from which it will be taken to Syria.

Sunni Lebanese jihadists coordinated with Syrian fighters to carry not only weapons, but also injured fighters into Lebanon in order to provide them with medical treatment. They established mobile clinics, offering treatment to the injured and arranging special transportation of the severely wounded to hospitals.


The black flag of Sunni islam, "There is no god but allah, muhammad is allah's messenger"

The Sunnis in the north of Lebanon harbour deep resentment towards the conduct of the Assad regime over the past decades and feel solidarity with their Syrian brethren. This anger and hostility has a longstanding history. In the early 1980s, the violent crackdown of the Assad regime against the Muslim Brotherhood pushed many Syrian Sunnis into northern Lebanon, where they were received and sheltered.

Between 1982 and 1985, Tripoli witnessed intense fighting pitting Sunni jihadi groups such as Al-Tawhid against the Syrian Army before the latter assumed control of the city.
During the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), Syrian security services and their Lebanese allies – including many Alawites – detained, tortured, killed and otherwise persecuted a lot of Lebanese Sunni jihadists.
In the course of the Assad regime’ post-war tutelage of Lebanon (1990-2005), Hezbollah’s ongoing empowerment coupled with the sidelining of Rafic Hariri, a Sunni leader, solidified the Sunnis' belief in their marginalisation.


Former Lebanese prime minister Rafic Baha El Deen Al-Hariri led the Future Movement. The billionaire tycoon reclaimed Beirut's architectural heritage from the shattered cityscape of a civil war and made it his mission to restore Lebanon's mercantile leadership.

Al-Hariri was assassinated in February 2005.

"Shortly after the blast, the Director of Al-Jazeera TV in Beirut received a telephone call from a man who stated that the Nasra and Jihad Group in Greater Syria claimed responsibility for the assassination of Mr. Hariri." (Source)

A Lebanese police officer and U.N. investigators unearthed extensive circumstantial evidence implicating Hezbollah, according to an investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

The U.N. International Independent Investigation Commission's report, based on examination of Lebanese phone records, suggested Hezbollah officials communicated with the owners of cell phones used to coordinate the detonation that killed Hariri and 22 others as they traveled through Beirut in an armed convoy (according to Lebanese and U.N. phone analysis obtained by CBC and shared with The Washington Post).

Nasrallah claimed Israel killed Hariri. But in October 2005, U.N. prosecutor Detlev Mehlis issued a report saying that al-Hariri's assassination "could not have been taken without the approval of top-ranked Syrian security officials and could not have been further organized without the collusion of their counterparts in the Lebanese security forces."

The CBC's reporting also uncovered an internal U.N. document indicating Wissam al-Hassan was considered as a potential suspect.

Al-Hassan oversaw security for Hariri at the time of the assassination but claimed he had taken the day off to take an examination at a university...


Al-Hassan was the head of the Information Unit of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (I.S.F.) at the time.

An internal U.N. memo dated March 10, 2008, said Hassan's "alibi is weak and inconsistent" and recommended that he be "investigated quietly."


Jamil Al Sayyed, the former head of the General Directorate of General Security, was also, apparently, involved in the assassination of Rafic Hariri.

Eventually, al-Hassan's intelligence unit, relying on telecommunications analysis, uncovered the network that monitored Rafik Hariri just before his death. The Information Unit's findings were incorporated into the U.N. investigation and lead to the indictment of four individuals connected with Hezbollah.

This episode added to a sense of vulnerability among Lebanese Sunnis.

The perceived loss of Iraq to both Shiite rule and Iranian influence further fuelled the sense that Sunnis are being threatened by a "Shia Crescent."

Meanwhile, the socio-economic decline of the northern Lebanon -- neglected by Beirut and largely cut off from its Syrian hinterland given bitter relations with Damascus -- exacerbated Sunni feelings of abandonment.

But now -- as Sunni jihadists in northern Lebanon shelter and protect Syrians who crossed the border, -- they reactivate ties that had been debilitated in the 1980s, thereby breaking with their sense of isolation and reconnecting with their communal, Sunni identity. Sunni jihadists in the north of Lebanon champion the Syrian uprising as their own cause, considering themselves the pioneers of resistance against the Assad regime.

The financial aid destined to the Syrian revolution contributes to a broader Sunni mobilisation, with jihadist Sunni Lebanese joining Syrian rebels in establishing networks of wealthy donors. An active fundraising network progressively emerged, with money coming chiefly from Gulf Arab states and individuals as well as from wealthy Syrian expatriates and Islamic charitable organisations. Lebanese militants and NGOs play an intermediary role between donors and recipients, among them combatants. Ever since Saudi Arabia and Qatar decided to back the Free Syrian Army, Sunni jihadists have been receiving more funds for Syrian fighters.

Sunni jihadists in Lebanon are joining a broader, region-wide sentiment of Sunni rebirth in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and elsewhere. Buoyed by both the Syrian revolution and these regional trends, Lebanon’s Sunnis have not hesitated to confront their own authorities.

When, on 14 May 2012, members of Directorate General of the General Security – a Lebanese intelligence agency whose head has close ties to Hezbollah – arrested Lebanese Sunni Shadi Mawlawi, local jihadists rose up in various Tripoli neighbourhoods.

Violent clashes broke out between Jabal Mohsen and Bab Tebbaneh, Tripoli’s Alawite and Sunni strongholds respectively. It took Mawlawi’s release a week later to restore calm.


Shadi Mawlawi carrying the black flag of Sunni islam after his release.

Likewise, the 20 May 2012 killing at an army checkpoint in Akkar of Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Wahed, a Sunni cleric – another backer of the Syrian uprising – prompted a show of Sunni force.


Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Wahed


Sunni gunmen attending the funeral of Sheikh Ahmad Abdel Wahed. (Source)

In the wake of these incidents, Sunni armed groups called for the Lebanese Army’s withdrawal from the whole Akkar District. Several Sunni leaders went as far as to encourage Sunni soldiers to defect from the Lebanese armed forces, which is viewed as sympathetic to Hezbollah and the Assad regime.

And as news of Wissam al-Hassan’s assassination spread on 19 October, armed groups and masked men carrying the black flag of Sunni islam took to the streets of Tripoli, where gunmen forced the closure of shops, Akkar and other areas, including Beirut.


Major General Wissam Adnan al-Hassan was seen as a leading Sunni figure in Lebanon.

On October 19, a car exploded in the heart of Beirut’s Christian district. It destroyed cars, shattered shop windows, caused significant damage to surrounding buildings, killed Wissam al-Hassan and two others, and wounded over a hundred.

In addition to his leading role in the Lebanese intelligence apparatus, al-Hassan was close to Lebanon’s anti-Assad March 14 Alliance and had strong ties with the family of Rafik Hariri. After all, Saad Hariri kept him within his inner circle despite the continued whispering about his whereabouts during the 2005 assassination of his father, and despite the fact that he was deeply distrusted by many of Saad Hariri’s allies, not only for his shadowy dealings in the U.N. investigation, but also for his role in the government’s crackdown on Fatah al-Islam. Leaked cables revealed that al-Hassan played the role of intermediary between Saad Hariri and Hezbollah, brokering a deal that allowed the Shiite movement to maintain its fiber-optics network in exchange for political concessions. Under Hassan’s leadership, the I.S.F. also helped roll up a vast network of Israeli spies in Lebanon, cooperating with Hezbollah to uncover a string of informants. And in 2010, Hassan was invited to Damascus as part of a campaign by the Syrian and Saudi governments to improve relations between the Sunnis and Shiites in Lebanon. Despite this ambiguous role of middleman between Sunnis and Shiites, Saad Hariri elevated al-Hassan to higher positions of power.

The assassination of al-Hassan weakens the Lebanese security services at a critical time.

[T]he unit that al-Hassan headed had been particularly effective in the last few months, arresting former information minister Michel Samaha -- one of Assad’s closest Lebanese associates -- who was caught red-handed attempting to smuggle explosives from Syria into Lebanon. The unit was also instrumental in the investigation into the assassination of Rafik Hariri as well as cases exposing Israeli spy networks in Lebanon.

-- Paul Salem, "Lebanon’s Fragile Peace Will Hold Despite Blow"


Michel Samaha on the left

Before his death, in August, the I.S.F. moved to arrest Michel Samaha. Hassan accused Samaha of smuggling explosives into Lebanon in order to carry out assassinations and drag the country into sectarian strife.

There was something surreal about the Samaha arrest: A high-profile political figure had been caught by a Lebanese police unit with evidence so compelling — reportedly even extensive video and audio footage and witness testimony — that none of Samaha’s pro-Syrian allies came to his defense. The highly public nature of the scandal and the brazen use of the media to air details of the alleged plot seemed to suggest defiance on Hassan’s part in the face of a weakened Syrian regime.

Hariri said shortly after the explosion that killed Hassan, “We have always thought Bashar al-Assad has killed Rafik Hariri, and today he has also killed Wissam al-Hassan.

Hariri may be right, but the question of who killed Hassan seems less important than why he was killed at all, and why now.

-- Elias Muhanna

The assassination of al-Hassan inflamed the Sunnis of the March 14 Alliance. It was immediately followed by a great outpouring of grief and anger. Protesters and mourners condemned the bombing and called on the government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati to step down. There was considerable unrest throughout Lebanon for a few days.

The current goal of Lebanese Sunni jihadists is to turn the north of Lebanon into a de facto Sunni enclave, a Sunni bastion where their domination would go unchecked and where they would feel free to develop military capabilities in the service of an incipient Sunni Caliphate.

Efforts to boost their military capacity are intended to produce parity with Hezbollah so as to deter any Shiite foray in the north. Sunni jihadists are now challenging the Lebanese Army’s position in the north in order to curtail its ability to constrain them and to curb efforts aimed at boosting the Syrian revolution. They want the Army to turn a blind eye on the arms and fighters that are being smuggled into Syria as well as on Syrian and Lebanese jihadists’ activities.

Benghazi: a Recap (Part I)

What happened in Benghazi (the looting of the CIA ‘annex’ and the murders of Ambassador Stevens, officer Steve Smith, and ex-SEALS Glen Dougherty and Ty Woods) lies at the center of three major lines of force, which all seem to converge towards Turkey: the Libyan government, the Obama regime, and the Syrian Civil War.

To understand Benghazi we need to consider the possibility of an alliance between the Obama regime, the interim government of Libya, and the Turkish government of Erdogan — with al-Qaeda looming in the shadows.

First things first: between 19:30 and 20:30, Ambassador Christopher Stevens meets Turkish Consul General Ali Akin Sait. Then the American escorts the Turk to the door of the so-called ‘consulate’ to say goodbye. “Everything is calm at 8:30 PM. There is nothing unusual,” according to a briefing from the U.S. State Department. BUT Associated Press (AP) reported a testimony from neighbors, Libyans in Benghazi who live next to the ‘consulate,’ according to which

“150 bearded gunmen, some wearing the Afghan-style tunics favored by Islamic militants, sealing off the streets leading to the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. They set up roadblocks with pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, according to witnesses. The trucks bore the logo of Ansar al-Shariah, a powerful local group of Islamist militants who worked with the municipal government to manage security in Benghazi […]”

According to AP, “The neighbors all described activists who put up checkpoints around the enclosure to about 8:00 PM.The neighbors all described the militants setting up checkpoints around the compound at about 8 p.m.” These checkpoints were manned by bearded jihadists with trucks equipped with heavy machine guns, and flashing the logo of al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia.

What does that mean? Well, it means that the Turkish Consul General had to go through the blockade of jihadists as he left the vicinity of the ‘consulate.’ “Because of the checkpoints, “it felt like our neighborhood was occupied, no one could get out or in,” said a neighbor interviewed by AP. Did the Turk call Stevens to warn him of the impending danger? Apparently not. There is no trace of phone call. Moreover, how could the Turk himself have got out of the blockade?


I would bet Ali Akin Sait was in cahoots with the bearded jihadists of Ansar al-Shariah.

Now let’s go to the other point of our triangle: Libya. (We will return to Turkey.) Stevens worked with Information Management Officer Sean Smith. And Smith had noticed one guy, a member of the Libyan police, photographing the compound from an adjacent building. He even posted on an online forum “assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.”


A few days later, a journalist found pages of documents scattered inside the ransacked building reflecting the fact that Sean Smith and other employees of the U.S. mission in Benghazi had asked repeatedly Libya (the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the police of Benghazi) to increase security in anticipation of the visit of Ambassador Stevens on 9/11. They asked for a police presence around the clock, “in addition to a mobile patrol and a bomb-sniffing dog.” Libya has not responded to the requests.


15 hours after the policeman was seen photographing the building, the attack will begin.

The U.S. State Department has not responded to similar requests by Sean Smith either. You can be certain that the Department of State (DoS) has received a similar demand from Sean Smith regarding a libyan policeman taking pictures of the interior of the facility, and about the refusal of Libya to increase security. The DoS but did nothing. No additional security was provided by the United States, even with the knowledge that Stevens would be in Benghazi on 9/11.
 
The inaction of the Obama regime is astounding. Not only the DoS has refused to respond to repeated requests for extra security during the weeks preceding the attack, the Obama administration has also refused to help while the attack was taking place.

The attack against the Ambassador Stevens began around 9:40 pm, Benghazi-time. Bearded men armed with AK-47s and rocket launchers. At this moment, former SEAL Tyrone S. Woods was guarding the CIA annex 1.2 miles away. Once the attack began, a warning FLASH TRAFFIC spread within the Army, the CIA and the State Department. Immediately, a Quick Reaction Force deployed from Tripoli to Benghazi. Glen Doherty, also a former SEAL, arrived quickly from Tripoli by helicopter. He joined Ty Woods. The two operators under contract to the CIA, but working for the State Department, then asked permission to leave their post to come to the rescue of Stevens and his staff. Believe it or not, they were denied permission to go. They insisted, and were told ‘no’ a second time. They decided to go anyway, against orders. Both officers jumped into an armored vehicle and rushed to the rescue. They failed to find the ambassador, but they did save the lives of all those who were still alive. It took them three hours to evacuate the staff, while pushing the terrorists. The two agents then re-embarked into their armored vehicle (with the body of Sean Smith, who had been killed earlier), to return to the CIA ‘annex.’

The attack continued at the Annex. In fact, it had never stopped. The duo was fired upon all the way from the main enclosure of the ‘consulate’ to the CIA annex. It was midnight when they finally arrived at the Annex.
There were bearded hostile jihadists there too. The former SEALs exited their vehicle and joined the defense of the Annex, which had its own security force. Ty Woods took firing position on the roof, and Glen Doherty at the periphery of the building. They will scoop firing intermittently for the next FOUR hours. Terrorists were using AK-47s, rocket launchers and even mortars…

Despite the relentless attack, the agents remained in constant radio contact with the State Department and the CIA. They asked for air support, for something like an armed drone or a gunship to destroyed the enemy.

It is crucial to realize here that this annex of the CIA was a target of great value. It contained a lot of money, weapons, and strategic information. We will come back to that point later.

So the fighting at the Annex will last longer than 4 hours. Now, keep in mind that the Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, is 775 miles away.


A gunship AC-130 carrying commandos could hace came to the rescue of the agents in less than an hour. Plenty of time. The ex-SEALS did resist FOUR hours. An AC-130 with a Gatling gun on the side is incredibly deadly; it is a tornado of steel and fire, of devastating power, capable of pinpoint accuracy.


Two Special Forces units were at Sigonella that time, including Delta Force, who was training in Europe. We know that two drones, two Predators, had joined the theaters of operations. Actually controlled from Tripoli, these drones relayed video streams throughout the duration of the attack via their camera in real time, live. We are talking about two drones because at one point, the first drone was replaced by another, probably because the machine ran out of fuel. A second drone came to take the place of the first.


So this battle raging at the CIA annex was transmitted by video stream directly to the “Situation Room” of the White House, and to the control center responsible for Africa, AFRICOM.

It is important to remember here that what the military does around the world, on land, in the air or at sea, is to practice for these situations. Wherever they are, they practice exercises, rescuing civilians and rescuing embassy staff. They do it every place they are assigned to. Again and again they repeat drills.
So Delta Force was in Europe. There were also military vessels in international waters, not too far from the coast of Libya. The point is, there was a lot of assets, and each of them had practiced repeatedly for a scenario like Benghazi. Not exactly like Benghazi, but a similar rescue situation, where an American mission is attacked.

It can be inferred with certainty that a rescue operation was ON ITS WAY to Benghazi, triggered almost immediately after Ambassador Stevens was declared endangered. The U.S. Army was aware, the CIA was aware, the State Department was aware. An alert code was released, a FLASH TRAFFIC signal. We’re not talking emails here, we’re tlaking military communication network. It was in response to a flash traffic signal that a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) was mobilized immediately in Tripoli, and that Glen Doherty had joined Ty Woods, and that a Predator had flown out of Tripoli to Benghazi. When an ambassador is in danger, or missing, the default procedure is an immediate rescue. Once the alarm was sent from Benghazi, dozens of headquarters were informed, and proceeded immediately to the rescue, without waiting for the White House. Military procedures started AUTOMATICALLY, in real time. Any rescue of this kind becomes TOP priority. No doubt about it. Commandments for Africa and Europe (AFRICOM and EUROCOM) immediately began planning and executing rescue operations, including sending air support over Benghazi. Everyone in the Navy and the Air Force was in critical mode. What are the closest destroyers, blackhawks? Delta Force is in Germany? Fly them RIGHT THERE, RIGHT NOW. FLY baby, just fly.

GO! GO! GO! Let’s send boots on the ground, planes in the air! Let’s kick the ass of these savages, and let’s bring our ambassador and his staff back to safety.

You can be sure that an aerial armada was on its way to Libya, shortly after the alarm had sounded at Garrison Stuttgart AFRICOM. And yet, the armada stopped. No armed drone nor gunship went to support Ty Woods and Glen Doherty. Why not? What happened?

If a Quick Reaction Force was able to travel from Tripoli to Benghazi, it is because it had no international border to cross. But the air armada commanded by General Ham of AFRICOM, with its C-17s or C-130s, its with Special Operations Forces in MH-47 Chinooks or Pave Hawks, can not cross the border a state like Libya without authorization to do so. No general, even 4-star, can grant this permission there. Only the President, he alone holds the scepter of that authority there, as ex-SEAL Matt Bracken astutely reminded us. And without this authorization to cross the border of a sovereign state, the helicopters, the gunships, the armed drones — the whole armada — had to land at Sigonella; and ships had to stop in international waters.


“I can’t believe cross-border authority permission is not one of the top discussion points about Benghazi.”
Matt Bracken

If Obama had granted Cross-Border Authority permission, he would have given it to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who would have relayed it the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, which would have communicated it to General Ham, the commander of AFRICOM.

This correspondence would have left traces, non-equivocal traces. It’s black or white: General Ham has received or has not received that permission. And even if it was given verbally to Ham, you can be sure it would have been registred in the message traffic, for the official record.

The point is that without such authorization, General Ham has not been able to send relief to Benghazi, to allow its air armada to enter Libyan airspace.

We know that at 5:00 PM Washington time (the attack against Stevens had started about an hour and a half ago by then), Obama meets with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the White House. You can be sure, Obama and his staff are watching the attack in real time via the drone-cam. They saw what was happening live. And Obama has decided not to allow air support from abroad to be sent in.
Later, while Obama is sleeping, at around 4:00 am in Benghazi, the CIA annex takes a very accurate mortar fire, which immediately kills Ty Woods. Glen Dougherty also died that night.

GUN RUNNING
In March 2011, “President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.” This means in practice that the Obama regime has provided weapons and money to the rebels in Libya. After the Libyan revolution, with Gaddafi dead and a new Libyan regime in place, the U.S. mission in Libya started to buy back weapons the Obama administration had sold or given to libyan rebels. The Administration also attempted to buy weapons previously held by Gaddafi that were now spreading throughout the Middle East. Jihadists came to take what they wanted. These weapons include ammunitions, mines, missiles and surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), capable of bringing down a commercial airliner. We are talking about a stockpile large enough to destabilize the entire region, something like 20,000 SAMs. Gaddafi had accumulated a very, very large stock. Each of these missiles can reach several thousand dollars on the black market, and the United States has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to buy them.

That was the diplomatic mission in Benghazi: to buy thousands of SAMs that were moving freely in Libya. The CIA annex was of great value because it contained a lot of money, weapons and a file containing the names of those who were helping the U.S. mission in Libya. Ty Woods was working there, at the annex. His job, along with that of other CIA agents working for the State Department, was to a) recover rocket launchers and SAMs, and b) facilitate the transportation of these weapons to Syria.

End of Part I

Was Libya Sending Jihadis and Running Guns to Syria?


Abdulhakim Belhadj went from Libya to Istanbul.
The Daily Telegraph:

Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, “met with FSA leaders in ISTANBUL and on the border with Turkey,” said a [U.S.] military official working with Mr Belhadj. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil [the interim Libyan president of Libya] sent him there.”

According to U.S. military officials working with Belhadj and quoted by the Daily Telegraph, Belhadj met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the Turkey-Syria border.
This suggests that Belhadj is coordinating with people in Turkey. Abdelhakim Belhadj’s contact with the Syrian Free Army was apparently part of a Libyan delegation to Turkey offering arms and fighters to Syrian rebels.

The Daily Telegraph on Saturday [November 26 2011] revealed that the new Libyan authorities had offered money and weapons to the growing insurgency against Bashar al-Assad. Mr Belhaj also discussed sending Libyan fighters to train troops, [our] source said. Having ousted one dictator, triumphant young men, still filled with revolutionary fervour, are keen to topple the next. The commanders of armed gangs still roaming Tripoli’s streets said yesterday that “hundreds” of fighters wanted to wage war against the Assad regime.

According to the New York Times, CIA operatives were on the Turkish-Syrian border this summer helping to steer weapons deliveries to selected Syrian rebel groups, most of them “hard-line Islamic jihadists.” One of those jihadis was Abdelhakim Belhadj.

The aftermath of the “intervention” in Libya boosted the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group Belhadj was leading. His band had formed an al-Qaeda Front, a front linked both to Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Compare the Coats of Arms.

The Libyan revolution spilled Gaddafi’s stockpiles of weapons around, and the bulk of those weapons has been making its way into Turkey, where rebels are being guided by CIA operatives and Turkish intelligence agents to transport them into Syria.

The Obama regime
In March 2011, the Reuters news service reported that “President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.” That means the Obama regime did provide the rebels in Libya with guns and probably cash. At a hearing on March 31 2011, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen askedWhat assurances do we have that they will not pose a threat to the United States if they succeed in toppling Qaddafi?” “The record on transfers of military-related items involving Libya is also disconcerting,” she says. “For example, for over a year, I requested a detailed national interest justification for two proposed weapons transfers to Libya.

The Obama régime has been running guns and armaments and munitions to the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and its affiliate jihadi groups, including heat-seeking shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles designed to shoot down jetliners. After the Libyan revolution, with Gaddafi dead and a new regime in place, the American mission in Libya has been trying to buy back weapons the Obama régime sold or gave to the Muslim Brotherhood and went “missing.” The Administration was also trying to buy back weapons previously owned by the Gaddafi régime that spread everywhere after the revolution.
Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch emergencies director, told CNN that “in every city we arrive, the first thing to disappear are the surface-to-air missiles.” “We are talking about some 20,000 surface-to-air missiles in all of Libya, and I’ve seen cars packed with themhe said.
Those missiles can fetch several thousands of dollars on the black market, and the United States has spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to buy them back.
A month after the October 2011 death of Gaddafi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in Tripoli that the United States “has committed to providing $40 million dollars to assist Libya’s efforts to secure and recover its weapons stockpiles.”
“The rebels came from all over the western mountains, and they just took what they wanted,” said Riyad to the New York Times, “a supervisor of the ruined arsenal’s small contingent of rebel guards.”

According to a report (PDF) by the UN Support Mission in Libya, Gaddafi had accumulated a large stockpile of MANPADs, and although thousands were destroyed during the 2011 military intervention in Libya, there were “increasing concerns over the looting and likely proliferation of these portable defence systems, as well as munitions and mines, highlighting the potential risk to local and regional stability.”
As soon as islamic organizations outside Libya realized Manpads were available, they tried to get them.

When the Obama régime discovered that thousands of MANPADs had “disappeared” and were “on the loose in Libya,” it turned around and stuck a LOT of cash in the Benghazi CIA “annex”, or “safehouse,” in order to BUY those weapons back.
On September the 11th 2012, Ambassador Stevens is attacked at the Main Compound of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. At this time, former SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods, both working under the State Department (on contract to the CIA), were at the CIA “annex,” a second compound 1.2 miles away.

This CIA annex was a very high value target. It contained a LOT of cash for the Benghazi Gun Running, as well as weapons, and a case files containing the names of the folks who were assisting the US diplomatic mission in this regard.
Tyrone Woods was providing security for CIA operatives at the “annex.” Glen Dougherty had arrived on a rescue flight dispatched by the CIA Chief of Station in Tripoli.
Both ex SEALs died during the attack, and the terrorists got to keep all of the arms and cash of the CIA “annex.”
Ansar al-Shariah took credit for the attack.


The black flag of the logo means this group is an al-Qaeda Front.

Benghazi was staffed by CIA operatives, working for the State Department, whose job was a) to secure dangerous weapons (like rocket-propelled grenades and shoulder-fired missiles) looted from Gaddafi’s stockpiles during and after the 2011 revolution, and b) to facilitate the onward shipment of those weapons to Syria and other countries.

Was Ambassador Stevens’ job to cover for all of this? It looks like Ambassador Stevens was acting, on behalf of the State Department, as an interface between post-Gaddafi Libya and the revolutionary war in Syria.

Ambassador Chris Stevens and the CIA in Benghazi were somehow, some way running or heavily involved in a pipeline of money, weapons and information being routed from Libya to Syria.

On June 21, 2012, the New York Times reported that since March, there is a game-changing “influx of weapons and ammunition to the [Syrian] rebels.”

In August 2012, Reuters reported that “President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government.” That means authorizing selling or giving weapons to the rebels.

Fox News Bureau Chief of Intelligence Catherine Herridge said that the role played by the U.S. mission in Libya was to control the movement of weapons out of Libya to Syrian rebels. The president of the Center for Security Policy said the Obama régime played a key role in “engaging, legitimating, enriching and emboldening Islamists who have taken over or are ascendant in much of the Middle East.”

The Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin
If the Obama regime was indeed running guns with the Muslim Brotherhood or an al-Qaeda Front, what about the last visit Ambassador Stevens received before the attack on 9/11 2012?

According to a briefing of the State Department, Ambassador Christopher Stevens held his last meeting of the day on September 11 with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin from 7:30pm to 8:30pm. At that point, the briefing said, “Everything is calm at 8:30 p.m. There’s nothing unusual.”
But according to Associated Press, said that “[the] neighbors all described the militants setting up checkpoints around the compound at about 8 p.m.” The checkpoints were described as being manned by bearded jihadis in pickup trucks mounted with machine guns and bearing the logo of Ansar al-Shariah, which is an al-Qaeda Front.

So the Turkish Consul General had to pass out through the blockade as he departed the American compound and left the area. Did he phone a warning to Ambassador Stevens? Nope, he didn’t.
And how did the Turk get through the newly-established terrorist checkpoints? — since “no one could get out or in,” (according to a neighbor interviewed by AP).

This points to Turkey playing a role in the murder of Ambassador Stevens and in the gun running from Libya to Syria.

Another elements points to this: the Al-Entisar.

The Al Entisar

The Libyan-flagged vessel Al Entisar (The Victory) was on the port of Malta on Ausgust 27 2012.

And according to a Fox News investigation, shipping records confirmed that the Al Entisar docked at the Turkish port of Iskenderun on September 6. Iskanderun, or ‘Alexandrette’ on the map below is quite close to Idlib (where the Syrian revolution is raging now).

Fox News reported that, according to a report by the Times of London (September 14, 2012), the Al Entisar was carrying 400 tons of cargo when it dock in Iskanderun.

Some of it was humanitarian, but also reportedly weapons, described by the report as the largest consignment of weapons headed for Syria’s rebels on the frontlines.

The cargo reportedly included surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and shoulder-launched missiles.

According to Fox News, the captain of the Al Entisar told the Times of London that “there was a FIGHT about the weapons and who got what between the Free Syrian Army and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The group accused of operating the Al Entisar is the Foundation for Human Rights, and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), “an islamic Turkish NGO.” IHH was behind the “Free Gaza Movement.” It is a registered charity based in Cyprus, and banned by Israel in 2008.
According to the Jewish Chronicle Online, FSA commanders have indeed told The Times that “a boat containing weapons,” [probably the Al-Entisar] that docked in Syria the week of September 14, 2012, and was “registered to members of the IHH.”
“IHH,” wrote the BBC, “raises some of its money from Islamic religious groups and has strong sympathy among Turkey’s Islamist-rooted ruling party.”

According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the islamic Turkish organization is an overt supporter of Hamas, which is an islamic militant group (founded by the Muslim Brotherhood) that seized power in Gaza in 2007. According to the BBC, “The ITIC says it also has evidence the IHH has helped provide weapons and funds for ‘Islamic terrorist elements in the Middle East‘.” The ITIC has reliable information indicating that in the past IHH had links with global jihad and Islamic terrorist elements in the Middle East. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said, “The organisers are well-known for their ties with global Jihad, al-Qaeda and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror.”

So we shall speculate that the IHH has been involved in the gun-running from Libya to Syria on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Samar Srewel, reportedly an FSA activist who had helped to organise the naval consignment, reportedly told The Times:

The Muslim Brotherhood, through its ties in Turkey, was seizing control of this ship and the cargo. This is what they do. They buy influence with their money and guns.

The U.S. mission in Benghazi was participative in running weapons from Libya to Syria via Turkey. Then something went wrong at delivery: Free Syrian Army members fought elements of the Muslim Brotherhood over the cargo.

Five days after this fight, a Turkish diplomat will help set up the assassination of Ambassador Stevens, and the subsequent looting of the CIA annex, which was full of weapons and cash.

Ambassador Chris Stevens and the CIA were somehow, some way running or heavily involved in this armament pipeline. And Turkey was acting as the nexus of this pipeline of weapons and information being routed to Syria. Turkey was the nexus, and Libya the doorway to get arms in for distribution to Syria.


This is the NGO that was running the flotilla trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza since 2008.

Turkey as the Nexus, Libya as the Doorway to the Caliphate

The news service Reuters reported that Obama signed an intelligence finding in early 2012 authorizing U.S. support for the Syrian rebels. And according to the New York Times, CIA operatives were on the Turkish-Syrian border this summer helping to steer weapons deliveries to selected Syrian rebel groups, most of them “hard-line Islamic jihadists.”

One of those jihadists was Abdelhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (Al-Jama’a al-Islamiyyah al-Muqatilah bi-Libya). According to a military official working with him and quoted by the Daily Telegraph, Belhadj met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil [the interim Libyan president] sent him there,” a military official said in November 2011.

Abdelhakim Belhadj’s contact with the Syrian Free Army was apparently part of a Libyan delegation to Turkey offering arms and fighters to the Turkish-backed Syrian jihadists.

The Daily Telegraph on Saturday [November 26 2011] revealed that the new Libyan authorities had offered money and weapons to the growing insurgency against Bashar al-Assad. Mr Belhaj also discussed sending Libyan fighters to train troops, [our] source said. Having ousted one dictator, triumphant young men, still filled with revolutionary fervour, are keen to topple the next. The commanders of armed gangs still roaming Tripoli’s streets said yesterday that “hundreds” of fighters wanted to wage war against the Assad regime.


Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna

So, we have the United-States, Libya and Turkey working together with and through Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists like Abdelhakim Belhadj to get weapons into the hands of Syrian jihadists, known to be dominated by Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.


The Al Entisar was reportedly carrying weapons and bound for Syrian rebels.

Now let’s focus on a specific event: the docking of a Libyan-flagged vessel, the Al-Entisar — which means “The Victory” — at the Turkish port of Iskanderun, 35 miles from the Syrian border, on September 6, 2012.

Fox News reported that, according to a report by the Times of London (September 14, 2012), the Al Entisar was carrying 400 tons of cargo.

Some of it was humanitarian, but also reportedly weapons, described by the report as the largest consignment of weapons headed for Syria’s rebels on the frontlines.

Walid Phares, a Fox News Middle East and terrorism analyst, said, “This is the Libyan ship … which is basically carrying weapons that are found in Libya.”

The cargo reportedly included surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and shoulder-launched missiles.

According to Fox News, the ship’s Libyan captain told the Times of London that “It was reported there was a FIGHT about the weapons and who got what between the Free Syrian Army and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Who’s the Libyan ship owner? To whom is it chartered now? Who was the contactor during the September 11 2012 attack?

The group accused of operating the ship moving the weapons to Turkey is the Foundation for Human Rights, and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), “an islamic Turkish NGO” founded in 1992, and now active in more than 100 countries.

IHH was behind the “Free Gaza Movement,” behind the Gaza “aid” flotilla trying to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza since 2008. It is a registered charity based in Cyprus, and banned by Israel in 2008.

This islamic Turkish NGO was operating the Mavi Marmara, the lead ship of the six-ship Gaza “aid” flotilla “carrying 10,000 tonnes of medicine, construction materials and education supplies” that was stormed by Israeli troops in May 2010.

“IHH,” wrote the BBC, “raises some of its money from Islamic religious groups and has strong sympathy among Turkey’s Islamist-rooted ruling party.”

According to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the islamic Turkish organization is an overt supporter of Hamas, which is an islamic militant group (founded by the Muslim Brotherhood) that seized power in Gaza in 2007.

According to the BBC, “The ITIC says it also has evidence the IHH has helped provide weapons and funds for ‘Islamic terrorist elements in the Middle East‘.”

The ITIC has reliable information indicating that in the past IHH had links with global jihad and Islamic terrorist elements in the Middle East. As part of its connections with the global jihad it supported jihadist terrorist networks in Bosnia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechnya.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said, “The organisers are well-known for their ties with global Jihad, al-Qaeda and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror.”

There is evidence to suggest that the IHH has been involved in gun-running from Libya to Syria on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the Jewish Chronicle Online, Free Syrian Army commanders have indeed told The Times that “a boat containing weapons,” (the Al-Entisar?) that docked in Syria the week of September 14, 2012, was “registered to members of the IHH.”

Samar Srewel, reportedly an FSA activist who had helped to organise the consignment, reportedly told The Times:


The Muslim Brotherhood, through its ties in Turkey, was seizing control of this ship and the cargo. This is what they do. They buy influence with their money and guns.

In Syria, rebel groups are fed money, weapons and equipments by the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the Carnegie Middle East Center, about a quarter of the 130 members of the Syrian National Council have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

On June 21, 2012, the New York Times reported that since March, there is a game-changing “influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels.”

In May, “Turkish Army vehicles delivered antitank weaponry to the border,” according the New York Times, “where it was then smuggled into Syria,” upon consultation with the United States.

Jihadists in Syria: the Muslim Brotherhood & the Syrian National Council VS the Free Syrian Army

The Syrian National Council, which has Washington’s blessing and is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, is reportedly trying to organize “the scattered, localized units that all fight under the name of the Free Syrian Army into a more cohesive force.”

Jeffrey White a defense fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy specializing in the military and security affairs of the Levant and Iran, wrote there is about 100 rebel formations ranging in size from a few fighters to a couple of hundred combatants.

Military coordinating “councils” across Syria are sharing tactics and information, according to the New York Times, except in the city of Homs, where “the three main military groups in the city do not get along.”

Officials of the Obama Administration from the National Security Council have met with Muslim Brotherhood officials and the Syrian National Council, “a creature of the Muslim Brotherhood and Turkey,” with America’s backing, according to Daniel Green. The objective was to put together and control a pipeline of weapons and information being routed to Syria through the Muslim Brotherhood, in order “to give the Brotherhood military parity with the Free Syrian Army, which has done the bulk of the fighting on the ground, and has remained so far largely outside the Syrian National Council.”

According to the Time, the rebels are patronized mostly by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But Saudi Arabia and Qatar are NOT “on the same page when it comes to determining who among the plethora of mushrooming Syrian rebel groups should be armed.”

Al Jazeera’s correspondent Ahmed Zaidan has said that the Saudis “don’t want any ties to anything called Muslim Brothers.”

Qatar and Saudi Arabia might not be “on the same page,” but their middlemen operate out of Turkey. Rania Abouzeid wrote for the Time that “a secretive group operates something like a COMMAND CENTER IN ISTANBUL, directing the distribution of military supplies provided by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and transported with the help of Turkish intelligence to the Syrian border and then to the rebels.

According to the Time, the Free Syrian Army is nominally headed by Riad al-Asaad, who is based in Turkey.

Neither Asaad nor his chief Free Syrian Army rival General Mustafa Sheikh are party to the Istanbul Control Room that supplies and arms rebels who operate under the Free Syrian Army banner.


The Free Syrian Army head Brigadier General Mustafa Sheikh

Qatar is reportedly operating via “a major who defected from Assad’s army.” The Qataris, it is being said, have strong ties to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi Arabia’s main man in the Istanbul control center is a Lebanese politician named Okab Sakr.

Okab Sakr, Saudi Arabia’s man

The Time reported that rebel sources who dealt with Okab Sakr say he was in the Turkish city of Antakya, overseeing the distribution of “small consignments of 50,000 Kalashnikov bullets and several dozen rocket-propelled grenades” to the Free Syrian Army. Free Syrian Army sources told the Time that Okab Sakr was designating the representatives in Syria to whom the Istanbul Center would funnel “Kalashnikov rifles, BKC machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and ammunition” to the Free Syrian Army.

According to the magazine Foreign Policy, Saudi’s man Okab Sakr supported Jamal Maarouf, known also as Abu Khalid, the leader of Syria’s Martyrs Brigades, a group reportedly now fielding around 45,000 fighters.

Abu Khalid, writes Ammar Abdulhamid, “is wary of Salafi groups, and hates the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Abu Khalid’s chief rival is Ahmad Abu Issa, founder of the Suqoor
al-Sham
, (“The Falcons of Syria“) Brigades. Ahmad Abu Issa, calling for an islamic revolution in Syria, is also no friend of the Muslim Brotherhood. In this YouTube video he is in fact denoucing the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts to take control of rebel coordinating bodies.

Ahmad Abu Issa, Salafi preacher and founder of the Suqoor al-Sham (“The Falcons of Syria“) Brigades

Ahmad Abu Issa recently co-founded the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Syria, mainly composed of Salafi rebel groups, and also known as Jabhat al-Nusra.

According to Foreign Policy’s Ammar Abdulhamid, the Muslim Brotherhood is “one of the Islamic Front’s primary backers.”
“Some claim,” according to the Time, that Abu Issa’s Islamic Front “has ties to al-Qaeda.” Ahmad Abu Issa’s Suqoor al-Sham is part of international islamist networks. The group has joined Jabhat Tahrir Syria, or the Syrian Liberation Front (Jabhat al-Nusra), which groups many battle-hardened rebel gangs, such as Al-Farouq Battalions.

According to Time, the Ahmad Abu Issa’s Liberation Front “will likely be the most powerful armed body in Syria.”

Asked about Saudi’s man Okab Sakr, Abu Issa said: “We will not accept becoming tools for anyone, nor do we accept any living being, whether foreign or from within the revolution, acting in a manner to divide revolutionaries.”

Abu Khalid is now receiving some funding from Saudi authorities, according to Foreign Policy, and the Saudis have had historically profund differences with the Muslim Brotherhood. They are basically competing against each other for the control of the Syrian rebellion. “The Salafists are far more traditional and populist than members of the Brotherhood,” writes Ammar Abdulhamid, since the Brotherhood “often come across to ordinary Syrians as too Westernized and elitist.”

Nonetheless, the Muslim Brotherhood exerts its influence on the ground through small groups of rebels, along with the Salafists’ Islamic Front and the Martyrs Brigades. Within Syria, it has been a capital offense to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Molham al-Drobi, an executive member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a founding member of the Syrian National Council, now living in Saudi Arabia, said to Time that “the Muslim Brotherhood does exist in the ground.” “We work under the Free Syrian Army umbrella,” he added, and specified that there is “at least one member of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Istanbul operations room.”

Despite the competition between the Saudis and the Muslim Brotherhood over the Syrian revolt, most the rebel groups gets support from the Istanbul control center, according to the Time.

Turkey acts as a nexus between the Saudis and the Muslim Brother to gain control over Syria’s revolt.

Colonel Afif Suleiman, the head of the Idlib Military Council, a grouping of 16 military units from across the province, is unhappy with the support he gets from the control room.


Colonel Afif Suleiman defected from the Air Force division in Hama

He is angry with Sakr, who, he says, “got involved in the issue of weapons to split our ranks, to divide the revolutionaries. He chose three people on our council and supported them. I won’t name them. They are not the largest units. There is one big group, but the others are just regular ones. He formed a rift within the council, and we are working to heal this rift. We clarified the issue to our Saudi brothers about Okab [Sakr]. They promised that there will be no support, either military or financial, except via the councils. This is what they recently promised us.”

Foreign Policy wrote that the rebels are now gaining control of more and more Syrian territory, as they are enjoying support from some 3,500 foreign fighters, “mostly from Gulf states, Libya, Tunisia, Chechnya, Somalia, and Sudan.” The money, the intelligence, and the weapons pass via Turkey. Abu Issa, Suleiman and Maarouf reportedly spent much of August shuttling between Syria and Turkey.

The Free Syrian Army is actually conducting the rebellion on the ground against the Bashar Al-Assad régime. But the Syrian National Council, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, claims to be the real head of the rebel groups. The game plan of the Muslim Brotherhood and its backers in the Obama Administration, according to Daniel Greenfield, “calls for a provisional Syrian National Council government followed by another ‘Democratic election’ that will allow the Brotherhood to reap all the benefits of the rebellion.”

Most of the Free Syrian Army units are facing pressure to take orders from the Muslim Brotherhood leaders, in exchange for weapons (mostly anti-tank weapons and rocket-propelled grenades) and money, reported Time.

The Obama Administration does its part to help the Muslim Brotherhood by providing intelligence gained from electronic eavesdropping and satellite surveillance to the militias picked by the Muslim Brotherhood, helping it to dispose of rival militias.

In June 2012, the New York Times reported that the CIA was helping direct “automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons,” bought by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and smuggled into Syria by the Muslim Brotherhood.

CIA operatives in southern Turkey are “helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, reported the New York Times.

Those who smuggle the weapons also decide who gets to use them. The weapons are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border, mostly by Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, and mostly paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, officials said to the New York Times.
The Obama administration, according to the New York Times, is also “providing satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements”.

The Obama Administration does its part to help the Muslim Brotherhood by providing intelligence on the movements of the Free Syrian Army to the Syrian National Council, which is basically an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

As in Libya before Gaddafi was overthrown, there is now a coordinated effort by the CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood to guide the Syrian rebels in their campaign against the Bashar Al-Assad régime.

The aftermath of the “intervention” in Libya boosted the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, linked to Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. It then spilled Gaddafi’s stockpiles of weapons around, and those weapons are now making their way into Syria, where the rebels are being guided by the CIA.

Which brings us back to Benghazi, where the United States were also running guns with the Muslim Brotherhood.

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens’ last meeting the night he was killed was with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin.

According to two Senior State Department Officials, Stevens escorted the Turkish Consul General out of the consulate front gate one hour before the assault began at approximately 8:30 p.m. local time. Was Ali Sait Akin there to discuss a weapons transfer? Was he warning the American Ambassador about a possible compromise of the Libyan weapons pipeline to Syria via Turkey? Do we know of any link between Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin and the IHH, the Turkish islamic organization that chartered the Libyan-flagged Al-Entisar? Remember, the Al-Entisar ducked at the Turkish port of Iskanderun, 35 miles from the Syrian border, on September 6, 2012, allegedly carrying 400 tons of cargo, while being run by an islamic organization with “ a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror.” The cargo reported the BBC might have include surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and shoulder-launched missiles.

Ambassador Chris Stevens and the CIA were somehow, some way running or heavily involved this armament pipeline. And Turkey is the nexus of this pipeline of weapons and information being routed to Syria through the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey is the nexus, and Libya is the doorway to the Caliphate to get the arms in for distribution to Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt and eventually Saudi Arabia.

UPDATE: Fox News on the armament pipeline:

What was Ambassador Stevens’ Role in the Gun Running?


It is now clear that the Obama régime has been running guns and armaments and munitions to the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliate jihadist groups, including heat-seeking shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles designed to shoot down jetliners. The American mission in Libya is apparently trying to buy back man-portable anti-aircraft missiles that the Obama régime sold or gave to the Muslim Brotherhood and then went “missing.” The Administration is also trying to buy back weapons previously owned by the Gaddafi régime that spread everywhere after the “revolution.”
Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch emergencies director, told CNN that “in every city we arrive, the first thing to disappear are the surface-to-air missiles.” “We are talking about some 20,000 surface-to-air missiles in all of Libya, and I’ve seen cars packed with themhe said.
Those missiles can fetch several thousands of dollars on the black market, and the United States has spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to buy them back.

A month after the October 2011 death of Gaddafi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in Tripoli that the United States “has committed to providing $40 million dollars to assist Libya’s efforts to secure and recover its weapons stockpiles.”

“The rebels came from all over the western mountains, and they just took what they wanted,” said Riyad to the New York Times, “a supervisor of the ruined arsenal’s small contingent of rebel guards.”

According to a report (PDF) by the UN Support Mission in Libya, Gaddafi had accumulated a large stockpile of MANPADs, and although thousands were “destroyed” during the 2011 military intervention in Libya, there were “increasing concerns over the looting and likely proliferation of these portable defence systems, as well as munitions and mines, highlighting the potential risk to local and regional stability.”

As soon as islamic organizations outside Libya realized that there were Manpads available, they tried to get them.

When the Obama régime discovered that thousands of MANPADs had “disappeared” and were “on the loose in Libya,” it turned around and stuck a LOT of cash in the CIA “annex”, or “safehouse,” in order to BUY those weapons back. (I wrote about the CIA annex here.)

Fox News Bureau Chief of Intelligence Catherine Herridge said said that the role being played by the U.S. Mission in Libya is to control the movement of weapons out of Libya to Syrian rebels fighting to bring down the Bashar Al-Assad régime.

The Benghazi mission played a key role in “engaging, legitimating, enriching and emboldening Islamists who have taken over or are ascendant in much of the Middle East,” said the president of the Center for Security Policy.

In March 2011, the Reuters news service reported that “President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.”
At a hearing on March 31 2011, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen asked
What assurances do we have that they will not pose a threat to the United States if they succeed in toppling Qaddafi?” . “There are reports that some opposition figures have links to Al Qaeda and extremist groups that have fought against our forces in Iraq.” “The record on transfers of military-related items involving Libya is also disconcerting,” she says. “For example, for over a year, I requested a detailed national interest justification for two proposed weapons transfers to Libya.

In August 2012, Reuters reported that “President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government.

We can now safely deduce that Ghadaffi was overthrown in order to use Libya as the doorway to get the arms in for distribution to Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt and eventually Saudi Arabia. Especially to Syria.

That’s the big picture. Now let’s focus more closely on the Gun Running.

The State Department and the CIA are somehow, some way running or heavily involved in this armament pipeline. But what was Stevens’ function in this apparatus? What do we know about it?

Only when we will get to see more clearly what role Stevens played in the running of this armament pipeline will we begin to learn about “Why the Obama régime wanted him dead?,” or at least: a) Why was the security protection for the Benghazi Mission prior to the 9/11 anniversary attack stripped?, and b) Why did the Obama régime refuse to send (or even permit) local help on the night of the attack?

How did Ambassador Stevens help in the gun and armament running?

We know that Benghazi was staffed by CIA operatives, working for the State Department, whose job was a) to secure and destroy dangerous weapons (like rocket-propelled grenades and shoulder-fired missiles) looted from Gaddafi’s stockpiles during and after the 2011 revolution, and b) to facilitate the onward shipment of those weapons to Syria and other countries.

Was Ambassador Stevens’ job to cover for all of this?

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens’ last meeting the night he was killed was with the Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin.

Ambassador Stevens escorted the Turkish Consul General out of the consulate front gate one hour before the assault began at approximately 9:35 p.m. local time. Was Ali Sait Akin there to discuss a weapons transfer? Was he warning the American Ambassador about a possible compromise of the Libyan weapons pipeline to Syria?
A source told Fox News that Stevens was there to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists.

Benghazi: The CIA “Annex” and the Main Compound

On September the 11th 2012, Ambassador Stevens is attacked at the Main Compound of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. At this time, former SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods, both working under the State Department (on contract to the CIA), were at the CIA “annex,” a second compound 1.2 miles away.
Tyrone Woods was providing security for CIA operatives at the “annex.” Glen Dougherty had arrived on a rescue flight dispatched by the CIA Chief of Station in Tripoli. Both were denied permission by their CIA chain of command on the ground to go to the aid of Ambassador Stevens and the others at the main compound. Two times the former SEALs were told to “stand down.”

But the two former SEALs went anyway to the Main Compound, AGAINST ORDERS. And they RESCUED those who remained there.

Nobody is able to find the Ambassador.

The annex is about two kilometers away. My agents pile into an armored vehicle with the body of Sean, and they exit the main gate.

Background Conference Call With Senior State Department Officials

They took the body of Information Management Officer Sean Smith, who had been killed. Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods saved everyone that was still alive at the Main Compound. It took them three hours. And then they went back with all of them to the CIA Annex building, where they came from.

The attack continued. In fact, it had never stopped. The crew was fired upon during the entire ride running the gauntlet through the streets, from the Main Compound back to the CIA annex. They arrived back at about midnight.

Once at the annex, the annex has its own security – a security force there. There are people at the annex. The guys in the car join the defense at the annex. They take up firing positions on the roof – some of them do – and other firing positions around the annex. The annex is, at this time, also taking fire and does take fire intermittently, on and off, for the next several hours. The fire consists of AK-47s but also RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades], and it’s, at times, quite intense.

Background Conference Call With Senior State Department Officials

Tyrone Woods was on the roof manning a heavy machine gun while bullets, grenades and even mortars were being fired on them.

They were taking fire, but there were no communication problems at the CIA annex. The ex-SEALs were in constant radio contact with their headquarters.

At that point they requested military backup again, at least to silence the mortar fire that they had been able to identify by laser “painting” it. And a THIRD time were denied.

This CIA annex was a very high value target. It contained a LOT of cash for the Benghazi Gun Running, as well as weapons, and a case files containing the names of the folks who were assisting the US diplomatic mission in this regard.

The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than 4 hours.

Keep in mind, the Sigonella Naval Air base in Italy is only 480 miles away. Back up could have gotten over Benghazi in due time.

A Spectre AC-130 gunship carrying commandos could have been there in less than two hours. Such a gunship with a Gatling gun in the side is unbelievably lethal. It’s a tornado of steal blazing with devastating power and pinpoint accuracy.

Two Tier-One Special Operations groups were at Sigonella, including Delta Force, which happened to be training in Europe.

Delta Force’s primary tasks are counter-terrorism, direct action, and national intervention operations, although it is an extremely versatile group capable of conducting many types of covert missions, including, but not limited to, hostage rescues and raids.

No less than two drones were overhead during the attack and one of those drones was actually ordered in from Tripoli and sending back images in real time. At one point, one drone probably was replaced by the other, “maybe it ran out of fuel and the second one came in and took its place,” speculates Clare Lopez.

This raging battle at the CIA annex was sent on video directly to the ‘Situation Room’ at the White House. There WAS “real-time information,” despite what Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said. We need to understand that that’s WHAT THE MILITARY DOES, everywhere around the world, on land or on a ship. Wherever it may be, they practice over and over again, repeatedly, the rescue of civilians and the rescue of embassy personnel, in each area wherever it is that they’re posted. They have drills, they have plans, they have practice situations, and they have role players that play the part of the bad guys.

In addition to Delta Force in Sicily, there were also guys on ships right off the coast of Libya when it happened. There were loads of assets, and every one of them had practiced repeatedly a scenario just like Banghazi. Not Benghazi per say, but a rescue situation where an American mission is under attack.

We know that at 5 pm eastern time (about an hour and a half into the attack of the Main Compound), President Obama met with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Defense Panetta in the White House for over an hour. Obama watched in real time the attack from a drone-cam. Then, at some point later, President Obama went to bed. He had that fund raising trip in Las Vegas the next day. He slept, he got up the next day and he skips his National Security briefing. Yet again.

somewhere around 4 o’clock in the morning the annex takes mortar fire. It is precise and some of the mortar fire lands on the roof of the annex. It immediately killed two security personnel that are there, severely wounds one of the agents that’s come from the compound.

Background Conference Call With Senior State Department Officials

Both ex SEALs died, the terrorists got to keep all of the arms and cash of the CIA “annex.”
Ansar al-Shariah took credit for the attack.

Former CIA Clare Lopez on the Benghazi Gun Running


Jerusalem Post: Interview with Clare M. Lopez, V-P of the Intelligence Summit, and Professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies

GA: Do you believe that this was a cover up from the very beginning?
CL: Oh yes, the gun running of course, that was the thing.
GA: That was my next question; do you believe that this administration is smuggling weapons to Al-Qaeda?
CL: Well, not… I mean… The short answer is yes. They were working with the very same Al-Qaeda linked relationships in Libya to gather up and buy back and collect weapons from Gaddafi’s stock pile that were missing from the revolution in Libya last year and what it looks like is that they were shipping them onwards to Syria.
GA: Some of those weapons have already shown up in the Sinai on the southern border of Israel.
CL: Yes, they’ve gone to the Sinai and they’ve also gone to Mali and to other places in western Africa and they’ve also gone to Syria. That was the operation, that’s what they were doing.

GA: If the truth of all this ever does come out, what do you think should happen to all those involved? And when I say involved that includes President Obama.
CL: A complete investigation. Congressional hearings and an investigation.

http://blogs.jpost.com/content/benghazi-october-surprise

There WAS a Rescue Operation on the Way to Benghazi


Did Obama refuse to grant CROSS-BORDER AUTHORITY to Secretary of Defense Panetta in the Oval Office at the 5h00 p.m. meeting on September the 11th 2012? If so, on what basis? It was about 10h30 p.m. in Benghazi, and the attack was far from being over.

We know for sure that there was a military rescue operation IN PROGRESS, triggered almost as soon as Ambassor Stevens was in danger. We do know, because when an Ambassador is in danger or missing, the default order is an IMMEDIATE rescue. Once the alarm is sent from Benghazi, dozens of Head Quarters are notified and are in the loop in real time WITHOUT WAITING FOR ORDERS. The very minute they see that the consulate is under attack — when critical incident ALARM messages start ringing — military steps happen on AUTOPILOT in real time, regulated by *standing* orders and *standard* operating procedures. And the rescue operation becomes TOP TOP TOP priority.


So why did they turned back?

The Quick Reaction Force in Tripoli, up to AFRICOM (the Africa Command) and EUCOM (the Europe Command) began planning and executing Rescue Operations, including getting AIR support over Benghazi as soon as possible.
 Everybody in the Navy and the Air Force chain of command swang into a crisis contingency plan mode. 
What destroyers are closest? Blackhawks? Marines? Delta Force happens to be training in Germany? Get them moving RIGHT NOW. Where is closest? The Sigonella Air base in Sicily, Italy, just 480 miles away. It’s NATO, no permission needed, JUST FLY.

At the lieutenant colonel level, and at the colonel level of all the different Head Quarters, at the State Department, everybody was saying something like, “Let’s GO GO GO! Let’s get boots on the ground, planes in air. Let’s kick these savages’ asses, and get our Ambassador and our people.
Airborne tankers are coming into position. U.S. Navy ships are sailing in position to “lilypad” helicopters for long over-water flights. Special Operation Force forces in Sigonella are going over their gear for different contingencies, as officers keep checking in again and again with operational commanders.

THERE WAS a big rescue air armada flying toward Libya right away after the alarm got to the United-States Garrisan Stuttgart and AFRICOM. And yet it stopped. Yet it STOPPED. WHY?

The rescue air-armada of C-17sC-130s and Special Operations Forces helicopters like MH-47 Chinooks and Pave Hawks cannot proceed DIRECTLY to Libya without CROSS-BORDER AUTHORITY being granted by the President, so they had to land at the Sigonella Air Base, in Sicily.
Crossing an international border with a military force, without permission of the nation invaded, is ONLY up to the President. Always, and every time.
“Hold in place, no rescue yet. We can’t find the President,” say the colonels to the majors and captains.

Every Special Operations Force officer and Operations officer all the way up to General Ham of AFRICOM is pondering this very question.
Some sort of authorization would have been sent from President Obama to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, to General Ham at AFRICOM in Stuttgart, Germany, who was in charge of the forces staging in Sigonella.

All of this would have beed LOGGED. General Ham either has this authorization, or not. The authority would be given verbally to General Ham, but it would immediately be backed up in OFFICAL message traffic for the official record. And without it, General Ham would not be able to send the rescue air-armada into Libyan air space.

Obama needs to respond to this.  Did he or did he not grant CROSS-BORDER AUTHORITY?

The real critical issue is the president says that he immediately ordered all available assets to help. The military would have put out an order from the president. There’s no question about that… What I’m asking is, “Show us the order!
– former Assistant Secretary of Defense Bing West