Libya the new terrorist haven?
September 14th, 2011
02:51 PM ET

Libya the new terrorist haven?

By Pentagon Correspondent Chris Lawrence

Terrorist groups are trying to set up for a long-term presence in Libya, a senior defense official said Wednesday, but American intelligence is not showing a mass movement into the country.

The official, who gave a briefing to reporters at the Pentagon on the condition that the official not be identified, said the fall of Moammar Gadhafi has unleashed some groups that were constrained during the Libyan leader's regime.

The official said terrorist groups "are playing it safe in the short term, but are trying to set up a footprint and network internally for the long haul." The official said terrorist groups now have more freedom to operate within Libya, and "we're concerned about it."

Because some of the terrorist groups were clearly anti-Ghadafi, the Gadhafi regime put its military and intelligence resources into clamping down on the groups, the official said. Now the regime has collapsed, and the NTC is more concerned with dealing with the remnants of that regime than keeping an eye on militant groups.

The official suggested that the United States is seeing some movement into Libya by outside militants, but "in the dozens," not on a large scale.
One reason for the militants' current low profile is the NATO presence.

"It is in their interest to keep a low profile. Any perception of them being active will only draw the kind of attention they don't want while they try to establish these networks" in Libya, the official said.

There is little current danger of the National Transitional Council being co-opted by militants, the official said, noting TNC leaders have gone to great lengths to dissociate themselves from extremists.

But when asked whether there are men inside the NTC that are affiliated with terrorist groups, the senior defense official admitted, "Yeah, probably."

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Filed under: Gadhafi • Libya • NTC • Terrorism
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Edj Mangent

    I got so bored today afternoon, but as soon as I watched this YouTube comic clip at this webpage I turn into fresh and glad too.

    July 13, 2012 at 2:24 am | Reply
  2. Reader

    I recommend reading some books on or the public library on Intl Affairs, Economics and Diplomacy but I warn you it will make you hopefully a better educated voter but also mad and sick to your stomach. For the uneducated commenters – CNN, and other major news sites are not what they should be neutral and fair, they have become very biased and CNN and BBC and Aljazeera are some of the worst. These medica org are usually financed and run by Israeli jews who force US Govt and Europe Govts to destroy muslim countries and fight for Israel. The Arab Spring is all fake. Since the CIA, and Israel Mossad and UK M16 spy agencies started about after WWII they do not work like James Bond movies but instead act like the violent radical extreme religious terrorists they blame other countries and persons. The Nato countries claim defense but it is for Israel's benefit to destroy all Mid East and African countries and kill as many blacks, muslims,arabs,palestinians, they even demand US and Nato fight so they can stay home and be Wall Street criminals,lawyers,politicians or media. Gaddaffi has never been a terrorists, he has been blamed for acts that were actually done by Nato countries or Israel did the German disco bombing, the Lockerbie bombing and the 9/11 disaster. Israel forces every US politician and president to sign a pledge guaranteeing they will vote in favor of Israel even when it hurts US citizens. A President and Congress can refuse to sign and some do but it is almost iimpossible to get elected if they dont or get elected president. When Obama got elected the first person he hired was a jew. The first thing done in Libya after protests began was establish business with Israel, not Nato. Israel demands Nato countries destroy a country and they dont care who suffers.Israel will tell the UN not to hire certain people if they are opposed to Israel. Many Congressional Interns and higher level staff get fired when a Jewish Congress person or an Israel org find that Congress person or their aid refuse to do what Israel wants. This is all proven by millions of former Govt workers and Former Treasury Official complained about this very problem ruing US Foreign Policy, andUS Economy. He can be seen on (Russia Today in English. Also he may be on youtube the same interviews. So the Arab countries yes there are local people who protest anyway but this mass uprising was caused by Nato countries plus the oil companies, big corporations who with John McCain as one of the worst US terrorists and the spy agencies cause protests, riots, crises, turmoil, cause bombings, wars, overthrow foreign leaders which violates the UN and killing foreign leaders violates UN. Bin Ladin killing was an illegal war crime. War is not democracy and the US and Nato have been failures in overthrows. The countries are worse off after an overthrow, the oil production output is less, less infrastructure because the West refuse to pay for rebuilding everything and refuse to pay for injuries,disabilities and death. Not one but
    many NTC, and rebels admitted and local Libyans that most of the rebels were not just inexperienced youths seeking democracies but Al-qaeda fighters brought in from jails that Gaddaffi and the Nato countries put them in,many foreign spies, Nato militaries, private security co.s like blackwater, experienced special forces, local military and police who were bribed to defect and the ones who refused bribes were given threats so they would defect. Hilary Clinton, Sarkozy, and Cameron lead the list of pro war politicians who should be impeached,disbarred from practicing law,it is even on Hilary Clintons Dept of State that al-qaeda are terrorists and helping them in any way can get you a 15 year prison sentence or longer. Gaddaffi did not start this war. The protestors were shot and bombed by Nato, armed rebels al-qaeda and foreign countries military like militaries from Kuwait, Jordan,UAE,Morroco. Denmark and France military ground troops have been beheading Gaddaffi soldiers and using chemical weapons. The White House and other Countries now meet with the media org and tell the media what they can put in their newspapers or magazines. For example Gaddaffi and Syria President Assad get criticized but the Bahrain govt does not nor does Israel when Isreal shoots Palestinians or Egyptions. I recommend the major media to see photos, pictures, and read the posts but for more honesty try,,,,,,

    September 16, 2011 at 1:06 am | Reply
  3. r.ortiz

    Mr. Gaddaffi, will be caugth like the rat he is remember a cat has lots of patience and always gets his mouse. and these rebels in libeya watch them history has a way of repeating itself this country is a haven for terrorist organisations.

    September 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  4. jessie

    we have absolutetly no business in libya. this is nothing more than a witch hunt. this whole farce has been on the back burner in america for years...this is about oil money. and the destablization of africa.....the evil behind this is beyond measure......i cant believe president Obama fell for thiis CIA rouse... whats next . go in a kill chavez,, send a hit quade after castro......shame on america..

    September 14, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  5. Teluu

    NATO new their were Al-Qaeda militants within the NTC. But, whoever help to overthrow Qaddafi NATO would align with them. Will they regret in the future YES! big time.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  6. Bubba

    YES! Thanks to CNN...........

    September 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  7. Drogo, who bit the dust

    We need neutron bombs. Leave all the infrastructure intact and obliterate all radical rag heads.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  8. Gen. Westmoreland

    What an insightful article.

    Terrorist groups are trying to set up for a long-term presence in Libya, a senior defense official said Wednesday, but American intelligence is not showing a mass movement into the country.

    I think I'd like to be a senior defense official and say confusing, inane thing too.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Reply
  9. Bill

    This whole Arab Spring thing that Obama is behind is going to be a nightmare for the US. At least with the dictators in place, we new what as going on.

    September 14, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  10. Terry Brookman

    When has it not been?

    September 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  11. sean

    It seems to me that creating terror states is what NATO and its allies have been doing since the second invation of Iraq. Nothing can be done now. Let's see what horrible things happen next.

    September 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  12. Logic

    It's high time US stopped getting involved everywhere in the world. Get out of Afghanistan. Let Taliban or their masters Pakistan take over. Get out of Iraq. Let the shias and sunnis fight it out. Stop throwing money at Egypt, Palestine, Israel. Let them go kill each other. Stop throwing money at Pakistan. Do not get involved in Libya or any of those Arab spring countries. Remove all bases from Saudi and other Arab countries.

    September 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    • Oscar II

      Agree 100%, maybe once we could afford to be the world's policeman, no more it is bankrupting this country.

      September 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  13. Jack


    September 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  14. rafi

    This was plainly a revenge war against gadhafi for IRA support and the pan am downining. hence the willingness of the west to support at all cost an insugency peppered too obviously with al-quaeda and affiliate orgs.

    BTW has any of you noticed that whereas the likes of CNN and western government consider the taliban as terrorists in afganistan, the afgans themselves call them resistance fighters? so who you call terrorist depends on which position you look from. mandela's ANC was for years considered a terrorist organisation most notably by britain and the US government who considred it a threat to the apartheid system in south africa.

    September 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  15. Donald

    LMFAO!!! Another win for the Obama administration! Yes, this is how America should model its foreign policy!

    September 14, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
    • Jon

      Do I really need to bring up how Bush essentially handed Iraq to the Iranians?

      September 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  16. cskiff

    Of course Libya will be a terrorist haven.What else can it be?The country has a history of terrorism.It was ruled by terrorist who was overthrown by terrorist aided by terrorist.

    September 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  17. c

    Terrorists, no. How do you define "terrorists"? Is a terrorist a person who fights for money? Well if that is the definition, then any military contractor, blackwater, xe....whatever they call themselves, are a group of mercenary terrorists. Is a terrorist a person who fights to defend their homeland, do they fight based on religious ideologies? Do they attack our soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, any other country in which we wage illegal wars? Then are they taliban, terrorist or "insurgents"? Is arming the rebels, certain member reportedly part of Al Qaeda a good idea? Because that is what NATO did, so the guys running Gadaffi away, were shooting at our US troops just 6 months ago...these guys travel between borders, arming themselves for money, religious fanaticism, and whatever group will take them. Western intervention, western meddling and our horrible foreign policy, of overthrowing governments, creating illegal wars, continues. We should have never armed and helped the rebels overthrow the Libyan government, we will no doubt invade the Libyan nation soon, not "assisting" the "rebels", but deeming them terrorists now. The "Arab Spring" is nothing more than a fancy coined term for CIA intervention and government Coup's...the same thing we did to Iran, Chile, Guatamala....and now Egypt and Libya. Does anyone see how corrupt our government is? Endless, perpetual war in the false flag operation name of 9/11 as justification to wage war for the rest of this century? Research the Project for the New American Century, research why the third World Trade Center building, building 7, fell on 9/11 despite never being hit by a plane. We are living in unprecedentedly corrupt times in our nations history, and all the mockingbird mainstream media will do is sugar coat it and sell it to you as "spreading democracy" or foreign liberation of a people. Wake up and research. "By having this war on terror, you can never win it... you can always keep taking people's liberties away ...the media can convince everybody that it's real" -Nelson Rockefeller
    WAR is a racket. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives... Major General Smedley Butler USMC 1935

    September 14, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • TXIvy

      I could barely read this all. Delusional paranoid ranting makes my head hurt.

      September 14, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  18. steve

    Mass movement INTO the country???? Shoot – most of the 'Rebels' could be considered 'terrorists' LOL

    September 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • brian

      most of the rebels are working class people. if they are all terrorists, then i guess your a redneck inbred clan member. by your reasoning anyway.

      September 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Reply
      • nnn

        actually the rebels are either alqaeda and or led by alqaeda. look hat up. they hve admitted to killing us troops and we legitimized them as libya govt and gave them an embassy in dc. if you like i have eer wondered who are the rebels? the term rebels is a throw away name. gadafi even as the uprisings began there came out and told the world this is alqaeda.

        September 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Donald

      And Brian is sterotyping racist. Tell me Brian, what do you call a group of individuals who fight over representation of specific colors and turf (or blocks) within a city? Nah, you would use a PC word for them wouldn't you?

      September 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  19. indigo

    The NTC has gone to great lengths to remove Gaghafi from power and I want to believe they are not about to hand it over to a bunch of extremists

    September 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • sharky

      Qaddafi was the one keeping the militants, terrorists back and under thumb, with him gone, it is open season. CNN not long ago ran a story even saying Islamic militants and Al Qaeda supporters were released from the Libya prisons. No one even knows who the NTC rebels are.

      September 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
    • 1fatjeff

      Give thanks to NATO

      September 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  20. Bob miller

    There goes the news media again making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    September 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  21. Jim970

    Unfortunately, it isn't just Libya. Any Muslim nation where the government has failed or been removed is perfect for al Qaeda. Not that the people actively support the terrorists, it is just that they look the other way for any organization who is working to eliminate the "infidel dogs" of the US and European nations.

    September 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply

    i really do think most people in this country read the news like its an ad lib. they read a few words then put in their own. or they cant read

    September 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  23. us1776

    al-Qaeda and terrorism are DEAD !! Completely dead !!

    Terrorism has not managed to achieve the change of even a single government over that past 20 years.

    Terrorism is dead as a philosophy of change.

    Arab Spring protests proved much more successful at bringing about regime change that anything the terrorists ever did.


    September 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply

      terrorism is not dead, as long as people are unhappy with their lives they will lash out at people, the ideals they use are a joke to recruit ignorant foot soldiers. sounds a lot like religion when i put it that way

      September 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • Turoq

      my dear us1776, where have you been hiding? obama provided air support to these terrorists without even consulting congress. he did not consult the Congress because he knew they will never approve it. So the US spent $300million weekly to support obama's terrorist bffs, while in the US people are jobless, losing their houses, going hungry. Stop being biased and think about what this guy is doing to our country.

      September 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Reply
      • PCanadian60

        Obama inherited what Bush started, why blame Obama on the war and the economy. Bush deviated from the reason why the US went to war in the middle east in the first place.......... Osama Bin Laden was hiding in Afghanistan, what was the real reason for going into Iraq??

        September 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  24. twix

    the arabs live to kill, not ever an arab to invent something for humanity, no cures for illness,nothing ever, so many duds, a better word without them, all are terrorists, thats what they are taught, and tell them to stop suicide killings,heaven has run out of virgins

    September 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Floyd

      Arabs didn't invent anything? ever? guess you shouldn't look at the top row of your keyboard. guess you never took algebra in high school (or earlier... or later... whenever you stopped paying attention in math class).

      September 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
      • me

        Actually the Arabic Numerals are called the Hindu numerals.
        The reason we call the Arabic numerals is because Europe got them from the Arabs.
        The Arabs got them from India.

        September 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • brian

      you've got to be a troll. that or you are complete moron. your comment there has got to be one of the dumbest i've read on this thing, and that's pretty bad. go back to school. please. also, please don't procreate.

      September 14, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • PCanadian60

      The bird of paradise has told me that all those suicide bombers are being chased by little devils with pitchforks.

      September 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  25. TruthSpeaks

    (but American intelligence is not showing a mass movement into the country.) well thats because the American intelligence is helping the Rebel Terrorists.

    September 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • brian

      guess you support ghadaffi.

      September 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  26. uh-huh

    And who didn't see this coming?? I'll never understand why we don't learn from our mistakes. Obama=Bush.

    September 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply

      i don't see the connection you are making?

      Obama- we gave verbal support that the people in Libya should stand up for their freedom. then when they asked for help we used the UN to help them achieve it, with very little USA casualties and had very low costs
      Bush- went to war on lies, had no support from the UN, had no plan on how to handle the problems he created, and out sourced all the work to (dick Cheyennes old company)
      ohh because its in the middle east its the same thing right? could you even find Libya on a map? or the middle east?

      September 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply

        Moron- the U.N is a puppet and the whole world knows it. You think the POTUS has a plan for Libya in the next decade...highly doubt it. The involvement of a single US asset or servicemember contitutes wrongful actions in this country. MG was not a threat to the US or its interests, he even supported anti-terror ops in the region. Why would we even get involved???

        September 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
      • Joe

        Last time I checked Libya was in Africa, not the Middle East.

        September 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  27. I told you so ...

    US has lots of experience toppling unpopular dictators and installing democratic regimes ... Afghanistan, Iraq ... what could possibly go wrong?

    September 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Reply

      Libya toppled their own regime, we forced the others to change

      September 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
      • Jessica

        We handed them democracy on a silver platter at the cost of thousands of young American lives. You might as well have handed them escargot because they have no idea what to do with it and don't understand all of the fuss.

        September 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  28. tyrone

    is it a country filled wit arabs and muslims?u got ur answer all ready dats sum str8 talk 4reel

    September 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  29. Darlene Buckingham

    New war. New terrorist hang out. Pakistan can only hope that maybe the drones and the bombs will stop. PEace to ALL.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply

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