Obama Admin Approved Arms For Libyan Rebels Ended Up Going to Militants

Evidence has surfaced that weapons approved by the Obama administration, for rebels in Libya, ended up in the hands of Islamic militants. C.I.A. officers in Libya during the tumult of the rebellion, provided little oversight of the arms shipments and within weeks of endorsing Qatar’s plan to send weapons there in spring 2011, there were reports that they were going to Islamic militant groups. Weapons were also shipped from the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar, a tiny nation whose natural gas reserves have made it enormously wealthy, for years has tried to expand its influence in the Arab world. Since 2011, with dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa coming under siege, Qatar has given arms and money to various opposition and militant groups, chiefly Sunni Islamists, in hopes of cementing alliances with the new governments.

“To do this right, you have to have on-the-ground intelligence and you have to have experience,” said Vali Nasr, a former State Department adviser. “If you rely on a country that doesn’t have those things, you are really flying blind. When you have an intermediary, you are going to lose control.”

Mahmoud Jibril, then the prime minister of the Libyan transitional government, expressed frustration to administration officials that the United States was allowing Qatar to arm extremist groups opposed to the new leadership, according to several anonymous American officials. The administration has never determined where all of the weapons went inside Libya, officials said.

Some of the machine guns, automatic rifles, and ammunition are believed to have gone to militants with ties to Al Qaeda in Mali while several American and foreign officials and arms traders say some of the weapons have ended up in Syria.

The United Arab Emirates first asked the Obama administration for permission to ship American built weapons, supplied to the UAE, during the early months of the Libyan uprising. The administration instead urged the emirates to ship weapons to Libya that could not be traced to the United States.

“The U.A.E. was asking for clearance to send U.S. weapons,” said one former official. “We told them it’s O.K. to ship other weapons.”

“Nobody knew exactly who they were,” said one former defense official. The Qataris are “supposedly good allies, but the Islamists they support are not in our interest.”

No evidence has yet surfaced that any weapons went to Ansar al-Shariah, an extremist group blamed for the Benghazi attack.

 

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CBS News Interview with Lt. Col. Wood “State Dept Initiated Ill Advised Security Draw Down Before Attack”

Obama Administration Denied Repeated Requests for Increased Security in Libya

 U.S. officials in Washington turned down repeated requests for increased security from American diplomats in Libya at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where a U.S. ambassador was killed, despite two explosions and dozens of other security threats.

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Rep. Jason Chaffetz said they have information from “individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya” detailing multiple attacks on U.S. diplomats and officials  in Libya in the months before the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S.

The letter listed 13 incidents, but Chaffetz said in an interview that there were actually more than 50. Two of them involved explosive devices: a June 6 blast that blew a hole in the security perimeter. The explosion was described to the committee as “big enough for 40 men to go through”; and an April 6 incident where two Libyans who were fired by a security contractor threw a small explosive device over the consulate fence.

“A number of people felt helpless in pushing back” against the decision not to increase security and “were pleading with them to reconsider,” Chaffetz said.

The State Department declined to answer questions about whether extra security was sought by officials in Benghazi ahead of the attack.

Clinton did send a letter to Issa stating that she has established an accountability review board that will determine “whether our security systems and procedures in Benghazi were adequate, whether those systems and procedures were properly implemented, and any lessons learned that may be relevant to our work around the world.” She also asked the committee to withhold any final conclusions about the Benghazi attack until the committee can review the findings of the board.

Clinton also pledged to address the specific questions raised in the committee’s letter in addition to document requests.

Referring to the Benghazi attack, the letter said, “It was clearly never, as administration officials once insisted, the result of a popular protest.”

The Obama administration insisted that the attacks on our embassies was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islamic video circulating on the Internet. Since then, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and White House press secretary Jay Carney have called the incident a terrorist attack.

Other incidents cited in the Issa-Chaffetz letter to Clinton:

—Just weeks before the attacks, the unarmed Libyan guards at the consulate, employed by British contractor Blue Mountain Group, were warned by family members to quit their jobs because there were rumors of an impending attack.

—In April, a gun battle erupted about two miles from the consulate between an unidentified armed group and forces loyal to the transitional government.

—In June, a posting on a Facebook page mentioned Stevens’ early morning runs around Tripoli along with members of his security detail. The page contained a threat against Stevens and a stock photo of him. Stevens stopped the runs for about a week, but then resumed.

ABC News has obtained an e-mail detailing the Obama Administration’s denial of a request by US Diplomats in Libya for Security-Enhancing Transportation.

 

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