WASHINGTON – Contrary to Obama administration claims, al-Qaida is alive and well, according to credible documents provided to WND by a group of anti al-Qaida Libyans in exile.
The documents indicate top-level al-Qaida operatives are functioning with impunity in Libya under a NATO-established provisional government, contrary to claims the Obama administration made even after the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Working with Arabic-speaking former Muslim Brotherhood member Walid Shoebat, WND has examined an array of records obtained by the Libyan expatriates from top-level sources inside the Libyan government.
The purloined papers include passports of al-Qaida operatives and identification papers of terrorists from many nations, including Chad, Egypt and Pakistan, enabling them to enter Libya safely under what they called “government-appointed al-Qaida leaders.”
Shoebat, in coordination with WND, has turned over to the National Center for Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence documents obtained from the expatriate Libyans that show evidence of bribes and weapons-dealing by top-level officials of the Libyan provisional government. The documents also include copies of bank transactions showing the siphoning of funds to al-Qaida operatives in a pattern that suggests the Libyan provisional government functions subordinate to al-Qaida directives.
The Libyan expatriate sources have told WND the Sept. 11 attack on Stevens in Benghazi was an al-Qaida-organized terrorist strike designed to seek vengeance for U.S. drone strike in June that destroyed his vehicle and killed Abu Yahya al-Libi at a militant compound in North Waziristan, Pakistan, that left 15 dead.
According to the Libyan expatriates, Libi’s brother, Abdul Wahhab Hassan Qayad, now works in the Libyan Interior Ministry in charge of Border Control and Strategic Institutions. The position allows him to arrange open border passage for al-Qaida operatives, facilitating not only the flow of terrorists into Libya, but also al-Qaida efforts to transport terrorists and weapons into Syria from Libya via Turkey.
Abdul Hakim Belhaj is the al-Qaida operative that the Libyan expatriates claim was the principal organizer who directed the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi. Financing, they say, was provided by Mohammad Abdullah Aqil, the wealthy owner of a Mercedes car dealership in Tripoli that the Libyan expatriates name as the principal funder of al-Qaida in Libya.
Belhaj broke his silence on Radio Darnah on the Samir Shalwi program, one day after Stevens was killed, proclaiming:
I am indeed a member of the fighting in Jemmah Islamiyah; I’m proud of it; I will not deny that. For this, I have spent the best years of my life in the prisons, under torture and I’m still a member of this group. I will not give up on its edicts.
Everyone must know this in the West, before the East. I’ve committed Jihad operations in all parts of the globe from Morrocco to Yemen to Somalia to Algeria, even to Afghanistan and Pakistan. I give great respect to Sheik Ayman al-Zawahri and to the first teacher, Abu Musaab al-Zarkawi. I was saddened when Hassan al-Qaidi in Pakistan was martyred.
Me and my brothers Sheik Khalid al-Sharif, Sheik Al-Mahdi, Al-Haradi, Sheik Hassem, Baher, Abdul Rauf, Karah have formed a committee in Tripoli and we will not allow any foreigner, no matter who he is, to dictate what we do.
We give thanks to the Mujahed, Sheik Ismail al-Salabi, for his daring proclamation to the Darnah television station, and we tell him that we are with you in every word you spoke, that there is no place for America, Great Britain and all the West in Libya. Libya is a nation of Islam and Jihad.
The light of Islam will shine forth from it despite the noses of everyone. The weapons are here and the Mujahedeen from every corner of the earth are here with us and we have all the weaponry – that was prohibited before – with us now. We will not hesitate to use it against anyone who touches the land of Libya and that is the end of this discussion.
Shoebat believes the weapons Belhaj discussed appear to be the same weapons President Obama referenced when signing in March a “presidential finding” authorizing the CIA to conduct secret operations to support rebel forces then seeking to oust Libyan leader. The weapons possibly included as many as 20,000 surface-to-air missiles that were stolen from unguarded military warehouses and remain missing.
Shoebat concludes that the classified documents released by the Libyan expatriates “reveal that Belhaj actually controls most of the Libyan government, which are puppets under the control of the Islamists.”
“The Obama administration is knowingly supporting al-Qaida control in Libya and North Africa,” he says.
Several documents released to WND by the Libyan expatriates indicate Belhaj received funding from the provisional government currently ruling Libya to support rebel activity in Syria, supplementing funding Belhaj received from Qatar and Saudi Arabia for the same purpose.
Belhaj, a Libyan terrorist allied with the anti-Gadhafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group exiled in Afghanistan in 1988, was arrested in 2004 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia and transferred to Bangkok, where he was placed under the custody of the CIA. He ultimately was handed over to the Gadhafi regime in 2004, only to be released from a Libyan prison by Gadhafi in a 2010 attempt to reconcile with Islamic radicals and retain power.
A fake passport was created for Belhaj that the Libyan expatriates provided WND, further documenting his tie to the leadership in Libya.
Among the documents released to WND was a letter in which Belhaj appealed to the Turkish government to return to him 16 kilos of gold the Turks seized when a Belhaj runner was making a connecting flight through Istanbul Airport to Qatar to fund Jihadists.
According to Shoebat, credible sources report the Turkish government ultimately returned the gold that successfully arrived in Qatar and was used ultimately to fund rebels in Syria.