About that Libya Shield Brigade which 1) fought under the black flag of al Qaeda during the February 17 Revolution, and 2) escorted the eight US Marines who arrived from Tripoli to aid the Benghazi consulate under attack on the night of 9/11/12.
Two Libya Shield Brigade leaders met with US diplomat(s) on September 9, according to a US embassy cable drafted by David C. McFarland, signed by Christopher Stevens and dispatched on September 11. (It was posted online by the House Oversight Committee.) This cable was first discussed in the Daily Beast on October 8 in a story recounting the fact that generic militia leaders had threatened to pull security from US interests in Benghazi, but it contains some interesting details not previously noted.
Here is the cable’s Item 4 in toto:
Militia commanders discuss Muslim Brotherhood, Jibril, their political aspirations, the economy, and security: In a September 9 meeting, local area militia commanders Wissam bin Ahmed (Commander, Libya Shield 1) and Muhammad al-Gharabi (Commander, Rafa’ al-Sahti Brigade, Libya Shield 2) discussed the very fluid relationships and blurry lines they say define membership in Benghazi-based brigades under the February 17, Libya Shield, and SSC umbrellas. They themselves were members of multiple brigades, they said. They debated — hotly and without resolution — about which brigades supported or opposed specific causes. They claimed to exercise “control” over Libyan Armed Forces Chief of Staff Yusef Mangoush who “depends” on them to secure eastern Libya. In times of crisis, Magoush has no other choice than to turn to their brigades for help, they said, as he did recently with unrest in Kufra. As part of this arrangement, Mangoush often provides the brigades direct stocks of weapons and ammunition, they said.Al-Gharabi and bin-Ahmed support the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction Party backed candidate Minister of Electricity Awad Al Barasi for Prime Minister and they said that. if elected, Al Barasi would appoint Fawzi Bukatif, Commander of the February 17 Brigade, as Minister of Defense. Bukatif’s appointment would open the MOD and other security ministries and offices to plum-appointments for his most favored brigade commanders — giving February 17 and Libya Shield tacit control of the armed forces. They criticized the USG for “supporting” National Forces Alliance (NFA) leader and Prime Mininster Candidate Mahmoud Jibril. If Jibril wom, they said, they would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi, a crtical function they asserted they were currently providing.Growing problem with security would discourage foreign investment and led [sic] to persistent stagnation in eastern Libya, but the US could play a role by “pressuring” American business to invest in Benghazi.
We know from John Rosenthal’s original story that Libya Shield fought under black flag of al Qaeda. Its leader Wissam bin Ahmed — I’ve seen Libya Shield’s commander spelled “bin Hamid”; seems to be the same guy UPDATE: An authoritative source confirms that Libya Shield commander “bin Hamid” and “bin Ahmed” are one and the same — it bears repeating, is a supporter of rule by sharia.
Moreover, according to Arabic-language Islamist websites, already in October 2011 – just days after the killing of Moammar al-Gadhafi – Libya Shield commander Wisam bin Hamid issued a declaration stating that “The Islamic shariah is a red line, we will not cede one rule of it, and Islam is the only law-giver and not [merely] the foundation [of the law].”
Arabic sources report that bin Hamid commanded the rebel forces that besieged Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte and ultimately captured and killed him. Per a glowing biography of bin Hamid that appeared on the jihadist forum al-Fetn.com, he is a veteran of jihad in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The jihadist inclinations of bin Hamid and his Libya Shield forces are not unknown to the U.S. government. Indeed, a recent study prepared by the research division of the Library of Congress links the Libya Shield Brigade to al-Qaida and even cites speculation that bin Hamid may be the leader of the al-Qaida network in Libya.
This man is not only meeting with American diplomats, he is providing security for them and threatening to withdraw security at the same time. Ansar al Sharia (Supporters of Sharia) may have spearheaded the 9/11 assault on the consulate, but bin Hamid’s philosophy earns him at least honorary membership. A sharia supporter, a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, seemingly a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan — on the OTHER side, it must be stressed — and, according to US government research, possibly a leader of the AQ network in Libya, bin Hamid is quite a piece of work.
Why, oh why, is guarding American interests? Why was he even meeting with American diplomats? What were we doing in Benghazi? This is the result of the poisonous policy of “Arab Spring.” Uncle Sam joined the jihad, and it exploded is his face.
It should be noted that news accounts make clear that the second-wave-attack on the secret annex did not occur until after Libya Shield, escorting the 8 Marines, arrived on the scene.
Diana West is the author of The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization. Her arttcle archive and blog are here.