[Extensive Regional Back-Story after Presser and MSM report] – Earlier today Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford held a press conference to discusses the four U.S. deaths during a mission in Niger on October 3rd and 4th. General Dunford walks through the initial timeline as an investigation is ongoing:
WASHINGTON — An emerging theory among U.S. military investigators is that the Army Special Forces soldiers ambushed in Niger were set up by terrorists, who were tipped off in advance about a meeting in a village sympathetic to local ISIS affiliates, three U.S. officials who have been briefed on the matter told NBC News.
The group of American Green Berets and support soldiers had requested a meeting with elders of a village that was seen as supportive of the Islamic State, and they attended the meeting at around 11 a.m. local time Oct. 4, after a long night of patrolling, the officials said. Such meetings are a routine part of the Green Beret mission, but it wasn’t clear whether this meeting was part of the unit’s plan.
Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not address that theory when he briefed reporters on the incident Monday. He said the troops had been on a reconnaissance mission.
Three weeks after a deadly attack that has become a political flashpoint, the U.S. military is grappling to get a handle on the basic facts of what led to the deaths of four service members — and the growing chorus of questions about the U.S. mission in Niger and other parts of Africa.
Among the questions, Dunford said, was whether the mission changed; whether the intelligence was good enough, and why one of the fallen soldiers was separated from the rest of the unit.
“We owe you more information; more importantly, we owe the families of the fallen more information,” Dunford said. “Did the mission change? It’s a fair question.”
Investigators are leaning toward a conclusion that local militants used the meeting in the village of Tongo Tongo to mount a sneak attack, officials said. Villagers sought to delay the troops as they tried to leave the village, according to officials. Once they departed, in unarmored vehicles, militants attacked them with small arms and machine-gun fire, the officials said.
The solders dismounted and began returning fire, and were soon facing mortars and rocket-propelled grenades launched from “technical” vehicles — light military vehicles — the officials said.
The soldiers got back in their trucks and retreated about a mile before they were ambushed again. The attackers had trapped the Americans in a kill zone, the officials said, where they could envelop them in fire.
The two separate ambush sites could explain why Sgt. La David Johnson’s body was found more than a mile from the coordinates from which the other dead and injured troops were evacuated by helicopter. (read more)
To give you a little back-story on our troops in the area, perhaps it would be beneficial to understanding the scale of the Niger mission, against the regional terror threat and the ISIS aligned network of Boko Haram as it existed in 2014.
2014: Nigerian Media Reporting U.S. Marines Assisting With Arrests Of Suspected Members Of Boko Haram. In 2014, during the initial “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, we were discussing a reality of the U.S. having TWO Rapid Response forces in the immediate area. Each comprising 250 rotating Marine contingents.
One group stationed in Sudan trying desperately to maintain security for the semi-evacuated U.S. Embassy and interests. AND THE OTHER right next door *still* engaged in the #SurrenderKony Campaign against the Lords Resistance Army.
NIGERIA – 2014: US Marines currently in Nigeria to help the government combat Boko Haram terrorists have made their first arrests taking two male suspects into custody after they were found in possession of arms and ammunition during a targeted search.
Over the last week, US Marines have arrived in Nigeria to help with the fight against terrorism after Boko Haram took their war of terror to another level by abducting 234 pupils from Government Girls Secondary School Chibok in Borno State. Acknowledging that the matter was getting beyond its control, the Nigerian government swallowed its pride and accepted outside help.
With the abduction coming at a time when Nigeria is hosting World Economic Forum on Africa and in between two horrific bomb blasts in Abuja, there has been a lot of international offer of support. France, the UK, the US and China have all offered differing degrees of support in the form of intelligence, training and military assistance. (read more)
Everything eventually comes full circle. The dissonance within this tweet below and subsequent article is a story unto itself. Obviously six years ago when Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Samantha Power and President Obama were destroying Libya the progressive movement needed to stick their head in the sand regarding predictable future consequences.
The Obama/Clinton short-sighted Libya fiasco created situation where regional extremists became well armed, and now the Obama/Clinton supporters are wondering why?
Let’s take a little trip down memory lane…
Several years ago we wrote about how those massive stores of former terror armament looted from the Gadhaffi caches was going to be a major -yet unreported- story. We’re not talking about a few pounds of yellow-cake, or a few Man-Pads. No, we’re talking about 20,000+ shoulder fired SAAMs, Stinger Missiles, hundreds of Man-Pads and thousands of canisters of mustard gas and serin componentry.
The story everyone sealed up in the too-big-to-scale files of military FUBAR.
Yeah, that story.
Because of the insufferable stupidity of Hillary Clinton, Samantha “R2P” Power, and Susan “short-sighted” Rice putting NATO engagement/support behind Libyan Justice Minister, turned interim leader of the al-Qaeda “rebels“, Abdel Jalil, we ended up opening a wholesale flea market for decades worth of Gadhaffi weapons to be dispatched all over the Middle East and Africa.
Back in 2011 – (February 25th and 26th to be precise) While the African U.N. contingents were screaming for urgent response to the potential Libyan garage sale, Obama’s cabinet position U.N. Ambassador, Susan Rice, was holding court at a global climate change summit discussing “Bovine Flatulence” ie. Cow Farts.
Susan Rice skipped the U.N Security council meeting, and Obama was playing golf. Does anyone remember those nineteen days of silence? Anyone?
You cannot make this stuff up.
So the U.N. Security Council met without the U.S. present and determined to charge the Gadhaffi regime as international criminals; charge them under indictment with the International Criminal Court, and set a series of sanctions forbidding anyone (well they actually only forbid western nations that actually abide by the U.N.) from putting weapons into the hands of the “rebels”; or anyone else in Libya for that matter.
So with the rest of the world on the outside watching but doing nothing, Obama golfing and Rice talking about cow-farts, Zurich Mike penned the most apt description to the events as they were unfolding: “The Zoo Keeper has been threatened to hide and the Big Cat Zoo Cages have been opened“…..
……Everything else happened as a consequence.
President Deby in Chad was beside himself as he watched truckloads of shoulder fired missiles, picked up from Libya by al-shabbab, drive through his country headed South. No-one paid attention to his screams and warnings.
“The Islamists of al-Qaeda took advantage of the pillaging of arsenals in the rebel zone to acquire arms, including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries in Tenere,” a desert region of the Sahara that stretches from northeast Niger to western Chad, Deby said in the interview.
“This is very serious. AQIM is becoming a genuine army, the best equipped in the region,” he said.
His claim was echoed by officials in other countries in the region who said that they were worried that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) might have acquired “heavy weapons”, thanks to the insurrection. “We have sure information. We are very worried for the sub-region,” a Malian security source who did not want to be named said. AQIM originated as an armed Islamist resistance movement to the secular Algerian government.
It now operates mainly in Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Niger, where it has attacked military targets and taken civilian hostages, particularly Europeans, some of whom it has killed. “We have the same information,” about heavy weapons, including SAM 7 missiles, a military source from Niger said. “It is very worrying. This overarming is a real danger for the whole zone,” he added. “AQIM gets the weapons in two ways; people go and look for the arms in Libya to deliver them to AQIM in the Sahel, or AQIM elements go there themselves.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Chad’s president backed the assertion by his neighbour and erstwhile enemy Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that the protests in Libya have been driven in part by al-Qaeda. “There is a partial truth in what he says,” Deby said. “Up to what point? I don’t know. But I am certain that AQIM took an active part in the uprising.” (more)
The White House and their foreign policy team FUBAR’d – big time.
Everything else from that point in 2011 was a matter of: a.) trying to keep the problem from public discussion, and b.) trying to track down the missiles with various ruses and schemes to make it seem as if they were not actually trying to track down the missiles.
All of a sudden, if you knew what to look for, you saw mysterious stories about vessels from Sudan to Yemen being sunk for some unknown reason.
Simultaneously, Hollywood jumped in and the LRA “Joseph Krony” manhunt was created. – For this Hollywood CIA/NSA angle think about the movie “Argo” –
Ask yourself: What ever happened to *that mission*, and how come it just disappeared?
In Afghanistan an order was given to “discontinue close air support” because, again coincidentally, our helicopters were *suddenly* getting shot down at a much higher rate than before the Libyan SAAM’s/Stingers went missing.
Coincidence my ass !
Then viola’ in Benghazi a joint U.S. CIA/Consulate was attacked during an ongoing covert mission to retrieve “what”? DUH ! The same friggin’ SAAM’s we previously just allowed to be picked up in the al-Qaeda garage sale. Gee, people wondered what was the $300k to $500,000 cash in Ambassador Chris Stephens safe for ?
Oh yeah, and then what happened…..
….. A formerly insignificant military wing of al-Shabbab all of a sudden can take over a natural gas depot in Mali with hundreds of Western employees/hostages. Apparently the on-land piracy was viewed as a better alternative to the Ocean bound activity once those Libyan freebies were available. “Ah-hoy Matey” replaced with “al-ahu akbhar”.
[We’ll skip the Kenya Mall terrorist attack because no-one has yet to really figure out how a rag tag bunch of terrorists were able to BLOW UP a five level parking garage. DUH x 2.]
For almost six full years EVERY ACTION in the region was about strategic retrieval of the “stuff” from the Libyan garage sale. The garage sale President Obama and Hillary Clinton put up the signs for.