Desperate Attempts to Save the Myth of the War on Terror

Capture of Abu Anas al-Liby Highlights Real Masters of Terrorism

With the true nature of the proxy war in Syria being revealed more and more every day, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the United States and its allies to maintain the fraud that is the War on Terror.

The failed raid in Somalia and the capture of Abu Anas al-Liby in the Libyan capital Tripoli caught the attention of the media but will not save the false narrative. We just need to take a closer look at the background of al-Liby to understand how ridiculous the idea of a so-called ‘War on Terror’ is.

Washington’s supposed arch-enemy al-Liby is a senior member of al-Qaeda as well as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and has longstanding ties with Osama bin Laden. Most media outlets date the start of his terrorist career in the 1990s when he became involved with “al-Qaeda”. But in fact Abu Anas al-Liby was already a terrorist in the 1980s when he fought alongside bin Laden in Afghanistan and was badly injured in the battle of Jalalabad in 1989.[1] Of course at this time al-Liby and bin Laden were still freedom fighters and waged jihad on behalf of Washington.[private]In a joint CIA/ISI operation aimed at installing a new Afghan interim government with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar as Prime Minister and Abdul Rasul Sayyaf as Foreign Minister, al-Liby was part of the mujahideen led by Hekmatyar and Sayyaf which were defeated in the battle of Jalalabad. At first the mujahideen gained the upper hand and government troops surrendered. But after Hekmatyar’s and Sayyaf’s freedom fighters tortured and executed the captured troops along with unarmed civilians, resistance of the Afghan army increased and the CIA’s mujahideen army eventually lost.

This bears some resemblance to more recent developments in Syria and the actions of Washington’s current freedom fighters in Syria are apparently very similar to those of former freedom fighters in Afghanistan. Twenty-five years after the battle of Jalalabad the “untouchable jihadi” Abdul Rasul Sayyaf might get his spot in the Afghan government despite his close links to al-Qaeda and his passion for Wahhabism. The longtime pal of Osama bin Laden and mentor of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is now regarded as a politician and among the favorites to succeed Hamid Karzai as Afghan President.[2] Meanwhile, the status of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was changed from freedom fighter to terrorist and he is one of the main leaders of the insurgency in Afghanistan.

Back to Abu Anas al-Liby who became involved with the organization referred to as “al-Qaeda” by Jamal al-Fadl immediately after Operation Cyclone. Al-Liby is a computer engineer and ran the computers for al-Qaeda which were primarily used to store all information collected by surveillance.[3] In this capacity, al-Liby worked closely together with Ali Mohammed and the relationship between the two top terrorists dates back to at least 1992 when Mohamed trained al-Liby and other al-Qaeda members in Peshawar.[4] 

During the war against the Soviets Peshawar had been a key staging area for covert CIA aid and all individuals nowadays called terrorists including bin Laden and Zawahiri made their way into the city.[5] Barnett Rubin of Columbia University stated that “Sheikh Azzam was ‘enlisted’ by the CIA to unite fractious rebel groups operating in Peshawar” and Omar Abdel-Rahman commonly known as “The Blind Sheikh” was sent by the CIA to Peshawar “to preach to the Afghans about the need for unity in dislodging the Kabul regime”.[6] After the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s Peshawar still served as base of operations for the same individuals and the Pakistani ISI as well as the CIA were certainly aware of this. Osama bin Laden owned a house in Peshawar’s Hayatabad suburb and not far from this house Ali Mohamed trained al-Qaeda terrorists. One of the groups trained by Mohamed included Abu Anas al-Liby and Saif al-Liby who was then emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. This training focused on surveillance and intelligence gathering and took place in 1992.[7] Mohamed was very busy in 1992 training not only terrorists in Pakistan but also in Bosnia which was the new destination of the mujahideen. The Cold War was over but terrorists led by Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman continued to do Washington’s bidding in the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia.[8]

So it is hardly surprising that Ali Mohamed was protected the whole time by various U.S. government agencies and could continue to search targets for terror attacks. One terrorist who accompanied Mohamed regularly was Abu Anas al-Liby and when Mohamed visited the Kenyan capital Nairobi to surveil the American embassy al-Liby was again by his side.[9] But the two terrorists share another interesting link [emphasis mine]:

“Much of his work seems to be done together with Anas al-Liby, a top al-Qaeda leader with a mysterious link to Western intelligence agencies similar to Mohamed’s. In 1996, British intelligence will pay al-Liby to assassinate Libyan leader Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi (see 1996), and then will let him live openly in Britain until 2000 (see Late 1995-May 2000). Al-Liby is said to be a “computer wizard” known for “working closely” with Mohamed.”[10]

“Top al-Qaeda leader with a mysterious link to Western intelligence agencies” is of course the rule rather than the exception. Ali Mohamed is a prime example of this rule which is further confirmed by new revelations about Anwar al-Awlaki and the role of current al-Qaeda No. 1 Ayman al-Zawahiri in Operation Gladio B

After the Sudanese government, pressured by Muammar Gaddafi, told Osama bin Laden in 1995 that it could no longer protect the Libyan members of al-Qaeda, Abu Anas al-Liby left Sudan. According to L’Houssaine Kerchtou’s testimony, at this point al-Liby and the other Libyan fighters also left bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization and operated from then on under the banner of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Al-Liby travelled first to Qatar and then to London.[11] The English capital provides shelter for terrorists from all over the world and has therefore earned the nickname ‘Londonistan’. LIFG terrorist al-Liby eventually settled in Manchester after he was granted asylum in the United Kingdom in 1995 despite objections from the Libyan government [12] and an extradition request from Egypt.[13] Then in late 1995 or early 1996 British intelligence service MI6 reportedly paid the LIFG approximately $160.000 of taxpayers’ money to kill Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi.[14] The plot failed, several militants and innocent bystanders were killed but Gaddafi survived. Abu Anas al-Liby was protected by the British authorities and continued to live unimpeded in Manchester until May 2000 when he was arrested but managed to escape under dubious circumstances [emphasis mine]:

“Al-Qaeda leader Anas al-Liby is arrested in Manchester, England, and then let go. According to Ali Soufan, an FBI agent from 1997 to 2005, the I-49 squad, a mix of FBI agents and US attorneys, uncovers evidence that al-Liby is living in Manchester. FBI agent John O’Neill assembles a team, including Soufan, to go there. Soufan will later say that they are met by local police, and he tells them: “Anas al-Liby is a senior al-Qaeda operative. He’s a computer expert and was part of the team that did surveillance on the embassy in Nairobi [that resulted in the 1998 bombing there (see 10:35-10:39 a.m., August 7, 1998)]. This is potentially a big win for us.” Al-Liby is caught in his residence and taken to a local police station. However, he denies any involvement in terrorism. According to Soufan, al-Liby is smart and careful, and no incriminating documents or computer files can be quickly found in his residence. O’Neill wants him held until his possessions can be searched more thoroughly, but he is immediately released. Al-Liby evades a team sent to follow him, and skips the country. Not long afterwards, Soufan, who speaks Arabic, discovers a terrorist training manual written in Arabic in al-Liby’s possessions (see May 2000).”[15]

According to al-Liby's son, after the mysterious escape from Manchester the LIFG member fled with his family to Iran where they were arrested and held for several years before being released in 2010. Abu Anas al-Liby was allowed to follow his family one year later to Libya.[16] In the meantime the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group went from freedom fighters to terrorists and back again. In 2007 Washington’s favorite terrorist leader Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the merger of al-Qaeda and the LIFG, highlighting that these terrorist groups are inextricably linked with one another. But this did not stop the United States and its allies from embracing the LIFG as freedom fighters against the government of Muammar Gaddafi.[17] Al-Liby participated in this not so peaceful Libyan uprising[18] led by the LIFG under the command of battle seasoned mujahideen Abdelhakim Belhadj who fits perfectly the profile of ”top al-Qaeda leader with a mysterious link to Western intelligence agencies”.[19] After NATO bombed the LIFG into power and handed the country over to al-Qaeda, Belhadj became commander of the Tripoli Military Council making him one of the most powerful men in Libya and al-Liby could live openly in Tripoli.[20] So some people might have a hard time understanding why Abu Anas al-Liby was now snatched from the streets of the Libyan capital and presented as one of the most dangerous terrorists on the planet, while Abdelhakim Belhadj is regarded as a politician[21] and jihadi militias are ruling the North African country.[22]

At a time when the relationship between terrorists all over the world and their real masters in Washington, London, Ankara, Riyadh, Doha, Islamabad, etc. is becoming more transparent every day, spectacular raids extensively covered by the media, drone attacks which result in the killing of another al-Qaeda No. 2[23] or No. 3[24] and the new wave of terrorism fear-mongering [25] are nothing more than desperate attempts to save the myth of the War on Terror.

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Christoph Germann- BFP Contributing Author & Analyst Christoph Germann is an independent analyst and researcher based in Germany, where he is currently studying political science. His work focuses on the New Great Game in Central Asia and the Caucasus region. You can visit his website here

[1] Ian Black, “Abu Anas al-Liby was disillusioned with jihadism, says ex-colleague,” The Guardian, 7 October 2013: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/07/abu-anas-al-liby-al-qaida.

[2] Christoph Germann, “The New Great Game Round-Up #23,” christophgermann.blogspot.com, 6 October 2013: http://christophgermann.blogspot.de/2013/10/the-new-great-game-round-up-23.html.

[3] United States v. Usama bin laden et al., S(7) 98 Cr. 1023, testimony of Jamal al-Fadl, 6 February 2001: http://cryptome.org/usa-v-ubl-02.htm.

[4] United States v. Usama bin laden et al., S(7) 98 Cr. 1023, testimony of L’Houssaine Kerchtou, 21 February 2001: http://cryptome.org/usa-v-ubl-08.htm.

[5] Peter Lance, Triple Cross: How bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets, and the FBI (New York: HarperCollins, 2009) p. 18.

[6] Robert Friedman, „The CIA's Jihad,“ New Yorker, 17 March 1995.

[7] Ibid., Kerchtou testimony

[8] Prof. Peter Dale Scott, “The Pseudo-War on Terror: How the US Has Protected Some of Its Enemies,” Global Resarch, 7 October 2013: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-pseudo-war-on-terror-how-the-us-has-protected-some-of-its-enemies/5353197.

[9] Ibid., Kerchtou testimony.

[10] “Late 1993-Late 1994: Ali Mohamed and Anas Al-Liby Scout Targets in Africa,” History Commons: http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=alate93surveillance#alate93surveillance.

[11] United States v. Usama bin laden et al., S(7) 98 Cr. 1023, testimony of L’Houssaine Kerchtou, 22 February 2001: http://cryptome.org/usa-v-ubl-09.htm

[12] Ibid., Black.

[13] “(Late 1995): Al-Qaeda Leader Allowed to Live in Britain Despite Being Wanted for Attempting to Assassinate Egyptian President,” History Commons:

http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&startpos=600#alate1995anasegypt.

[14] David Shayler, “MI6 Plot to assasinate Colonel Gaddafi,” Cryptome, 11 November 2001: http://cryptome.org/shayler-gaddafi.htm.

[15] “May 2000: Al-Qaeda Leader Is Arrested in Britain and Then Released,” History Commons: http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a0500anasarrested#a0500anasarrested.

[16] Chris Stephen, “Son of Abu Anas al-Liby describes capture of al-Qaida suspect in Libya,” The Guardian, 8 October 2013: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/07/son-al-qaida-suspect-libya

[17] Tony Cartalucci, “West Point Center Confirms Al Qaeda in Libya,” Land Destroyer Report, September 2011: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.de/2011/09/west-point-terror-center-confirms-al.html.

[18] Ibid., Stephen.

[19] Dr. Christof Lehmann, “Abdelhakim Belhadj The Mask Behind The Many Men,” nsnbc international, 25 September 2011: http://nsnbc.me/2011/09/25/abdelhakim-belhadj-the-mask-behind-the-many-men/.

[20] Ibid., Black.

[21] “Libya's Belhadj quits military post for politics,” BBC, 15 May 2012: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18078436

[22] “Libyan PM freed after capture by former rebels over US raid,” Russia Today, 10 Ocotber 2013: http://rt.com/news/rebels-kidnap-libya-pm-963/

[23] Jason Ditz, “US Claims ‘Al-Qaeda Number Two’ Killed Yet Again,” Antiwar.com, 5 June 2012: http://news.antiwar.com/2012/06/05/us-claims-al-qaeda-number-two-killed-yet-again/

[24] Robert Mackey, “Eliminating Al Qaeda’s No. 3, Again,” The Lede Blog New York Times, 1 June 2010: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/eliminating-al-qaedas-no-3-again/?_r=0

[25] Frank Gardner, “MI5 chief Andrew Parker warns of Islamist threat to UK,” BBC, 9 October 2013: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24454596

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