UN report reveals Libya as hub for arms deliveries to insurgents in Syria and Mali, fails to identify state sponsors of terrorism and elicits systemic flaws of UN System
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc),- A report, issued by the United Nations Security Council´s group of experts who monitor an arms embargo imposed on Libya in 2011 stresses, that arms shipments which have been organized from various locations in Libya, including Misrata and Bengazi, were transferred to Syria via Turkey and northern Lebanon. The report also confirms that Libya has developed into a hub for illegal arms deliveries to insurgents in Mali and beyond. The report is stopping short of identifying those state actors, who overtly and covertly finance and arm insurgents, including internationally outlawed terrorist organizations, and state actors use of these organizations as mercenaries in unconventional warfare. The report fails to call for an investigation into the arms trade and state sponsored terrorism and reveals deep systemic problems with the UN System as a whole.
The arms shipments, so the report, contain substantial amounts of light and medium caliber weapons, artillery, as well as large quantities of shoulder fired surface to air missiles. Libya, so the report, has become a key source of weapons in the region. The report also stated, that the significant size of some of the shipments and the logistics involved suggest, that representatives of Libyan local authorities might at least have been aware of these shipments, if they were not directly involved.
According to the report, the spreading of weapons from Libya is happening at an alarming rate and fueling the war in Syria, Mali and other countries, thus enhancing the arsenals of extremists and criminal gangs throughout the region. “Illicit flows from Libya are fueling the existing conflicts in Africa and the Levant and enhancing the arsenals of a large number of non-state groups, including terrorist groups”, the report stated.
The report however, stopped short at identifying state actors who are involved in the proliferation of the weapons through Libya as well as beyond. Likewise, the report stopped short of placing responsibility for severe violations of international law by state actors or of calls for investigations into, and the prosecution of the crimes committed by state actors who sponsor terrorism and the illegal trafficking of weapons and funds to terrorist organizations.
Overt and Covert State Sponsoring of Terrorism.
US Administration Aware of Cooperation with Al Qaeda in Libya. Already at the onset of the “Arab Spring” in Libya in 2011, it transpired that the US Administration was aware of, that the USA would be supporting and cooperating with al-Qaeda. Statements by the former Libyan head of state, the late Muammar Gadhafi, that the “protesters” , which the US and several NATO and GCC member states were supporting were “Al-Qaeda”, The statement by Muammar Gadhafi, which was widely published in a BBC interview, were brushed off as rhetoric and propaganda by the Libyan “regime“.
An anti-terrorism study conducted by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point from 2007, “Al – Qai´da´s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” however, showed that Libya has not only been the largest per capita contributor of Al-Qaeda fighters in Iraq. The report also documented that the overwhelming majority of the Libyan fighters came from the cities Derna and Bengazi, where the armed insurgency in Libya began in 2011. (1
If the US Administration was not aware of the fact that the armed Libyan uprising was predominantly being organized via the predominantly Derna and Bengazi based Libyan Al-Qaeda franchise, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) before, experts overwhelmingly agree, that the US Administration latest must have become aware of the fact, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dispatched a CIA team to investigate who the “Rebels” and the Transitional National Council were.
By failing to identify the state sponsors of the terrorist organizations and the flow of arms, the UN report is also omitting, that the commander of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Groups, Belhadj, according to the former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar, was the main responsible person behind the 2004 Madrid train bombings which killed 191 people and caused the Spanish Parliament to vote for a prolongation of Spanish troops deployment to Afghanistan. After the ousting of the Libyan government in 2011, the Libyan Al-Qaeda leader became the military governor of the Libyan capital Tripoli, and his organization was partially transformed into the “Tripoli Military Council”. The LIFG / Tripoli Military Council has since been playing a central role in two failed major military campaigns in Syria, with the participation of at least 20,000 fighters under the command of Belhadj.
While it was already unofficially known in 2011, that the USA, NATO, Saudi-Arabia, Qatar and Turkey were covertly financing, arming and training the “Free Syrian Army” as well as foreign terrorist groups in their fight to subvert Syria, the state sponsorship of terrorism has since developed into overt, confirmed and systematic violations of international law, that is, an overt, illegal and undeclared war by means of mercenaries and terrorist organizations.
While the report warns of the proliferation of weapons, it fails for example to recognize the statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry, from February 2013, which was an open admission of the fact that the USA has chosen to ignore international law, and to overtly finance, arm, and otherwise support known terrorist organizations. After a meeting of the Friends of Syria group in Rome, the US Secretary of State declared, that the USA would increase its aid to both the political and the armed Syrian “opposition” with USD 6 million. (2
Libya only part of an illegal state-sponsor-network with multiple hubs. While the report of the UN Security Council´s expert team correctly identifies that Libya is a hub for the illegal trafficking of arms, it fails to identify Libya as being merely one such hub in a well-organized arms trafficking network of an alliance of state parties, which is centered around the USA and other major NATO member states, as well as the same constellation of Gulf Arab nations who took part in the subversion of Libya.
In September 2012, the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA published an article, based on an investigation of the British journalist Sheera Frenkel, who had discovered the, at that time, largest known shipment of weapons from Libya to Turkey.
According to Frenkel, a member of the Free Syrian Army stated, that the shipment contained over 400 ton of weapons from Libya, including SAM-7 surface to air missiles and rocket propelled grenades. According to the the British journalist, the Libyan ship, the Intisaar (victory), was berthed at the Turkish port of Iskenderun and its captain had been given papers by the port authority and Omar Mouaseeb. Omar Mouaseeb is a Libyan from Bengazi and the head of an organization called the Libyan Council for Relief and Support, which is delivering supplies to armed groups in Syria. (3
Even though names of organizations and persons like the Libyan Council for Relief and Support and Omar Mouaseeb are publicly known, the report did not deliver detailed information about them or about other known organizations background and ties to governments. Neither did the report recommend a thorough investigation to which governments precisely, were responsible for liaison and cooperation with an organization that delivered SAM-7 surface to air missiles to known terrorist organizations. Each of the SAM-7 surface to air missiles can be used for bringing down a civilian airliner. The international threat to air safety, in the light of state parties involvement in the proliferation of these weapons was not addressed in the report.
Not long after the statement of US Secretary of State John Kerry, a report which had been produced by plane spotters, detailed that the delivery of weapons to Syria also had been organized by air lift operations. While Libya is not part of this specific report, it involves the same state sponsors of arms to terrorist organization in Syria, who also have been involved in delivering weapons to Libyan terrorist organizations, and who are still using Libya as a hub for weapons deliveries to Mali and beyond. (4
Without Libya as a base of operations, it would most likely have been impossible for France, that is, NATO, to organize the arming and the procurement of Al-Qaeda troops in northern Mali, which have been used for manufacturing the crisis which created the pretext for a French / NATO intervention and a re-occupation of the country.
The failure of the UNSC expert team to address the international dimensions of the 2011 arms embargo on Libya in the lights of the current situation, and the implicit omission of the fact that the proliferation of weapons through Libya is part of a problem that has its root in a network of states who are systematically sponsoring terrorism, and finally the fact, that NATO itself has proclaimed that it would be using terrorist organizations in future “interventions”, elicits, that the Security Council and the UN System is undergoing a deep systemic crisis.
An objective reassessment of the 2011 arms embargo on Libya for the UN Security Council, would at the very least have contained a reference to NATO´s description of Libya as “teachable moment and model for future interventions”, as it expressed by the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, Ivo H. Daalder, and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and Commander of the U.S. European Command, James G. Stavridis. The statement was initially published in an article in “Foreign Affairs”. It has since been repeated at NATO´s 25th Summit in Chicago in 2012, when NATO adopted “Libya Style Interventions” as part of NATO´s modern military doctrine. (5 There would have been sufficient available evidence for the UNSC experts to document, that NATO member states and allied nations systematically and consequently emulate the Libyan model in unconventional warfare in Syria, Mali, the Central African Republic, and that the trend is likely to continue unless will be appropriately addressed at the United Nations.
Evidence for the direct distribution of weapons from Libya and other countries of origin, by NATO military personnel. One of the most serious omissions of the UN Security Council´s experts report pertaining the 2011 arms embargo on Libya is the omission of the fact, that there are countless reports which document the direct involvement of NATO military personnel, in the distribution of weapons to members of known, internationally outlawed terrorist organizations.
In September 2012 the Workers´Party – Turkey, filed a lawsuit against the Turkish government of Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan. In statements to the press and an article on the party´s website, the Deputy President of the Workers´Party – Turkey, Bayram Yurtçiçek stated that the “Apaydın Camp” in Hatay is a camp, established to conduct and administrate terrorist and destructive activities against Syria.
He went on to note that this fact, published in Turkish and foreign media, has been proven via several interviews. Yurtçiçek said that the commanders of the terrorist group which organizes the terror activities in Syria and calls itself the ‘Free Syrian Army’ acknowledged that they are based in the ‘Apaydın Camp’ and that they are attacking Syria from this camp. Yurtçiçek filed a complaint about this camp -established illegally according to the national legislation- and about those who were responsible of the establishing of the camp. (6 The camp is on the territory of a NATO country.
In August 2012 the Iranian FARS news agency reported about the arrest of a Turkish General in the Syrian city of Aleppo. (7 In June 2012 a senior member of the British Ministry of Defense publicly stated, that both Turkish, British and other nations special forces were operating in Syria, providing non-lethal military aid. (8
On 20 August 2012 a journalist from the Lebanese TV Channel al-Jadeed witnessed and documented Turkish military officers distributing weapons to terrorist organizations in Syria. The Turkish NATO officers were on Syrian territory while distributing the weapons. (9 – 9a
During the spring of 2012 Turkish Intelligence opened a recruitment and intelligence office in Amman, Jordan. Subsequently more than 20,000 Libyan mercenaries under the command of Abdelhakim Belhadj were deployed to the region around the Jordanian town of al-Mafraq. The mercenaries took part in the two failed campaigns to conquer the Syrian city of Aleppo in June and July 2012. Shortly before the deployment of the Libyan mercenaries, under the command of a known Al-Qaeda terrorist, the USA had re-deployed US troops from Iraq to Jordanian air bases as well as to Al-Mafraq.
The UN Security Council´s experts who wrote the report pertaining the arms embargo on Libya could have found countless other examples for the fact that Libya is one hub in a network of hubs, maintained by NATO and GCC member states, and not to forget, with the participation of Israel. Israeli weapons were among other delivered to Syria via the leader of the Lebanese Druze community Walid Jumblatt. Another admission of direct Israeli control over parts of the arms deliveries is the fact that Israel is involved in making decisions about which arms can be delivered to the insurgents, and which weapons it would consider a threat to its own security.
Deep Systemic Crisis of the UN Security Council and UN System as a whole is not surprising and warrants urgent and comprehensive reform. The failure of the report to, at the very least, refer to the proliferation of weapons via Libya to terrorist organizations as one part of a larger problem, and the failure to recommend a thorough investigation of this wider context, is representative for the deep systemic crisis of the UN Security Council and the UN System as a whole.
One obvious example for “what” is wrong with the UN Security Council is the fact, that one of its permanent members, the USA, is publishing a training circular for special forces and “foreign students”, in which it step by step details how to subvert a stable country to bring about regime change. In the introduction of the training circular, the TC 18-01, which was published in 2010, one can read, that the USA, for the foreseeable future, will predominantly be involved in unconventional warfare. (10 This overt admission of the fact, that the USA has made the subversion of sovereign nations a predominant part of its military strategy is, as long as it remains unaddressed and unchallenged by the United Nations, direct evidence for the fact that the UN fails to protect the sovereignty of its member states. It is also direct evidence for the fact that superpowers can overtly admit to the most serious crimes as “strategy” while there is no mechanism to oppose the despotic arrogance.
Another demonstration for the deep systemic crisis of the United Nations Security Council and the UN System as a whole is the US veto against a Russian sponsored resolution to condemn terrorism in all of its form, regardless of when and where it is committed or by whom it is carried out.
The resolution was drafted and sponsored by Russia, after the detonation of a car bomb in the Syrian capital, not far from the headquarter of the Arab Socialist Baath Party of Syria and the Embassy of the Russian Federation killed scores of unarmed civilians. The US against the condemnation of the attack and terrorism in all of its forms, prompted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to voice the Russian governments frustration over the fact, that the UNSC standards, according to which all nations, without exclusion, would condemn terrorism, regardless of the perpetrator, place or motives, was no longer upheld.
Lavrov stated, “Russia sees in the American position the use of double standards and a dangerous approach in terms of the Americans moving away from the main principle of condemning terrorism in all its forms”.(11
The report of the expert team of the UN Security Council, as an assessment of the 2011 arms embargo on Libya, is at its best one more example for double standards and a dangerous removal from the principle to condemn terrorism in all of its forms. Terrorism has become the official military doctrine of a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Unless this situation will be successfully challenged, adjusted and adjudicated, it is most likely that the UN will be disintegrating within a decade.
Follow-Up article, September 2013:
Libyan FM Admits, Troops and Arms to Syria a Source of Pride
1) Al – Qai´da´s Foreign Fighters in Iraq, A first look at the Sinjar records. Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Published online by Tarpley.Net at http://tarpley.net/docs/CTCForeignFighter.19.Dec07.pdf
2) Kerry after Friends of Syria Meeting clarifies, US determined to initiate World War III in Syria, Christof Lehmann, 2013, published on nsnbc international at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/03/01/kerry-after-friends-of-syria-meeting-clarifies-us-determined-to-initiate-world-war-iii-in-syria/
3) Largest Shipload of Libyan Weapons Heading to Armed Groups in Syria. SANA, September 2012, published online at nsnbc international at: http://nsnbc.me/2012/09/15/largest-shipload-of-libyan-weapons-heading-to-armed-groups-in-syria/
4) CONFIRMED: US Shipping Weapons to Syria – Al Nusra’s “Mystery” Sponsors Revealed, Tony Cartalucci, 2013, LandDestroyer, published online at nsnbc international at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/03/27/confirmed-us-shipping-weapons-to-syria-al-nusras-mystery-sponsors-revealed/
5) NATO`s 25th Summit in Chicago in Preparation of Global Full Spectrum Dominance, Christof Lehmann, 2012, published online at nsnbc international at: http://nsnbc.me/2012/05/20/natos-25th-summit-in-chicago-in-preparation-of-global-full-spectrum-dominance-interventionism-possible-preparations-for-a-regional-war-directed-against-russia-and-china-and-developments-in-global/
6) WORKERS’ PARTY (TURKEY) FILED A CRIMINAL COMPLAINT ABOUT THE TERROR CAMPS IN HATAY! Workers´Party Turkey, 2012, published on nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2012/09/14/workers-party-turkey-filed-a-criminal-complaint-about-the-terror-camps-in-hatay/
7) Turkish General Arrested in Aleppo, Syria; Turkey Denies, Iran Calls for Consequences. Christof Lehmann, 2012, published on nsnbc international, online at: http://nsnbc.me/2012/08/06/turkish-general-arrested-in-aleppo-syria-turkey-denies-iran-calls-for-consequences/
8) NATO Special Forces in Syria now Official. Christof Lehmann, 2012, nsnbc international, published online at: http://nsnbc.me/2012/06/04/nato-special-forces-in-syria-now-official/
9) Al-Jadeed TV video published on Youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kjQJeWkZ_3Q#!
9 a) Turkey´s Decision to allow Cross-Border Military Operations violates Constitution, International Law, and endangers National Integrity. Christof Lehmann, 2012, nsnbc international, published online at: http://nsnbc.me/2012/10/07/turkey%c2%b4s-decision-to-allow-cross-border-military-operations-violates-constitution-international-law-and-endangers-national-integrity/
10) Special Forces Unconventional Warfare, TC 18-01. US Army, 2010, published on nsnbc international at: http://nsnbc.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/special-forces-uw-tc-18-01.pdf
11) Permafrost; Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Blasts USA and Allies for Arming Syria´s Opposition. Christof Lehmann, 2013, nsnbc international, published online at: http://nsnbc.me/2013/03/14/permafrost-russian-foreign-minister-lavrov-blasts-usa-and-allies-for-arming-syrian-opposition/