The Telegraph reports that London attacker Rachid Redouane fought in the 2011 British/NATO war against Qadafi – as did Salman Abedi, the Manchester bomber – and joined a militia which went on to send jihadist fighters to Syria. In Libya, he is believed to have fought with the Liwa al Ummah unit.
The Liwa al Ummah was formed by a deputy of Abdul Hakim Belhaj, the former emir of the al Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. In 2012, the Liwa al Ummah in Syria merged with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which was formed in August 2011 by army deserters based in Turkey whose aim was to bring down Assad.
In Syria, the Liwa al Ummah was often referred to as an ‘FSA unit’ and sometimes teamed up with al-Nusra, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. 
The UK has been reported as covertly supporting al-Nusra in Syria. Moreover, the UK backed and supplied the FSA. In February 2012 Britain pledged to send advanced communications equipment to the FSA to help coordinate its forces. In August 2012, it was reported that British authorities “know about and approve 100%” intelligence from their Cyprus military bases being passed through Turkey to the rebel troops of the FSA. In August 2013, the UK announced £1m support to the FSA in form of communication and other equipment.
The FSA has been covertly armed by the US and Gulf states and trained by Turkey – all as part of the UK-backed covert operation to oust Assad which began in 2011.
There is evidence to suggest that the anti-Qadafi fighters who fought on Britain’s side to oust Qadafi in 2011 – for which the British authorities allowed an ‘open door’ for them to travel from the UK to Libya – then simply moved on to Syria.
In December 2011, it was reported that “with explicit consent from Transitional National Council (TNC) chairman” (supported by the UK and NATO) “600 highly motivated troops fresh from toppling the Gaddafi regime” were shipped to Syria to fight alongside the FSA. “The trigger-happy Libyans have access to a wealth of weapons plundered from the Gaddafi’s regimes military depots or gently ‘donated’ by NATO and Qatar”.
Featured image: londoncriminalsolicitors.co.uk
Keeping Secrets: Theresa May, Manchester and the Corporate Media
Back in 2011, my BSNews co-editor, Mike Raddie, reported to the Metropolitan Police that suspected British citizens were providing funding and support for the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Two weeks later, after no response from The Met, Mike contacted them again to be told that his report had been logged, but that the content was redacted. This was ‘unprecedented’ the officer told him.
2017: A significant observation was made by political blogger, John Hilley, this week regarding the facts which have come to light surrounding MI6/MI5 collusion with Manchester based Libyan and British-Libyan Jihadists in order to topple Gaddafi under Theresa May’s watch as Home Secretary. Hilley wrote: ‘Proper reporting of this story should be enough to bring down Theresa May’.
Think about that for a moment. We are now days away from one of the most important elections for decades, with Jeremy Corbyn rapidly closing the poll gap between himself and May, and the BBC, ITV News, Sky News and Channel 4 News are choosing not to tell the British voting public that the Tory leader oversaw, and (necessarily) approved, the withdrawing of terrorist control orders for known Jihadists in Manchester that they might travel freely between that city and Libya and so aid the UK government’s effort to overthrow Gaddafi. They are choosing not to inform voters, at this most crucial time, that Theresa May knew, ‘a thriving community of listed terrorists exists…in the midst of the British public, without any intervention by the UK government, security or intelligence agencies’ (Tony Cartalucci, Land Destroyer Report, May 24th.)
‘No intervention’ by our intelligence agencies, we now know, was not strictly true, of course, because thanks to an explosive Middle East Eye article published last Thursday we see it was exactly the kind of ‘intervention’ voters should have knowledge of before attempting to judge how fit Theresa May is to run their country, especially in the context of the cynical and corrosive Tory characterisation of Corbyn as a ‘terrorist sympathiser’. MEE revealed the full extent of MI6/MI5 collusion with members of the proscribed terrorist group, LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group), carrying interviews with sources who stated that in 2011 their control orders were lifted and ‘within days’ their passports returned. This, conveniently, just as the scheme to remove Gaddafi was heating up – one source reveals he was even asked by an MI5 officer, ‘are you willing to go into battle?’
Interestingly, another source explains that he was, ’employed to edit videos showing Libyan rebels being trained by former SAS and Irish special forces mercenaries in Benghazi’, the city in which a ‘massacre’ provided the rationale for Western intervention. Media Lens, in their alert ‘The Great Libya War Fraud” observe:
‘the smearing of Jeremy Corbyn fits well with the similarly uniform propaganda campaign taking the ‘threat’ of Iraq ‘WMD’ seriously…then, also, the corporate media system assailed the public with a long litany of fraudulent claims. And then there was Libya’.
The piece continues under the sub-heading, ‘The Benghazi Massacre: No Real Evidence’:
‘coming so soon after the incomplete but still damning exposure of the Iraq deception – with the bloodbath still warm – the media’s deep conformity and willful gullibility on the 2011 Libyan war left even jaundiced observers aghast. It was clear that we were faced with a pathological system of propaganda on Perpetual War autopilot.’
Media Lens also tweeted:
‘The Benghazi massacre threat was a fraud. But shouldn’t heads now roll at the BBC, Guardian, Independent, Times…?’
We might well take all this into account when reflecting on the Syrian situation: Aaron Klein, in his 2015 book Benghazi: The Real Story (What the White House and Hillary Don’t Want You to Know) claims, as Global Research reports:
‘The U.S. special mission in Benghazi and the nearby CIA annex were utilized in part to coordinate arms shipments to the jihadist rebels fighting the Syrian regime, with Ambassador Christopher Stevens playing a central role…’
And Tony Cartalucci writes in his piece on the Manchester bombing that,
‘LIFG members would not only assist the US and British governments in the 2011 overthrow of the Libyan government, they would also move on – with Western arms and cash – to NATO member Turkey where they staged an invasion of northern Syria’.
He then draws our attention to a 2011 report in The Telegraph:
‘Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group ‘met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey’ said a military official working with Mr Belhadj.’
Cartalucci asserts that
‘Libyan terrorists would expand to hundreds, possibly thousands of fighters and later merge with other Syrian militant groups including Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise Jabhat al Nusra. In Libya, LIFG fighters have divided themselves among various warring factions, including Al Qaeda and Islamic State affiliates…’ He concludes that, ‘revealed once again is a convenient intersection of terrorist and US/British interests – this time in pursuit of regime change in Syria in the wake of successful US/UK backed regime change in Libya.’
That the corporate media propaganda ‘autopilot’ used for Libya is in full operation regarding Syria hardly needs emphasising, and those good old ‘radicals’ at Channel 4 News are right at the forefront as documented by independent British journalist in Syria, Vanessa Beeley, in her must-read piece ‘Fake News Week: Why Channel 4 “News” Owes an Apology to Syria’ . Because to understand why Theresa May allowed a network of known Jihadist terrorists to thrive in the middle of Manchester, and to comprehend why the corporate media is willfully keeping this from the British people, we need to understand the overarching modus operandi of the British corporate state – of which the corporate media is a vital component. Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan…it is always the same MO, the same bullshit justifications for war accompanied by the same amplification – rather than the challenging – of them by the ‘mainstream’ media.
We have heard comments aplenty about Jeremy Paxman’s ‘ferocious’ grilling of Theresa May in recent days, but did he question her on any of these sickening ‘Libyan’ revelations in what was, after all, supposed to be a democratic exercise in determining her suitability as Prime Minister? He did not. And the same goes for that other corporate media ‘rottweiler’ Andrew Neil. Both of these six-figure earning, puffed-up egomaniacs conducted a charade of savage inquisition whilst leaving the most critical questions in their back pockets with their hefty paychecks. What a disgusting sham. The rottweilers are nothing more than myrmidons. It is thanks to charlatans like this that the British public is left to fatally compartmenalise on geopolitcal issues rather than seeing the pattern of psychopathic Perpetual War praxis operating without interruption through the bloody decades:
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s founding members had fought the Soviets in Afghanistan, returning to Libya determined to establish an Islamic state and coalescing as the LIFG in the mid-1990’s. In 1996 they carried out a failed assassination attempt against Gaddafi which was, according to MI5 whistleblower, David Shayler, funded by MI6, this being one of the reasons he left MI5. Shayler explained he was ‘physically sickened by the fact that MI6 wanted to sponsor Islamic extremists and carry out terrorism’. A sentiment he expanded upon in a book by fellow MI5 whistleblower and his partner at the time, Annie Machon, excerpts of which are available on Machon’s website:
‘I joined the service to stop terrorism and prevent the deaths of innocent people, not to get involved in these despicable and cowardly acts. I still cannot believe that the Prime Minister has refused to take my evidence or investigate this matter as this decision has sent out a clear message to the intelligence services that they can fund terrorism, conspire to murder people with impunity, and take enormous risks with our security. After all, would you give an individual you hardly know, who has admitted to connections with Al Qaeda, an enormous sum to carry out a terrorist attack, when you know the group he is leading is opposed to the values of Western society? It is difficult to imagine a greater disregard and contempt for the lives and security of the British people’.
How tragically these words echo now. How terribly prescient they are in light of the Manchester bombing. And how illuminating regarding the unceasing, shameful programme of deep-state depravity which has continued unseen for years, serenaded by the rhetoric of ‘peace and freedom’ spewed out by the Thatchers, Blairs and Mays, leaders happy to send off successive generations of young soldiers to fight and die in their corporate wars accompanied by the drumbeat of their media’s approval while the innocent civilian dead piled up in pitiable monument.
Ten million that number stands and rising, according to historian Mark Curtis who has documented, based on declassified government files, the consequences of Britain’s inglorious foreign policy since World War II. Mark is well placed to remark that ‘the culture of lying to and misleading the electorate is deeply embedded in British policy-making’ enabled by the elite’s ‘endemic contempt for the general population.’ A contempt which meant that, ‘Labour and Conservative governments have connived with militant groups linked to Al Qaeda to control oil resources, overthrow governments and promote Britain’s financial interests. (‘Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion With Radical Islam‘)
‘Labour and Conservative’. But that contemptible consistency may now be under threat with the arrival of Jeremy Corbyn. No wonder they’re terrified of him. A life-long peace campaigner apparently uninterested in personal power who appears to genuinely care about people? This is not business as usual. He is different in kind, not degree, and he is to be stopped. Only Tony Benn has come anywhere as close as Corbyn to being in a position to halt the neoliberal project in the UK with his challenge to Dennis Healey for the 1980 deputy Labour leadership. Declared The Nation in 2014:
‘they hated him for it…but they also feared him, because Benn represented not just Labour’s conscience but its soul – a living link to the radical England of the Levellers, the Chartists, the Suffragists and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.’
Exactly the same can be said of Corbyn. A man like this should never, according to the script, end up in the seat of power. But should he win, and despite all efforts of the corporate media this outcome becomes daily less remote, we can only wait and see what pressures a corrupted political system will bring to bear. How does a dissident run a country? How will he avoid a slide towards expediency when he’s swimming in sewage? And how will he interact with an intelligence community indistinguishable from the terrorists we claim to abhor?
All of these things are a matter of conjecture, but what is not is the fact that the corporate media is keeping information from the British people which would, if properly reported, be the end of Theresa May’s campaign – in fact, her political career. It would also be the autopsy of the diseased system which spawned her – and who knows where that might lead? And that’s the point. The corporate media, being a fundamental organ of that diseased system, would be dealing itself a fatal blow in revealing state corruption this deep. It will never do it. This information is an existential threat.
Immediately then, we have to ask ourselves: do we want the corporate news media to decide the outcome of this election? Because that is what’s happening. And if it does, then democracy is dead – as much as its gasping body had any breath left. If the answer is no then we must challenge the so-called journalists who are participating in this travesty and expose the system which trains. promotes and rewards them for their obedience. In the longer term, we must build change into our society from the bottom up, through our communities and with our solidarity underpinning a fight for social justice.
The worst has already happened. Families in Manchester, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and everywhere else our governments have spread their poison, will never again hear their children’s voices or see their smiles. And so, those who sleep soundly at night knowing they have caused this carnage must never be allowed to sleep so peacefully again.
Alison Banville is co-editor of BSNews.