Tags: obama | libya | rebels | terrorism

Author: Obama Administration Had to Know Libyan Rebels Had al-Qaida Links

Thursday, 04 Apr 2013 05:05 PM

By Melanie Batley and Kathleen Walter

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President Barack Obama’s administration had to know that an al-Qaida-linked group was behind the Libyan revolution that overthrew Muammar Gadhafi, author John Rosenthal tells Newsmax.

"They had to know that some of the main players in the rebellion were al-Qaida-linked radicals and one of the reasons that they had to know is because several of them had in fact been detained by the United States," pointed out Rosenthal, a regular contributor to National Review Online and The Weekly Standard.

Story continues below.

Rosenthal has written about the 2011 Libyan revolution in his new book “The Jihadist Plot.” He maintains that the White House was well aware of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s terrorist ties.

"When the … protests start in February of 2011, it was commonly presented in the US media and the western media in general as a kind of spontaneous democratic uprising," Rosenthal told Newsmax TV. "But in fact this al Qaida-linked Islamist group was the directing force behind the rebellion and they already had a well laid out plan to overturn Gadhafi."

The book, which is subtitled “The Untold Story of Al-Qaeda and the Libyan Rebellion,” argues that the Obama administration knew that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was behind the Libyan rebellion, but nonetheless decided to back the NATO-led conflict because of the support it had among our European allies.

At least three of the leading military commanders in the rebellion belonged to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and had been detained at one time or another by the United States as far back as the beginning of former President George Bush, Jr.'s War on Terror, he says.

Rosenthal said that it is still unclear who was behind last September’s attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, but that it is unlikely that those responsible will be tried, despite President Barack Obama's promises otherwise.

"The Libyan government can’t bring them to justice because the Libyan government depends for security... on these Islamist militias," Rosenthal explained, saying that the real force on the ground in Libya today are the militias, and the government has no control over them.

When asked whether the United States could team up again with jihadist groups to depose Syrian leader Bashar Assad, Rosenthal said that while the will was there, the Russians and the Chinese are standing in the way of NATO approval, and regardless, it's already too well-known that al-Qaida would be behind any rebellion in Syria, which prevents the US from getting publicly involved.

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