Libyan warplanes bombed militia bases in Benghazi on Wednesday as part of a renegade former general's campaign to purge the chaotic North African state of Islamist militants, witnesses and officials said.The AFP noted that, "The powerful" February 17 "brigade is made up of Islamist ex-rebels, including radicals, and is suspected of links with Ansar Al-Sharia, a group classified as a terrorist group by Washington."
Two jets attacked a base belonging to the February 17 brigade, one of the Islamist-leaning armed groups operating in Benghazi, and an Ansar al-Sharia militant base in the west of the city, a Reuters witness and an air force official said...
There were no immediate reports of casualties.... A Reuters witness at the February 17 base said there were no casualties and only structural damage.
Libya's Ansar al-Sharia [is] a militant group, listed as a terrorist group by Washington...
But the February 17 Islamist brigade, which was tasked by the Obama administration to provide security at the US consulate in Benghazi - which later came under attack - apparently, has not been classified as a terrorist group by the administration. After all, how would it look if Obama and company labeled the very group it had hired to protect the consulate as a terrorist group?
I noted in May of 2013 as follows:
Eric Nordstrom - the State Department's former regional security officer in Libya - testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing earlier this month that the [February 17 brigade] militia - which was hired to guard the U.S. consulate in Benghazi - issued threats, in July of 2012, against former U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens and Senator John McCain.Newsmax reported last year that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade "had clear al-Qaida sympathies, and had prominently displayed the al-Qaida flag on a Facebook page some months before the deadly attack."
Moreover, Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya, testified that the aforementioned militia was complicit in the Benghazi attacks - which begs the question: Why did the Obama administration allow these terrorist thugs to guard the consulate?
Several entries on the militia’s Facebook page openly profess sympathy for Ansar al-Sharia...Earlier this month four Libyan protesters were killed while demonstrating against the February 17 Martyrs Brigade.
The State Department did not respond to a Newsmax request for an explanation as to why the February 17th Martyrs Brigade was hired to protect the mission.
On April 23, House Republicans released an interim progress report on their investigation into the Benghazi killings. It cited “numerous reports” that “the Brigade had extremist connections, and it had been implicated in the kidnapping of American citizens as well as in the threats against U.S. military assets.”...
On June 28..., the brigade posted a... graphic [which featured] two rows of pictures... The images include some of the leading figures of modern-day jihadism, including al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden and the founder of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
All Africa reported:
Protestors... moved to the February 17th Brigade locale and demanded its disbandment, blaming it for assassinations in Benghazi.However, as noted earlier, the State Department did not respond to a Newsmax request for an explanation as to why the February 17th Martyrs Brigade was hired to protect the mission... After all, as Hillary Clinton is wont to say, "What difference does it make?"
If the Brigade is not removed from Libya, "it will spread" [like a disease] "and kill all Libyans; we'll become like Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan," a Libyan teacher proclaimed.
On Saturday, Justice Minister Salah Marghani told reporters that the brigade was ordered to leave the city within 72 hours...
Computer engineer Faraj Ali confirmed that the "February 17th brigade camp is one of the biggest military camps in Libya with all of its weapons, but all such weapons are hidden in farms..."
"Col. Wanis Bukhamada has raided their farms more than once, and has even raided al-Nayrouz resort, and directly after that, they kidnapped his son," Ali added.
Abu Omar al-Manfi, a car electrician, said, "The so-called February 17th brigade is engaged in the most horrific forms of torture and is sponsoring terrorists and those exploiting religion... They must be arrested and brought to trial."
It is also safe to assume that the Brigade will not be designated a terrorist group by the Obama administration anytime soon.
After all, how would it look? Lol....
Benghazi hearing: Consulate guards' militia threatened Stevens & McCain - was complicit in attacks:
Benghazi: Obama administration receives 3:00 AM call from Gregory Hicks: