March 26, 1996
The Wisdom Fund

Libya: Who's Terrorizing Whom

by Enver Masud

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 26, 1996 -- Today, the Washington Post reported unrest in Libya which the Libyans believe is led by a Col. Khalifa Haftar based in the U.S. On May 17, 1991 the Washington Times reported that three hundred and fifty Libyans would arrive soon in the United States. So what's the connection?

It turns out that the Libyans who arrived in the U.S. in 1991 were not the Libyan President Ghaddafi's terrorists. They were our folks, trained by our CIA. These terrorists, which our government (ever mindful of our sensitivities) prefers to call guerillas, were trained by our CIA to topple President Ghaddafi. Last December 1990 when a new government less sympathetic to our mission was formed in Chad, we tried to find another home for our folks. It seemed that no one wanted our recruits, and so they were flown to the United States from Kenya where they were being temporarily housed. Col. Haftar was part of this group.

Col. Haftar is now reported to be the leader of a contra-style group based in the U.S. called the Libyan National Army. This group is supported by the U.S., and has been given training facilities in the U.S. It's a good presumption that Col. Haftar's group operates in Libya with the blessings of our government.

The question is, "Is Libya terrorizing the U.S., or is the U.S. terrorizing Libya?"

[A small group of U.S. troops quietly helped Chad's military in a running battle this week against an Algerian Islamic group, U.S. sources said Thursday.--Barbara Starr, "U.S. backs Chad against extremists", CNN Washington, March 11, 2004]

["Chad is ready to co-operate with neighbouring countries to combat the Salafist group - especially Niger, because the Salafists came through Niger, so we are ready to co-operate with Niger to fight the Salafists."

But the real problem with US's Pan-Sahel Initiative is that it could release monsters never dreamed of by Washington planners.

Al-Qaeda was, after all, a product of US strategy to arm the Mujahedeen and tear Afghanistan from the grasp of the Soviet Union.

The Chadian government is hardly a squeaky-clean democracy.--Martin Plaut, "Battling terrorism in Chad", BBC News, August 6, 2004]

[Colonel Haftar joined the LNSF in March 1987 after he was captured in the Chadian war; his goal was to create an army to fight against the Libyan authorities (ibid.). The Washington Post reported on 26 March 1996 that, according to some sources, Colonel Haftar was the leader of the Libyan National Army, a group of counter-revolutionaries supported and trained by the United States and operating in Libya. According to the sources cited in the article, anti-government uprisings in Libya were led by Colonel Haftar from the United States--"Libya: The Djava Khalifa Haftar movement, whose founding leader is reportedly a soldier named Khalifah Haftar, who currently in exile in the United States", Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, May 9, 2006]

[Khalifa Hifter was once a top military officer for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but after a disastrous military adventure in Chad in the late 1980s, Hifter switched to the anti-Gadhafi opposition.

. . . Since coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Hifter lived in suburban Virginia outside Washington, D.C. Badr said he was unsure exactly what Hifter did to support himself, and that Hifter primarily focused on helping his large family.--Chris Adams, "New rebel leader spent much of past 20 years in suburban Virginia," McClatchy Newspapers, March 26, 2011]

[Khalifa Haftar, a former army colonel who recently returned to Libya after living for many years in Falls Church, was initially hailed by the Transitional National Council as a leader who could help discipline the new army and train its largely volunteer ranks.

But Saturday, Ghoga said Haftar had no leadership role in the army.--Tara Bahrampour, "Libyan rebels struggle to explain rift,", April 2, 2011]

[From the outset in the early to mid-1990s, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) performed the role of an "intelligence asset" on behalf of the CIA and Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. Starting in 1995, the LIFG was actively involved in waging an Islamic Jihad directed against the secular Libyan regime, including a 1996 attempted assassination of Muamar Qadhafi.--John Michel Chossudovsky, "'Our Man in Tripoli': US-NATO Sponsored Islamic Terrorists Integrate Libya's Pro-Democracy Opposition," Global Research, April 3, 2011]

[For 20 years, Colonel Haftar has lived not far from Langley, Virginia, home of the CIA, which also provides him with a training camp.--John Pilger, "Westminster warriors untouched by Libya's suffering and bloodshed,", April 8, 2011]

The Real News, April 14, 2011

[It took nearly 15 years for Hifter to march on Libya. It also took a massive war that was purported to support a popular uprising. Hifter, as Baker described, is the Libyan equivalent of Iraq's Ahmed Chalabi, a discredited figure with strong allies in Washington D.C.--"The Libyan Bedlam: General Hifter, the CIA and the Unfinished Coup,", February 20, 2014]

Hassan Morajea and Abigail Hauslohner, "Libyan militias led by former general [Haftar]attack parliament and declare it dissolved,", May 18, 2014

Jason Ditz, "US Ambassador to Libya Defends General's Takeover,", May 21, 2014

Michael Pizzi, "Libya's rogue general, an ex-CIA asset, vaunts his anti-extremism services,", July 24, 2014

[General Hifter now represents the public face of the US supported forces in the western edge of the present wars in North Africa.--Horace G Campbell, "The United States, NATO and the Destruction of Libya,", August 1, 2014]

[He has bought 17 properties registered in his name in the US state, using funds he smuggled out of Libya--Mohammad Ayesh, "Libya's Haftar owns real estate worth millions in US,", December 4, 2020]

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