TV Interviews

11 July 19 update on terrorist attack in Benghazi by Barry Webb

TERRORIST ATTACK IN BENGHAZI
11 JULY 2019
by Barry Webb
The Saudi-owned al-arabiyya TV, and their website www.alarabiya.net both
reported on a terrorist attack in Libya’s second largest city, and “Capital” of
General Haftar’s forces (on 11 July 2019). The information for these reports came
from a video interview with General Ahmad al-Mismari, the spokesman for Gen.
Haftar’s forces.
The circumstance of the attack was a funeral for a relative of al-Mismari’s who
had been the head of Libya’s special forces. A car bomb was the weapon of
choice, and it killed 4 people and wounded 15 others.
General al-Mismari, who may have been the primary target of the attack, blamed
the Fayez Sirraaj government in Tripoli and the “corrupt” money they paid to
“traitors” in Benghazi.
Al-Mismari also claimed that Turkey was responsible for the attack because of
“the leadership is has living in Tripoli.” In this context al-Mismari claimed that
their war against “terrorism in Tripoli” was entirely just and legal, and warned all
Libyans that the battle will not end until terrorism is wiped out.
He lamented that his country has been suffering the scourge of terrorism since
2011, and blamed the “international community” for causing that problem.
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Barry Webb had a 25-year career as an NSA Arabist, and is the author of
Confessions of an (ex) NSA spy: Why America and its Allies are Losing the War on
Terror. His website is: www.barrywebbauthor.com He currently is a senior
fellow for the DC-based “Americans for Intelligence Reform” www.intelreform.org

09 June Arabic language news update By Barry Webb

HOUTHIS, ISIS, AND AL-QAEDA IN YEMEN

On the weekend of 05-07 July, the Saudi-owned, Dubai-based international TV channel al-arabiyya program sin’at al-mawt (industry of death) carried a special on the alliance of the Shi’a Houthis with the Sunni ISIS and al-Qaeda in Yemen. The program’s host interviewed a Saudi expert on radical groups named Haroun az-Ziadi who provided the following information:

The al-Qaeda franchise in Yemen has been allied with the Houthis for over 10 years, thanks to Iranian influence on both groups. The al-Qaeda franchise in Yemen (called AQAP in U.S. sources, for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) was thus able to obtain Iranian weapons.

(Note: The bin Laden clan, from which Usama bin Laden’s father hailed, has been a major clan in the Eastern portion of Yemen, particularly the Hadhramawt province, for hundreds of years. This region, consequently, has been al-Qaeda’s primary stronghold on the planet–especially after 9/11 when Usama bin Laden was hailed as a hero.)

ISIS, on the other hand, initially fought against both its rival al-Qaeda and the Shi’a Houthis, however, recently ISIS has formed “tactical alliances” with both al-Qaeda and the Houthis against their common targets, the legitimate Yemeni government, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. This development was likely due to advice (or pressure) from their respective state sponsors with the Houthis begin sponsored by Iran, ISIS being sponsored by Turkey, and al-Qaeda being aided by both Iran and Turkey.

(This development should be seen in the light of Turkey and Iran coming together on a number of other issues, such as supporting the terrorist government in Tripoli, Turkey continuing to purchase Iranian oil in defiance of the U.S. embargo, and hatred of Israel just for starters.)

The Saudi expert claimed that the Houthis were flabbergasted when the Saudi Special forces captured the ameer da’esh (the prince of ISIS), Abu Usama al-Muhajir.
Al-Muhajir had originally been a member of al-Qaeda but switched over to ISIS in 2015. Significantly, he is from the eastern portion of Yemen, near the above-mentioned Hadhramawt. And, it was in this area where he was captured in early June.

On 07 July, the Saudi military spokesman Gen. Maliki reiterated the contention that both ISIS and al-Qaeda are allied with, and cooperate with, the Iranian-backed Houthies.

LIBYA

The spokesman for General Haftar’s forces, General Ahmad al-Mismari, claimed on 07 July that ISIS in Libya has been reduced to the level of no longer having any military significance.

During the pan-African conference in Niger this past weekend, most delegates condemned Haftar’s attacks against Tripoli and demanded that he withdraw.

Meanwhile, additional tribes (some with Berber ancestry) in eastern Libya (often called Barqa) swore their allegiance to General Haftar and his army.

COMMENT: During Greek times, eastern Libya was called Cyrenaica, and the western portion Tripolitania. Even during the first half of the 20th century were ruled as separate provinces. I would not be surprised to see the solution to the Libyan crisis (if there ever is a solution) the division of the country into two parts, one based on Benghazi, and the other based on Tripoli.

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Barry Webb has logged a 25-year career as an Arabist for the NSA, has two MA degrees in related subject matter, and is currently a Senior Fellow with Americans for Intelligence Reform. He is the author of Confessions of an (ex) NSA spy: Why America and its Allies are Losing the War on Terror. His website is www.barrywebbauthor.com

Special update on violence in Libya by Barry Webb

SPECIAL REPORT: LIBYA
By Barry Webb
Arab news entities are heavily covering the air attack on a migrant camp in Tripoli. The
migrants in this camp were mostly black Africans who had made their way across the
Sahara desert, and survived, and were waiting in the camp until they could find passage
to Europe.
But after surviving the Sahara desert, death came out of the sky. Over 50 were killed,
dozens more were seriously injured.
General Haftar’s spokesperson Gen. al-Mismari announced that their Libyan army had
targeted a “terrorist” facility in the vicinity of the migrant camp, and blamed the Tripoli
government of Fayez Sirraaj for having intentionally placed the migrant camp next to a
legitimate military target–against the migrant’s protests. He then accused the Tripoli
government of using the migrants as “human shields.” He also demanded an impartial
international investigation into the incident.
Al-jazeera and the Sirraaj government quickly picked up on the story portraying it as a
deliberate war crime on the part of General Haftar’s “terrorist” group.
STORY GETS SCRAMBLED BY FACTS
But then, eyewitness reports from survivors began to pour in and the UN actually began
to do something useful. The Libyan army of General Haftar and Gen. al-Mismari also
began to double check the time of their air attack and the time of the destruction of the
migrant camp.
It so turned out that the air raid sponsored by General Haftar’s group was concluded and
withdrawn from the area 17 minutes prior to the time that the migrant camp was hit.
Eyewitnesses accounts began to pour in speaking of a “second air attack.”
What actually happened was that the first attack, sponsored by and claimed by General
Haftar’s group, actually hit not the migrant camp, but the terrorist militia “motor pool”
nearby where the group had been storing weapons.
The second air attack was by a MIG-23 flying out of the city of Masratta, which is
controlled by ISIS and allied to Sirraaj’s “internationally recognized” Tripoli government.
It was this aircraft that intentionally struck the migrant camp so that the attack could be
blamed on the 17-minute earlier attack by forces allied to Gen. Haftar.

MURDER FOR THE MEDIA
Now, here is where things get interesting. When the migrant camp was hit by a missile
fired from the MIG-23, survivors tried to flee the camp–only to be gunned down
intentionally by the “Libyan National Guard” under the command of the Tripoli
government. This, of course, was to increase the body count for propaganda reasons.
Al-jazeera’s rival, the Saudi-owned al-arabiyya, reported that camp survivors and UN
human rights workers have reported that they had begged the Sirraaj government to not
put the camp next to a military target, but their pleas were ignored. Furthermore,
according to al-arabiyya, the terrorist militias in the area had been using these migrants
as “drivers” and as “labor.”
I take that to mean that they had been used as slaves by the militias until they were of
greater use as corpses for propaganda purposes knowing which way al-jazeera would
play the issue, and knowing that most of western media follows the lead of al-jazeera on
all Middle East issues.
PREMEDITATED SLAUGHTER
So, what it looks like, is that the Tripoli government placed the migrants’ camp in one of
the most dangerous areas they could come up with precisely because they wanted to use
these “expendable human beings” for propaganda purposes should the opportunity arise.
The attack by the Masratta-based Mig-23 and the calling up of the Libyan national guard
and posting them where they could fire on migrants fleeing the camp had to have been
coordinated. And, that is the biggest war crime of them all.
It will be interesting to see, that if in the wake of this tragedy the UN has the guts to pull
their recognition of the Tripoli government and/or whether or not any of the big powers
besides France and Russia will shift their support from the Sirraaj government to the
Haftar group.
A couple more of interesting tidbits have come in regarding this tragedy. First of all,
Russian President Putin while lamenting the tragedy said that terrorists were being
transported from Syria’s Idlib province and infiltrated into Libya, though he did not
reveal who was transporting these terrorists. This would seem, though, to be lending
support an earlier claim by Gen. Haftar’s group that Turkey is hiring terrorists from all
over the world, training them, and then inserting them into Libya to fight on behalf of the
Tripoli government.
The Idlib province is key here. Who controls Idlib? Al-Qaeda took over the province a
couple of years ago. Then when the Turkish army moved in a few months ago they were
received warmly by al-Qaeda. So, it would make sense that Turkey is the one funneling
these terrorist into Libya as Gen. al-Mismari said.

Another interesting thing to further scramble the picture. The aircraft that launched the
first attack (the one against the legitimate terrorist target) was an F-16. General Haftar’s
group does not own any F-16s. This indicates that a “foreign entity” of some sort
actually carried out the attack on behalf of General Haftar.
Egypt and the UAE have both been known to provide air support for General Haftar, and
both own F-16s.
So, what we have here is a number of outside powers fighting a proxy war on Libyan
soil, much like we saw in Syria. In this case France has joined Egypt and the UAE in
aiding Gen. Haftar’s group, while Turkey, Qatar, and to a lesser extent, Iran, are aiding
the Tripoli government.
The incident against the camp of African migrants also dramatically show where black
Africans stand with the “religion of peace.”
We can only hope that these latest disclosures of the Tripoli government’s complicity in
the massacre of the migrant camp will shift international support and recognition away
from Tripoli and that a concerted effort will be made to clean out the al-Qaeda, ISIS, and
other terror groups operating in Libya.
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Barry Webb has logged a 25-year career as an Arabist for the NSA, has two MA degrees
in related subject matter, and is currently a Senior Fellow with Americans for Intelligence
Reform. He is the author of Confessions of an (ex) NSA spy: Why America and its Allies
are Losing the War on Terror. His website is www.barrywebbauthor.com