Few media outlets understand the scope of the Islamic alignment forces currently battling for control in Libya; even fewer try to report on them. A recent alarming report is now confirmed.
A man named Abdelhakim Belhadj has taken the position as head of ISIS in Libya. Abdelhakim Belhadj was critical in forming “Libya Dawn”, essentially a group of Islamic militia forces (LIFG or Libyan Islamic Fighting Groups) who fought under various banners such as Ansar al-Sharia (al-Qaeda in Libya) and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Left to Right – CT Senator Richard Bumenthal, ISIS Commander Abdelhakim Belhadj, AZ Senator John McCain, SC Senator Lindsey Graham
However, Abdelhakim Belhadj was also supported by the U.S. and more specifically Senator’s Graham and McCain in the lead up to the current crisis which no-one will call a civil war because of political fear – yet that is exactly what exists. Abdelhakim Belhadj taking the position as head of ISIS in Libya now all but guarantees Libya will be an Islamist Militant State.
[Via Counter Jihad] … Major news out of Libya as the former head of the Al Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and a major player in the U.S.-backed overthrow of Mummar Gaddafi, has reportedly joined the Islamic State and is leading its forces there. This according to The Blaze National Security journalist Sara Carter on twitter, and Fox News’ Catherine Herridge in a Fox News report.
Belhadj’s ties to Al Qaeda were controversial during the run up to U.S. airstrikes in support of the Libyan rebels, but this did not prevent him from maintaining a high profile at the time, including being made head of the Tripoli Military Council, a position he held until resigning to run for office in May 2012. Belhadj has a reputation for involvement in the international jihad has well, playing a role in the 2004 Madrid training bombings, and accused by investigators of being involved in the murder of two Tunisian politicians at behest of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Islamic State fighters landed in Libya back in November of 2014, and have been at work establishing training camps in the Libyan city of Derna before launching a terror offensive which included an attack on a Libyan hotel, attacks on oil field workers, and the execution of 21 Copts in a graphic video which made international headlines. (read more)
Belhadj commanding the full Libyan Dawn group, and now proclaiming allegiance to ISIS, puts him at the top of the Islamic power group structure in Libya. So it is not coincidental that we now see reports of ISIS fighters (Belhadj’s fighters) taking control of Libyan oil fields. The oil fields are essentially the treasury for Libya – whoever controls them is in control of the larger economic output for the entire country.
Telegraph […] Libya’s National Oil Corporation has declared 11 of its oilfields non-operational, opting for a force majeure clause that exempts the state from contractual obligations.
The move came after fighters from the Islamic State-dominated city of Sirte attacked the al-Dhahra oilfield on Wednesday. They also captured facilities in Bahi and Mabruk on Tuesday. Located south of Sirte, the two fields had been shut for weeks, in part due to security concerns.
The state-run oil company has blamed Islamist-dominated authorities in Tripoli for failing to protect the oilfields, and warned that it could be forced to shut down production nationwide. (link)
As another report from TIME Magazine outlines […] The attacks came as Libya’s warring factions escalated their ongoing conflict. Forces aligned to the government in Tobruk and the rival Libya Dawn administration in Tripoli both staged air strikes on each other’s positions on Tuesday.
With Abdelhakim Belhadj declaring alignment to ISIS, and with his command of the most severe of all the Islamist groups, and with the full support of the Muslim Brotherhood, there is virtually no way for Libya to escape slipping quickly into the same clutches currently working their way through Syria and Iraq.
This puts Egypt in a very tenuous position.