Originally, in March of 2011, our research showed clearly – In 2007, during a little known raid against Islamist forces based in Syria, the United States became aware the origin, and home country, of many al-Qaeda operatives who ended up fighting against us in Iraq. Captured documents were shipped to the West Point Military Academy’s Combatting Terrorism Center.
From those documents we learned: […] The eastern Libyan city of Darnah sent more fighters to Iraq than any other single city or town, according to the West Point report. It noted that 52 militants came to Iraq from Darnah, a city of just 80,000 people (the second-largest source of fighters was Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which has a population of more than 4 million).
We also knew in Benghazi, the capital of Libya’s provisional government declared by the anti-Qaddafi rebels, sent in 21 fighters, again a disproportionate number of the whole.
Knowing the 2007 captured records revealed the Eastern Libyan participation in the anti-coalition forces militancy in Iraq one could imagine the Banghazi-Darnah export of Islamists since then. These same forces were back flowing into Libya from all the various battlefields around Afghanistan and Iraq. Libyans in general were more fired up to travel to Iraq to kill Americans than anyone else in the Arabic-speaking world. This information should also have given pause to those in the United States so eager to arm Libya’s rebels.
Alas, thanks to Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, and eventually Hillary Clinton it did not.
The resulting Libyan war became the global arms market’s richest event in the previous five years. While Qaddafi may have been its primary engine, the Libyan rebels were not amiss by dipping their hands in this lucrative market on their own behalf.
In the third week of February, 2011, Iranian representatives arrived in Benghazi on a shopping trip. They sat down with “senior officers” of Libya’s rebel forces, including former members of Qaddafi’s army. (link)
In the first week of March, 2011 secret delegations arrived from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip to confirm prices and arrange for the chemical weapons, as well as missiles of various types, especially anti-aircraft missiles purchased in the same batch, to be smuggled out of Libya and transported to their buyers. (link)
Additionally in March of 2011 we first started discussing the role of the CIA in Libya. At the time mentioned Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen were briefing congress:
[…] Gates said that he believes political and economic pressures will eventually drive Gaddafi from power, but the military operation will help force him to make those choices by degrading his defense capabilities. Gates and Mullen were testifying before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in the wake of revelations that small teams of CIA operatives are working in Libya. Gates declined to comment on the CIA activities in Libya. US officials have acknowledged that the CIA has sent small teams of operatives into Libya and helped rescue a crew member of a US fighter jet that crashed.
The CIA’s precise role in Libya is not clear. Intelligence experts said the CIA would have sent officials to make contact with the opposition and assess the strength and needs of the rebel forces in the event Barack Obama, the US president, decided to arm them. (March 2011)
On December 6th, 2012, almost three months after the Benghazi attack that killed Ambassador Stephens, the New York Times finally ran a story outlining the weapons shipments we had been discussing for the previous 2+ years:
[…] - The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year  , but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.
… the Obama administration clearly was worried about the consequences of its hidden hand in helping arm Libyan militants, concerns that have not previously been reported. The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya, allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.
[…] The United States, which had only small numbers of C.I.A. officers in Libya during the tumult of the rebellion, provided little oversight of the arms shipments. Within weeks of endorsing Qatar’s plan to send weapons there in spring 2011, the White House began receiving reports that they were going to Islamic militant groups. They were “more antidemocratic, more hard-line, closer to an extreme version of Islam” than the main rebel alliance in Libya, said a former Defense Department official. (read more)
So is this latest report really a surprise?
On August 12, 2013 Joe DiGenova, attorney for one of the Benghazi whistleblowers, told Washington D.C.’s WMAL that one of the reasons people have remained tight-lipped about Benghazi is because 400 U.S. missiles were “diverted to Libya” and ended up being stolen and falling into “the hands of some very ugly people.”
DiGenova represents Benghazi whistleblower Mark Thompson. He told WMAL that he “does not know whether [the missiles] were at the annex, but it is clear the annex was somehow involved in the distribution of those missiles.”
He claimed his information “comes from a former intelligence official who stayed in constant contact with people in the special ops and intelligence community.” He said the biggest concern right now is finding those missiles before they can be put to use. “They are worried, specifically according to these sources, about an attempt to shoot down an airliner,” he claimed. (read more)
In 2011, Mr Obama said the Libyan rebels were “saying the right things” so far. “Most of them are professionals, lawyers, doctors, people who appear to be credible,” he told CBS.