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Al Qaeda Takes Control Of A U.S. Base In Libya

Courtesy: Erwin Franzen
April 23, 2014

Al Qaeda takes control of a U.S. Base?  Al Qaeda and other jihadists have taken control of a secretive U.S. base setup by United States special forces in order to train Libyan military members for anti-terrorism.  The camp is on the Libyan coastline and is now known to be controlled by a longtime member of Al Qaeda.  The base was initially setup by U.S. Green Beret forces for training purposes of counter terrorism.  Now, just two years after it has been set up, Libyan media is reporting that it is now being run by a well-known associate to Osama bin Laden.  There currently are no U.S. forces at the camp because it was left by U.S. special forces for some time.

A camp on the Libyan coastline meant to train terror-hunters has instead become a haven for terrorists and al Qaeda.

A key jihadist leader and longtime member of al Qaeda has taken control of a secretive training facility set up by U.S. special operations forces on the Libyan coastline to help hunt down Islamic militants, according to local media reports, Jihadist web forums, and U.S. officials.

In the summer of 2012, American Green Berets began refurbishing a Libyan military base 27 kilometers west of Tripoli in order to hone the skills of Libya’s first Western-trained special operations counter-terrorism fighters. Less than two years later, that training camp is now being used by groups with direct links to al Qaeda to foment chaos in post-Qaddafi Libya.

Last week, the Libyan press reported that the camp (named “27” for the kilometer marker on the road between Tripoli and Tunis) was now under the command of Ibrahim Ali Abu Bakr Tantoush, a veteran associate of Osama bin Laden who was first designated as part of al Qaeda’s support network in 2002 by the United States and the United Nations. The report said he was heading a group of Salifist fighters from the former Libyan base.

In other words, Tantoush is now the chief of a training camp the U.S. and Libyan governments had hoped would train Libyan special operations forces to catch militants like Tantoush.

 One U.S. defense official told The Daily Beast that the media report matched U.S. intelligence reporting from Libya. Another U.S. official in Washington said intelligence analysts were aware of the reports but had yet to corroborate them, however. A spokesman for Africa Command declined to comment for the story.