by Jim Kouri
Clash Daily Contributor
The very mention of Libya by Democrats only serves to remind many Americans about a chapter in recent history that doesn’t advance the progressives’ plan for America’s future. The U.S.-led overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the ensuing chaos, violence and destruction by Islamists, and the tragic terrorist attack at a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, has created a political firestorm for both President Barack Obama and presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton, Obama’s handpicked Secretary of State.
Unfortunately, despite his rhetoric to the contrary, after toppling yet another dictator, President Obama allowed the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS’s) international jihad to spread into Afghanistan, North Africa and now Libya. It followed Obama’s toppling of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak which led to thousands dying at the hands of Islamic terrorists and the Muslim Brotherhood rising to power.
According to intelligence analysts at the Israeli non-profit, think-tank Meir Amit Information Center,
In 2015 ISIS established two strongholds beyond the borders of its power base in Iraq and Syria: the first in the Sinai Peninsula, where it wages determined fighting against the Egyptian security forces. The second is situated in the north-central Libyan city of Sirte and its surroundings, where it has established territorial control and from where it seeks to take over the entire country.
The analysts claim ISIS plan to make Libya its base-of-operations for terrorist and anti-government operations in North Africa and southern Europe countries. ISIS could establish itself in Libya because of the chaos prevalent after the execution of Muammar Gaddafi. The U.S. government under Obama and Clinton failed to offer help for fear of appearing to be “occupiers.”
As in Egypt, Iraq and Syria, the overthrow of the central government almost instantly advantaged several nationalist and Islamist organizations as well as tribal militias. The Libyan branch of ISIS is filling the vacuum left by the absence of a functioning government and the absence of the U.S. and European nations. ISIS has established itself in the region around Sirte and plans to spread throughout Libya.
After its takeover of Sirte, ISIS invaded and occupied a series of villages and towns in the surrounding area and created a base of operations similar to what it did in Iraq and Syria. Today ISIS controls about 160 miles of Libya’s coastal region, successfully cutting Tripoli off from the major cities of Tobruk and Benghazi. Once the ISIS terrorists take those cities, they are expected to view the oil fields in the south as their next conquest.
The ISIS fighters in Libya also collaborate with jihadist operatives and organizations in northern Africa and sub-Saharan regions. Especially notable are the connections between ISIS in Libya and ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula. It’s similar in nature between “core” al-Qaida and al-Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula. Also, Boko Haram in Nigeria has sworn allegiance to the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
According to the Meir Amit report on ISIS:
Like Iraq and Syria, Libya is a country that has disintegrated and is involved in an ongoing civil war that is likely to continue for a long time. That is the result of the deep divisions between the various centers of power and the access of the rival sides to military and economic assets like oil fields, the refugee-smuggling industry and large stockpiles of weapons and ammunition from the Gaddafi era (some of which are of high quality and are smuggled from Libya to its Arab and African neighbors). It is still difficult to assess ISIS’s ability to realize its far-reaching aspirations in Libya, but it has clearly established a stronghold it will not easily give up, in view of Libya’s perceived importance.
Unfortunately, because of the sensitivity of Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi scandal, many observers aren’t holding their collective breath for the Obama administration to do anything substantial to save Libya or stop ISIS.
Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He’s formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, a columnist, and a contributor to the nationally syndicated talk-radio program, The Chuck Wilder Show.
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