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2 Feb, 2015 16:59

Intel shows Libyans feared Al-Qaeda fighters were armed by NATO in Gaddafi ouster

Intel shows Libyans feared Al-Qaeda fighters were armed by NATO in Gaddafi ouster

​Secret intelligence reports from 2011 allegedly show that officials in Libya were concerned that arms were being funneled to NATO-backed rebels linked to Al-Qaeda in the midst of the ouster that removed President Muammar Gaddafi from power.

The Washington Times reported Monday that classified reports obtained by the newspaper indicate Libyans were worried that weapons were being distributed from “Western source or their allies in the region” to anti-Gaddafi rebels.

Libyan intelligence included a 16-page list of weapons, the paper reported, supposedly supplied to rebels feared to be aligned with extremist groups that continue to operate campaigns of terrorism in the region.

The Washington Times report does not include explicit details about the document’s origin, but alleges it was prepared in English so it could be passed on to American officials. An “US intelligence asset familiar with the documents” and a former Gaddafi regime official corroborated its contents, Jeffrey Scott Shapiro wrote for the paper.

According to Shapiro, the report linked a plan to supply extremist-affiliated, anti-Gaddafi rebels to the NATO alliance.

“NATO has given permission to a number of weapons-loaded aircraft to land at Benghazi airport and some Tunisian airports,” he quotes from the document.

“There is a close link between al Qaeda, Jihadi organizations and the opposition in Libya,” reads another excerpt.

According to the Washington Times, the intelligence report and recorded conversations also obtained by the newspaper indicate “Libyan officials expressed particular concern that the weapons and training given the rebels would spread throughout the region, in particular turning the city of Benghazi into a future terrorist haven.”

Indeed, an attack on a US consulate building in the Libyan capital occurred the following year on September 11, resulting in the deaths of four Americans, including US Ambassador Chris Stevens. That incident is expected to be the biggest obstacle that Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State at the time, will have to go up against if she enters the 2016 presidential race as largely expected.

Monday’s report concerning the supposed Libyan intelligence reports is described by the paper as being the final part in a three-article series that since last week has raised new questions about Clinton’s knowledge of the Benghazi tragedy while in office.

According to an article published last Wednesday by the Washington Times, telephone recordings obtained by the paper suggest that Pentagon and Democratic Party officials abandoned Clinton in 2011 and instead opened their own channel of communication with the Gaddafi regime as the Libyan leader came under increasing scrutiny from his own people. Gaddafi was killed in October 2011 in the midst of the civil war.