As we’ve noted over the past weeks, we know precious little about the alleged “rebels” on whose behalf we’ve intervened in Libya.
In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited “around 25” men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”.
Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.
His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad’s president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, “including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries”.
Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against “the foreign invasion” in Afghanistan, before being “captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan”. He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008.
This is probably only a shock in the office of Samantha Power. Throughout the Iraq war Libya was the second leading source of foreign fighters and suicide bombers. That they should be driving the train on the insurrection in Libya should be unsurprising to anyone allowed to develop national policy. Should be, but apparently the Obama Administration’s foreign policy — or domestic policy for that matter — is nothing more than a series of unpleasant surprises.
So how long will we continue our alliance with al Qaeda? Will we continue this ill-conceived assault on Libya even though it places us in a direct, face-to-face alliance with the organization which carried out the attacks on 9/11? Does anyone in Congress care?