U.S. Military Training Terrorists in Libya?

The U.S. Military will reportedly begin training Senator John McCain’s “heroes” in Libya despite knowing that terrorists will likely be on the receiving end of such training. The Libyans will be the beneficiaries of both conventional and Special Ops training. The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have reportedly been apprised and are ok with it.

Hagel and Dempsey: Ok with training the Libyans?

Hagel and Dempsey: Ok with training the Libyans?

The Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz quotes Admiral William McRaven of U.S. Special Ops Command as saying the following during a recent panel discussion:

“We are going to have to assume some risks,” McRaven said. “Right now we have the authorities to do that training, and I think as a country we have to say there is probably some risk that some of the people we will be training with do not have the most clean records, but at the end of the day it is the best solution we can find to train them to deal with their own problems.” {emphasis ours}

Training terrorists is the best solution?

It was learned this past July and further confirmed last week that the attackers in Benghazi who killed four Americans were highly organized, coordinated, and well trained. In fact, a man suspected of possibly leading the attack – Tarek Taha Abu Al-Azm – received military training in the U.S. according to multiple Arabic sources.

Al-Azm: Benghazi suspect trained by U.S. Military.

Al-Azm: Benghazi suspect trained by U.S. Military.

Evidence also suggests that Al-Azm was the real leader of the Jamal Network, named after its founder Muhammad Jamal Abdo Al-Kashif. Both Al-Azm and Al-Kashif are currently sitting in Egyptian jails as best we can determine.

Last month, the U.N. Security Council named Al-Kashif and the Jamal Network as suspects in the Benghazi attack. The U.S. State Department went so far as to identify the group and its leaders as terrorists. These designations necessarily implicate Al-Azm, about whom very little is written.

As Gertz points out in his report, if the U.S. is training terrorists in Libya, there’s a possibility they’ll be going to fight elsewhere:

Intelligence reports from earlier this year said some of the Islamists are engaged in training jihadists fighters who are then dispatched to Syria to join Islamist rebels there fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashir Assad.

The four-star admiral said the risks have been explained to senior leaders, including Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, and the regional combatant commanders. {emphasis ours}

In addition to the Benghazi attackers being well organized, they also knew intricate details about the compound. Much of this very well may be attributable to the State Department’s reliance on the February 17 Martyrs Brigade (F17) to provide security. That group flies the al-Qaeda flag on its Facebook page. There is also a significant cross-pollination of leadership between F17 and Ansar Al-Sharia.

Speaking of Ansar Al-Sharia, Gertz writes:

The group, Ansar al Sharia, continues to operate openly, despite promises by President Barack Obama to bring those who carried out the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks to justice.

Additionally, Ansar al Sharia has grown more belligerent in recent months, apparently abandoning propaganda efforts to rebrand itself as a nonviolent militia.

More than a year after the Benghazi attacks, no one has yet been brought to justice for those attacks, the groups who carried them out are still operating, one of the lead suspects in the attacks was an Egyptian officer who was trained by the U.S. Military (al-Azm), and our Military is being directed to train more of them in conventional and special ops.

Oh, and our Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are signing off on it all.


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