June 7th, 2012
06:28 PM ET

Libyan official: U.S. drones seeking jihadists in Libya

By Nic Robertson, Paul Cruickshank and Jomana Karadsheh reporting from Tripoli, Libya

A senior Libyan official told CNN that the U.S. is flying surveillance missions with drones over suspected jihadist training camps in eastern Libya because of concerns over rising activity by al Qaeda and like-minded groups in the region but said that to the best of his knowledge, they had not been used to fire missiles at militant training camps in the area.

The revelation follows a failed attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi on Tuesday night, which a shadowy jihadist group claimed was to avenge the death of al Qaeda No. 2 Abu Yahya al-Libi.

The official said that one militant commander operating in Derna, Abdulbasit Azuz, had complained that a drone strike had targeted his training camp in the east of Libya.  Last month, there were reports of explosions outside the Derna area in the vicinity of the camps, according to a different source.

The CIA's covert drone strike program is rarely publicly acknowledged.  It has been widely reported that drones have been deployed to target militants in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

The U.S. flew drones for a while after the NATO intervention in Libya to monitor chemical and biological sites, US military officials tell CNN. But the officials would not comment on whether drone flights were ongoing.

The senior Libyan official said it would be bad if such a strike had occurred. He added that the Americans' use of drones in a surveillance capacity had been discussed at the top level of the transitional Libyan government.

As CNN has reported, Azuz is a senior al Qaeda operative and longtime close associate of the group's leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was dispatched to Libya from the tribal areas of Pakistan in spring 2011, according to several sources.  There, he subsequently recruited fighters.

Azuz is a veteran jihadist who fought the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan in the early 1990s, according to several sources.  He later to moved to the UK, where he increasingly came on the radar screen of British security services for his radical recruitment efforts in Manchester.  In the period after the July 2005 London bombings, he was detained in the Belmarsh high-security prison and placed under a Control order, according to the sources.

He left the UK in 2009 and traveled to the tribal areas of Pakistan, from where al-Zawahiri redeployed him to Libya to set up a bridgehead for the terrorist group, according to the sources.

According to one source, Azuz has dispatched men as far west as Ajdabiya and Brega in his attempt to build up al Qaeda operations in eastern Libya.

According to the senior Libyan official, five radical Islamist militant commanders are operating in the Derna area, with 200 to 300 men under their command in the camps.

According to Libyan security sources, within the militant ranks in Derna, there are 20 to 30 hardcore jihadist fighters who are cause for most concern. One source said a number of Egyptian jihadists are also present in the Derna area, as well as fighters belonging to al Qaeda's North African affiliate, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Recently, Libya's grand mufti, Asadiq Gherayli, met with the five militant commanders, and four of them, including Azuz, agreed with the government terms not to carry out attacks.

Only one refused: Sufian bin Qumu (also known as Abu Faris al Libi), a released Guantanamo detainee who is believed to be operating a camp in the mountainous woods along the sea outside Derna.

Qumu, 53 is a Libyan jihadist who participated in jihad in Afghanistan in the early and mid-1990s and joined the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in Sudan in the mid-1990s, where he worked as a truck driver for bin Laden's company, according to a detainee assessment compiled while he was at Guantanamo.

He subsequently moved to Pakistan and then to Afghanistan, during which time he left the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and declared allegiance to the Taliban, according to the assessment. He was arrested in Pakistan after fleeing Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban and handed over to U.S. authorities.

The assessment described him as having a "long-term association with Islamist extremist Jihad and members of Al-Qaida and other extremist groups."

Moammar Gadhafi's Libyan government said the assessment considered him "a dangerous man with no qualms about committing terrorist acts." The assessment said he had once assaulted guards at the detention facility in Cuba.

It added that before becoming a jihadist, Qumu had served as a tank driver in the Libyan army before spending several years in prison on accusations of murder and drug dealing. It was after his escape in 1993 that he first traveled to Afghanistan.

According to one source, locals in Derna believe he was behind an assassination attempt several months ago on Abdel Hakim al Hasadi, another militant commander in the city.

Several senior Libyan officials said they were aware of Azuz and Qumu's presence in the Derna area.

They say local tribes, including the Obeidi tribe, which control the area are keeping watch on the camps. One source said the tribes have the authority to capture and kill the occupants. "No one who leaves ever goes back," one source said.

Another source said that the militants are proving increasingly unpopular in Derna and that residents recently forced one group to vacate a camp on the outskirts of the city.

The jihadist group that claimed responsibility for the failed attack on the U.S. Mission in leaflets left at the scene called itself the Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades. It promised more attacks against American interests.

It was first heard from late last month, when it claimed responsibility for an attack on a Red Cross office in Benghazi. A purported video of the attack was apparently posted on jihadist websites that regularly feature statements by al Qaeda. The video showed several rockets being fired into a building at night.

In claiming responsibility, the group stated, "We do not recognize (state) borders when we plan for our operations, and we have prepared a message that will soon reach America in response to polluting the clarity of the defiant city of Derna," according to a translation by Flashpoint Partners, which monitors jihadist websites.

According to a source in touch with jihadist militants in eastern Libya, there are indications the group has roots in the Derna area.

soundoff (1,301 Responses)
  1. Social Media Marketing Firm

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the most useful websites online. I'm going to highly recommend this blog!


    June 3, 2021 at 6:15 am | Reply
  2. motorhome rentals orange county


    June 3, 2021 at 3:05 am | Reply
  3. Sprinter Return Line Repair


    June 3, 2021 at 3:04 am | Reply
  4. reextAni

    mailing prescription drugs erectile dysfunction pills are canadian pharmacies legal

    June 3, 2021 at 2:19 am | Reply
  5. Blake Peed

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you ought to publish more on this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people don't speak about these issues. To the next! Best wishes!!


    June 2, 2021 at 10:23 pm | Reply
  6. free gay vidioes


    June 2, 2021 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  7. trailer repair shops near me


    June 2, 2021 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  8. rv restoration


    June 2, 2021 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  9. Transport Van Repair Shop

    I was able to find good information from your content.


    June 2, 2021 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  10. rv awning repair near me

    Very good post! We will be linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.


    June 2, 2021 at 11:33 am | Reply
  11. reextGtv

    pharmacy assistant certification online walgreens pharmacy burnt store road drug store pharmacy

    June 2, 2021 at 7:01 am | Reply
  12. rv dashboard replacement


    June 2, 2021 at 1:32 am | Reply
  13. reextGtv

    world canadian pharmacy reviews drugs from canada online cvs pharmacy store hours sunday

    June 1, 2021 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  14. Ford Luxury Van Repair Shop


    June 1, 2021 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  15. mobile rv repair orange county ca


    June 1, 2021 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  16. rv slide out repair parts


    June 1, 2021 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  17. Shanta Imaizumi


    June 1, 2021 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  18. all class rv yorba linda

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the highest quality blogs on the internet. I will highly recommend this website!


    June 1, 2021 at 10:15 am | Reply
  19. Sprinter Van Upgrades


    June 1, 2021 at 10:12 am | Reply
  20. Mercedes Sprinter Van Repair Motorhome


    June 1, 2021 at 7:05 am | Reply
  21. fipleloh

    cialis vs viagra onset of action cialis rebate when do i take cialis

    June 1, 2021 at 5:17 am | Reply
  22. Collision Repair

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe this site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the info!


    June 1, 2021 at 12:03 am | Reply
  23. fipleVed

    viagra levitra cialis comparison difference between viagra cialis and levitra cialis vs tadalafil

    May 31, 2021 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  24. Gmc Luxury Van Repair Shop Near Me

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this web site before but after going through a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!


    May 31, 2021 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  25. fipleVed

    generic cialis professional cialis vi when will generic cialis be available in us

    May 31, 2021 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  26. RV Repair Near Me Now


    May 31, 2021 at 10:39 am | Reply
  27. fipleloh

    does cialis help premature ejaculation generic cialis testimonials cialis testimonials forum

    May 31, 2021 at 9:59 am | Reply
  28. Nissan High Top Van Repair Shop Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 5:15 am | Reply
  29. Handicap Van Repair Shop

    Hi there! I simply wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you've got here on this post. I am returning to your site for more soon.


    May 30, 2021 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  30. Repair My 2006 Dodge Sprinter 3500 Rv

    Good information. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon). I've bookmarked it for later!


    May 30, 2021 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  31. VelmSwa

    cialis 10mg ireland https://ckacialis.com/ – order cialis with dapoxtine cialis and no prescription

    May 30, 2021 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  32. Social Media Marketing Consultant

    Very good article! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    May 30, 2021 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  33. VelmSwa

    wallmart cialis https://ckacialis.com/ – cialis bayer 20 generic cialis 20mg tablets

    May 30, 2021 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  34. SEO Marketing Services


    May 30, 2021 at 6:41 am | Reply
  35. reextDev

    arrow pharmacy my brand rx online pharmacy no prior prescription canada pharmacy online

    May 30, 2021 at 5:48 am | Reply
  36. Internet Marketing Services


    May 30, 2021 at 12:40 am | Reply
  37. reextHtf

    cialis and women https://cialishav.com/ – cialis drug interactions cialis canada cost

    May 29, 2021 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  38. reextDev

    trustworthy canadian pharmacy rx good neighbor pharmacy drugstore com online pharmacy prescription drugs

    May 29, 2021 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  39. Camper Van Repair Shop Near Me


    May 29, 2021 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  40. reextAni

    rite rx care pharmacy https://pharmacyken.com/ – online pharmacy search australian online pharmacy

    May 29, 2021 at 8:58 am | Reply
  41. Fetish Net


    May 29, 2021 at 5:43 am | Reply
  42. Luxury Truck

    I was very happy to discover this great site. I need to to thank you for your time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff on your blog.


    May 29, 2021 at 5:34 am | Reply
  43. Van Restoration


    May 29, 2021 at 5:33 am | Reply
  44. Van Rust Repair

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your blog.


    May 29, 2021 at 1:49 am | Reply
  45. 2006 Sprinter 3500 Repair Near Me

    You're so cool! I don't believe I've truly read anything like that before. So wonderful to find another person with a few unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality!


    May 29, 2021 at 12:04 am | Reply
  46. rv storage orange ca


    May 28, 2021 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  47. reextHtf

    cialis indigestion remedy https://cialishav.com/ – cialis 20 mg cialis daily generic

    May 28, 2021 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  48. Social Media Marketing Firms


    May 28, 2021 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  49. Digital Marketing Specialists

    You have made some good points there. I looked on the internet to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.


    May 28, 2021 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  50. tow truck repair


    May 28, 2021 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  51. rv glass repair near me

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having issues with your RSS. I don’t understand why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having identical RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    May 28, 2021 at 11:53 am | Reply
  52. RV Plumbing Riverside


    May 28, 2021 at 7:57 am | Reply
  53. reextGtv

    Female Cialis Soft store number walmart pharmacy canadian pharmacy reviews 2017

    May 28, 2021 at 5:40 am | Reply
  54. RV Tires Los Angeles

    I wanted to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I have you book-marked to look at new things you post…


    May 28, 2021 at 4:07 am | Reply
  55. RV Slide Out Orange County

    Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    May 28, 2021 at 3:59 am | Reply
  56. Social Media Marketing Services Near Me


    May 28, 2021 at 2:50 am | Reply
  57. reextAni

    mail order prescription drugs from canada https://pharmacyken.com/ – Prothiaden doxycycline online pharmacy

    May 28, 2021 at 1:53 am | Reply
  58. rv entertainment system upgrade

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and the rest of the website is also really good.


    May 28, 2021 at 1:30 am | Reply
  59. rv parts near me now

    https://www.iaai.com/VehicleInspection/InspectionProvidersUrl?name=AA Transit Pros Inspection Service&url=https://ocrv.guru/motorhome-window-repair-near-me

    May 28, 2021 at 12:31 am | Reply
  60. upholstery repair shop near me


    May 27, 2021 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  61. RV Headlights Near Me

    I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this blog. I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal blog now 😉


    May 27, 2021 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  62. ambulance repair


    May 27, 2021 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  63. reextGtv

    Microzide sending prescription drugs through mail 24 store pharmacy

    May 27, 2021 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  64. keespamebpaxy

    https://tadagatadalafil.com/ cost of cialis buy tadalis tadalafil dosage generic tadalafil from uk

    May 27, 2021 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  65. truck box repair


    May 27, 2021 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  66. horse trailer window replacement

    This website truly has all of the information and facts I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 27, 2021 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  67. solar panels orange county ca


    May 27, 2021 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  68. Dayle Wach

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes that will make the most important changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    May 27, 2021 at 9:20 am | Reply
  69. buca escort bayan

    Benim tutkumun ateşi yakıcıdır aslanım aman dikkat et.

    Çorak çöle dönen seks hayatını ancak benim gibi limitsiz Buca
    escort bayan yeşillendirebilir. Bana güven ve teklifsizce kendini kollarımın arasına at aşkım.
    Nefesim nefesine karışırken üstündeki kıyafetlerden kurtulalım.
    Ten tene kalana kadar soyunup çıplak bedenlerimizi birbirine sürtelim.
    Sana hayatının en zevkli anlarını yaşatacak seksi Buca eskort bayan karşında du......

    May 27, 2021 at 9:00 am | Reply
  70. CleplePewCred

    tadalafil cost in canada https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ – buy generic cialis online with mastercard cialis tadalafil tadalafil https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 27, 2021 at 6:21 am | Reply
  71. toy hauler modifications


    May 27, 2021 at 2:28 am | Reply
  72. rv technician near me


    May 27, 2021 at 12:15 am | Reply
  73. rv and trailer repair


    May 27, 2021 at 12:12 am | Reply
  74. Greryclilteta

    tadalafil generic where to buy tadalafil cialis where to get tadalafil buy cialis pills https://cttadalafil.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  75. Sprinter Repair

    I really like looking through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!


    May 26, 2021 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  76. fipleloh

    cialis wears off https://rcialisgl.com/ – is there a generic cialis free samples for cialis

    May 26, 2021 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  77. RV Blinds Orange County


    May 26, 2021 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  78. rv repair and service near me

    I love it when folks come together and share opinions. Great website, continue the good work!


    May 26, 2021 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  79. rv fiberglass repair shops


    May 26, 2021 at 11:11 am | Reply
  80. rv plumbing parts near me

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post. Thanks for supplying these details.


    May 26, 2021 at 6:36 am | Reply
  81. RV Interior Designer Los Angeles


    May 26, 2021 at 6:13 am | Reply
  82. RV Couches Riverside

    I really love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own personal site and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thank you!


    May 26, 2021 at 2:27 am | Reply
  83. RV Countertops California


    May 26, 2021 at 2:18 am | Reply
  84. Greryclilteta

    tadalafil side effects https://cttadalafil.com/ – cheap cialis pills for sale where to get tadalafil side effects for tadalafil what is tadalafil

    May 26, 2021 at 12:44 am | Reply
  85. fipleVed

    cialis preco https://krocialis.com/ – cialis samples for healthcare professionals review of cialis

    May 26, 2021 at 12:28 am | Reply
  86. rv countertop remodel


    May 25, 2021 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  87. Social Media Marketing Consultant


    May 25, 2021 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  88. fipleVed

    cialis when to take https://krocialis.com/ – does medicare cover viagra or cialis cvs cialis price

    May 25, 2021 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  89. Social Media Marketing Firm


    May 25, 2021 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  90. Digital Marketing Specialist


    May 25, 2021 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  91. Social Media Marketing Agency Around Me

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up plus the rest of the site is really good.


    May 25, 2021 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  92. Content Marketing Agencies


    May 25, 2021 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  93. brimonidine

    brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic brimonidine tartrate 2%

    May 25, 2021 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  94. fipleloh

    is cialis stronger than viagra https://rcialisgl.com/ – order cialis online cheap how long does it take for cialis 5mg to work

    May 25, 2021 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  95. apposyattance

    https://tadalafilol.com/ cialis at canadian pharmacy tadalafil blood pressure tadalafil goodrx tadalafil

    May 25, 2021 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  96. CleplePewCred

    where to get tadalafil https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ – cialis at canadian pharmacy tadalafil buy cialis pills tadalafil cost walmart

    May 25, 2021 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  97. Local Marketing Consultants

    Greetings, There's no doubt that your blog might be having web browser compatibility problems. When I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic blog!


    May 25, 2021 at 9:53 am | Reply
  98. BbshVelm

    does revatio work like viagra http://loxviagra.com/ – walgreens generic viagra viagra government funded

    May 25, 2021 at 2:10 am | Reply
  99. BbshVelm

    viagra online prescription http://loxviagra.com/ side effects of viagra

    May 25, 2021 at 1:34 am | Reply
  100. New Forklift Parts California


    May 24, 2021 at 11:30 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Leave a Reply to Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.