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The Ugly Truth About Benghazi and Ambassador’s Death: The West Used Libya As Syrian Rebel Weapons Distribution Point

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LIBYA/ (Photo credit: شبكة برق | B.R.Q)

 The adventures of a Libyan weapons dealer in Syria

By Jessica Donati, Ghaith Shennib and Firas Bosalum

BENGHAZI, Libya  Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:04pm EDT

(Reuters) – Abdul Basit Haroun says he is behind some of the biggest shipments of weapons from Libya to Syria, which he delivers on chartered flights to neighboring countries and then smuggles over the border.

After fleeing Libya in his 20s, Haroun established himself as a property developer in Manchester. After about two decades in the British city, he returned to Libya in 2011 to fight in the revolution, where he became a prominent rebel commander.

He says he sends aid and weapons to help Syrians achieve the freedom he fought for during the Libyan revolution.

The first consignment of weapons was smuggled into Syria aboard a Libyan ship delivering aid last year, Haroun says, but now containers of arms are flown “above board” into neighboring countries on chartered flights.

In the months since Haroun began his work, arming the rebels has moved up the international agenda, with Saudi Arabia equipping them with missiles, and Washington also planning to send weapons to the men fighting President Bashar al-Assad.


LIBYA/ (Photo credit: شبكة برق | B.R.Q)

A Reuters reporter was taken to an undisclosed location in Benghazi to see a container of weapons being prepared for delivery to Syria. It was stacked with boxes of ammunition, rocket launchers and various types of light and medium weapons.

Haroun and an associate said it was being stored on the unnamed base to keep the arms safe.

“They are not partners with me in the transfer of weapons, but I store the weapons here because it is a safe place,” said Haroun’s associate, who asked not to be named because it could negatively impact his relief work.

Haroun says he can collect weapons from around the country and arrange for them to be delivered to the Syrian rebels because of his contacts in Libya and abroad.

They know we are sending guns to Syria,” Haroun said. “Everyone knows.”

In Libya, he helps the government with state security, according to interior ministry spokesman Majdi al-Ourfi.

He also has credentials as a commander from the days of the revolution. “Abdel Basit Haroun was with us in the February 17 brigade before he quit to form his own brigade,” said fellow brigade commander Ismail Salabi.

His weapon dealing activities appear to be well known, at least in Libya’s east.

Senior officials in Libya’s army and government told Reuters they backed supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition, while a member of Libya’s congress said Haroun was doing a great job of helping the Syrian rebels.

English: Inside al Fadeel compound, Benghazi, ...

English: Inside al Fadeel compound, Benghazi, Libya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“After the end of the war of liberation, he became involved in supporting the Syrian revolution… sending aid and weapons to the Syrian people,” said assembly member Tawfiq Al-Shehabi.

“He does a good job of supporting the Syrian revolution.”

Another official, who declined to be identified, said he had allowed weapons to leave the port of Benghazi for Syria.

A United Nations Panel report dated February this year also backs Haroun’s assertions that weapons smuggling to Syria from Libya is widely known about.

Haroun runs the operation with an associate, who helps him coordinate about a dozen people in Libyan cities collecting weapons for Syria. Both said several flights had been chartered to Jordan or Turkey to deliver weapons that were then transferred over the border.


LIBYA (Photo credit: شبكة برق | B.R.Q)

A Reuters reporter who visited locations supplied by Haroun in Syria a month or two after the shipment was said to have arrived said the area was awash in weapons of Libyan origin.

In addition, a number of journalists traveled with Haroun.

“I was with Haroun on the ship (Al Entisar)… And I know they transfer arms to Syria,” said Areesh Saeed, a Libyan journalist.

That aid shipment met only a fraction of the people’s needs, the associate said. The next consignment due to sail in June would be bigger, at close to 2,000 metric tons.

Sources: Slain U.S. ambassador recruited jihadists

Egyptian officials say Stevens worked with Saudis against Assad

Published: 09/24/2012 at 9:06 PM

Program #memorial for Ambassador J Christopher...

Program #memorial for Ambassador J Christopher Stevens #libya (Photo credit: Steve Rhodes)

Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador murdered in Libya, played a central  role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria,  according to Egyptian security officials speaking to WND.

Stevens served as a key contact with the Saudis to coordinate the recruitment  by Saudi Arabia of Islamic fighters from North Africa and Libya. The jihadists  were sent to Syria via Turkey to attack Assad’s forces, said the security  officials.

The officials said Stevens also worked with the Saudis to send names of potential jihadi recruits to U.S. security organizations for review. Names found to be directly involved in previous attacks against the U.S., including in Iraq and Afghanistan, were ultimately not recruited by the Saudis to fight in Syria, said the officials.

Stevens and three other American diplomats were killed on Sept. 11 in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi blamed on Islamists.

One witness to the mob scene in Libya said some of the gunmen attacking the U.S. installation had identified themselves as members of Ansar al-Shariah, which represents al-Qaida in Yemen and Libya.

The al-Qaida offshoot released a statement denying its members were behind the deadly attack, but a man identified as a leader of the Ansar brigade told Al Jazeera the group indeed took part in the Benghazi attack.

Al-Qaida among U.S.-supported rebels

Welcoming ceremony. With President of Syria Ba...

Welcoming ceremony. With President of Syria Bashar al-Assad. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As WND reported last week, questions remain about the nature of U.S. support for the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, including reports the U.S.-aided rebels that toppled Muammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya consisted of al-Qaida and jihad groups. The U.S. provided direct assistance, including weapons and finances, to the Libyan rebels.

Similarly, the Obama administration is currently aiding the rebels fighting Assad’s regime in Syria amid widespread reports that al-Qaida jihadists are included in the ranks of the Free Syrian Army.

During the revolution against Gadhafi’s regime, the U.S. admitted to directly arming the rebel groups.

At the time, rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi admitted in an interview that a significant number of the Libyan rebels were al-Qaida fighters, many of whom had fought U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Hillary’s Benghazi investigator confirms Egypt link

JERUSALEM – In a development unreported by news media, the State Department’s lead Benghazi investigator, Thomas Pickering, apparently leaked important classified information at a House hearing last week on the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack.

Pickering revealed there is evidence that an Egyptian organization was behind the attack on the U.S. mission that killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

He further refused to deny there was a plan to kidnap Stevens.


Written by voiceoftruthusa

November 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm

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