Militants led by terrorist kingpin who fought against U.S. troops in Afghanistan occupy Gaddafi compounds
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, August 29, 2011
Senior Al-Qaeda commander Abd Al-Hakim Belhadj and his 1000-strong Islamist fighting group have seized control of key Gaddafi strongholds in Tripoli and are refusing to transfer power over to the western-backed National Transitional Council, prompting accusations that the NATO-led act of regime change in Libya has resulted in the creation of a new home base for the terrorist group.
Belhadj is the front man for the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), designated as a terrorist organization by the US State Department. Belhadj was captured by the CIA in Malaysia in 2003 and extradited to Libya where Colonel Gaddafi had him imprisoned. Belhadj is a committed jihadist who fought against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
DebkaFile, the intelligence-gathering outlet that successfully predicted the precise time frame of last weekend’s assault on Tripoli, reports that Belhadj and his army of terrorist fighters have seized control of Gaddafi strongholds.
“His brigades were the principal rebel force in the operation for the capture of Qaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya ruling compound on Aug. 23. Saturday, Aug. 27, those brigades overran the Abu Salim district of southern Tripoli taking it from the last pro-Qaddafi holdouts in the city,” states the article, adding that Belhadj has now declared himself “Commander of the Tripoli Military Council.”
According to the report, when asked if they planned to hand over control of Tripoli to the western-backed National Transitional Council, LIFG representatives dismissed the question.
“Tripoli is rife with disorder, awash with weapons and prey to reciprocal allegations of atrocities. Our sources doubt that the council will be able to assert control of – or even a presence in – Tripoli any time soon. US intelligence sources in Tripoli see no sign that the NTC will be able to persuade the Islamist brigades to relinquish control of the city in the near future – or even lay down arms,” states the report, warning how, “Institutions of government have wound up in the hands of fighting Islamist brigades belonging to al Qaeda, who are now armed to the teeth with the hardware seized from Qaddafi’s arsenals.”
Indeed, DebkaFile emphasizes the point that the Al-Qaeda presence amongst the rebels is no mere “flicker,” as NATO would have it, but that the majority rebel fighters are taking orders not from the NTC but from from Al-Qaeda commanders like Belhadj.
“Therefore, the armies of Western members of NATO took part directly in a bid by extremist Islamic forces to capture an Arab capital and overthrow its ruler,” states the article.
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The DebkaFile report is also backed up by a Digital Journal piece, which notes how Belhadj’s “appointment reflects the growing influence of Islamists generally among radicalized militiamen. Reporters have remarked upon the increasing number of beards being grown by fighters and videos frequently testify to their prominence and ubiquity in events.
Reports of atrocities on behalf of terrorist-led rebel forces to rival anything Gaddafi was accused of are already flooding in. The Washington Post reported Saturday on how black Libyans are being tortured, killed and denied hospital treatment, and that many were not pro-Gaddafi fighters but migrant workers “taken at gunpoint from their homes, workplaces and the street on account of their skin color.”
As the Asian Tribune reported, the LIFG is set to take a prominent role in the post-Gaddafi power structure. Following the siege on Tripoli, hundreds of terrorists were released from Libyan jails, including members of the LIFG. Others released include terrorists who fought and killed U.S. troops in Iraq.
These terrorists have now obtained a deadly arsenal of weapons “which British and French special operations forces gave the rebels, said a senior American source,” according to the Debka report.
LIFG was also behind the 1996 attempt to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi, a plot hatched and funded by MI6. British intelligence, along with SAS soldiers, were also instrumental in directing the assault on Tripoli.
As we have previously highlighted, shortly after the start of the conflict in March, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the leader of the anti-Gaddafi rebel army, admitted that the rebel ranks include Al-Qaeda terrorists who have killed U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Asian Times reporter Pepe Escobar discusses Al-Qaeda’s control of Tripoli in the clip below.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.