Gitmo alumnus, two other Islamists at head of Libya’s rebellion?

posted at 10:30 am on April 3, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

When the Telegraph first reported on the presence of Abdel Hakim al-Hasadi, the story started off with an explanation that, contrary to rumor, Hasadi had never been held at Guantanamo Bay.  American forces had captured him fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan, but the US transferred him to Libya after holding him in Afghanistan for a period of at least several months.  However, Sufyan Ben Qumu did graduate from Club Gitmo in 2007 after six years in detention, and now he, Hasadi, and known Islamist exremist Salah al-Bahrani lead a substantial portion of the Libyan rebellion (via Liberty Pundits):

Two former Afghan Mujahedeen and a six-year detainee at Guantanamo Bay have stepped to the fore of this city’s military campaign, training new recruits for the front and to protect the city from infiltrators loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

The presence of Islamists like these amid the opposition has raised concerns, among some fellow rebels as well as their Western allies, that the goal of some Libyan fighters in battling Col. Gadhafi is to propagate Islamist extremism. …

Mr. Hasady’s field commander on the front lines is Salah al-Barrani, a former fighter from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which was formed in the 1990s by Libyan mujahedeen returning home after helping to drive the Soviets from Afghanistan and dedicated to ousting Mr. Gadhafi from power.

Sufyan Ben Qumu, a Libyan army veteran who worked for Osama bin Laden’s holding company in Sudan and later for an al Qaeda-linked charity in Afghanistan, is training many of the city’s rebel recruits.

Both Messrs. Hasady and Ben Qumu were picked up by Pakistani authorities after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and were turned over to the U.S. Mr. Hasady was released to Libyan custody two months later. Mr. Ben Qumu spent six years at Guantanamo Bay before he was turned over to Libyan custody in 2007.

Earlier this week, Admiral James Stavridis told Congress that intelligence had picked up “flickers” of radical Islamists in the rebellion.  If these are “flickers,” then the Taliban must have be only a 40-watt light bulb in Afghanistan.  We have a former Gitmo detainee training new insurgency fighters in a near-failed state, a situation that sounds a lot like Yemen rather than Libya, plus two mujahedin veterans running a major portion of the rebellion.

Thomas Joscelyn gives us more background on Qumu:

Declassified memos produced at Guantanamo paint a troubling picture of the man who is training Derna’s rebels. …

In Sudan, Qumu was a truck driver for a company owned by Osama bin Laden, but his standing soon progressed. He was named to the military committee of the LIFG. In 1998, Qumu joined the Taliban’s forces in Afghanistan, where he fought against the Northern Alliance.

Qumu continued to work with al Qaeda in Afghanistan as well. In memos prepared at Guantanamo, US officials alleged that he “received military training at Osama bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan” and his “name and family information” were “listed on a document which contained details of al Qaeda operatives’ families.” The Gitmo files note that the document “is associated with a senior al Qaeda operative.”

US officials at Gitmo also alleged that Qumu “met a senior al Qaeda facilitator between ten and twenty occasions.” One of the al Qaeda-affiliated camps Qumu attended was the Khalden camp, which was run by Ibn Sheikh al Libi, a senior al Qaeda leader who died while in Libyan custody in 2009, and Abu Zubaydah, a senior al Qaeda facilitator who is currently detained at Gitmo. The Gitmo files do not specifically say if either of these two al Qaeda leaders met with Qumu, or if he repeatedly met some other “senior al Qaeda facilitator.”

While in Kabul from August to November of 2001, Qumu worked for al Wafa, a charity that has been designated as an al Qaeda front by the US Treasury Department and United Nations. Sometime after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Qumu allegedly “met with al Qaeda operatives at a guest house in Kabul…to discuss the evacuation of women and children.” He also allegedly delivered equipment to al Qaeda and Taliban forces fighting the Northern Alliance in Mazar e Sharif, Afghanistan in late 2001.

So why did we release Qumu in the first place?  Supposedly, it acted to strengthen our position on the global stage.  Instead, we’ve let a very dangerous Islamist build an army of insurgents in North Africa.  That’s not the Obama administration’s fault, of course, as Qumu was released during the Bush administration.  But it is a good reason to stop releasing others from Gitmo.

Meanwhile, the US continues to publicly mull sending weapons to the rebellion.  That’s a flicker of smart power.


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Samantha Powers approved…

mjbrooks3 on April 3, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Bring back the Lieber Code! They knew a lot about how to handle these guys and it comes with the approval of a President and Congress. Perfectly legal, violates no treaties and is fully compatible with the modern day.

Gitmo could be closed very quickly if that were done… but that means drawing a line between what is civilized and uncivilized warfare.

Can’t do that, now, can we?

ajacksonian on April 3, 2011 at 10:39 AM

So, not a sheep farmer.

Gwillie on April 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM

That’s not the Obama administration’s fault, of course, as Qumu was released during the Bush

Obama and his loyal anti-GITMO friends in high places did have a lot to do with it. Bush was being pressured from all sides to reduce the population of GITMO and he succumbed to that pressure.

fourdeucer on April 3, 2011 at 10:44 AM

In Toyota’s African dealerships, do weapons mounts come standard in the beds of their pick-ups, or are they optional?

forest on April 3, 2011 at 10:45 AM

And their boss is……
Osama bin Laden!

albill on April 3, 2011 at 10:51 AM

What did one expect? I mean, really!

OldEnglish on April 3, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Not to worry, these flickers are saying the right things. Most of them are professionals, doctors and lawyers.

Obama: Libyan Rebels Comprised of “Professionals, Lawyers and Doctors”…

Clueless.

petefrt on April 3, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Can we now say with certainty that the American left and the radical Islamists are ALLIES in their war against Western civilization?

And by the way, WHERE IN HOLY HELL ARE THE CONGRESSIONAL GOPers ON THIS?!!!!! They should be screaming this from the rafters. We went to war to protect and prop up Al Qaeda, for God’s sake. Will someone — SOMEONE — in my government stand up and point out the pure evil of this?!!!

Rational Thought on April 3, 2011 at 10:55 AM

I’m sure the Gitmo guy was thoroughly rehabilitated at Club Fed. He’s sure to have shared what he learned with his two buddies. What’s the problem?

cartooner on April 3, 2011 at 10:55 AM

The entire argument the left used to undermine the efficacy of GITMO was to paint the prison as an AQ recruiting center. After all the released prisoners that have returned to one area or another of the battlefields that argument is patently false and the opposite has been shown to be the case.

fourdeucer on April 3, 2011 at 10:59 AM

This is all just a brilliant plan to get our enemies to die fighting each other while we drop a bomb here or there to keep things stalemated, right? Because if not, then it seems likely that our CiC is a bumbling idiot who will get a lot of our military killed through incompetence and indecision.

trubble on April 3, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Call me skeptical of all of these supposed Muslim “charities” and Muslim banking for that matter. They are nothing but financial conduits for the spread of Islamism…by the sword or through the courts. They should be outlawed as enemies to the state.

onlineanalyst on April 3, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Color me surprised!! Not.

MainelyRight on April 3, 2011 at 11:13 AM

I dunno, if you watch the footage of these guys, they don’t seem to have ANY experience with weapons, they don’t know how to shoot. A.Q.’s are not up to Western standards either, but they DO at least know to shoot an AK.

Tony737 on April 3, 2011 at 11:14 AM

This is all just a brilliant plan to get our enemies to die fighting each other while we drop a bomb here or there to keep things stalemated, right? Because if not, then it seems likely that our CiC is a bumbling idiot who will get a lot of our military killed through incompetence and indecision.

trubble on April 3, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I’ll go with door #2.

VegasRick on April 3, 2011 at 11:14 AM

This is the army Samatha Powers has always wanted. Soon she will tell Obama that these folks should go and protect the PLO from Israel and we will then arm and finance a war agaist the Jews. This where all this going

georgealbert on April 3, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Former Gitmo detainees? By all means, give them guns and a CIA credit card. I’m sure this will end well.

myrenovations on April 3, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Amazes me how the American left has saddled up with the very people who attacked our country on 9/11 and multiple other occasions, and this is not the story being discussed at every dinner table.

Keemo on April 3, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Bahahaha

This is just sweet.

1) Either we assume these men are dangerous and deserved to be in Gitmo (hey, isn’t Obama against that?) and thus these Arab Rev0lutions are anything but peaceful…

or perhaps

2) These men were reformed after going to Gitmo and now are totally 100% pro-US

Hahahaha

Oh, the irony.

MeatHeadinCA on April 3, 2011 at 11:19 AM

I woulda thought we had learned our lesson with Osama, but apparently not…

MeatHeadinCA on April 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM

The picture for this post is from a video I just saw at apacheclips. It shows the lack of fighting skills these “rebels” have and a couple of them get killed including that dude in the back of the truck. All on video.

Howcome on April 3, 2011 at 11:21 AM

So, not a sheep farmer.

Gwillie on April 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM
So, not a sheep farmer.

Gwillie on April 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Nope. Sheep humper.

MeatHeadinCA on April 3, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Hmmm, Glen Beck right again? But he’s the crazy one!

milemarker2020 on April 3, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Fool me once shame on you.

Fool me twice I’m Barack Obama.

darwin-t on April 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Small d democrats, my aunt’s patootie. BTW, have they received my M16 yet?

Kissmygrits on April 3, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Hmmm, Glen Beck right again? But he’s the crazy one!

milemarker2020 on April 3, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Well he’s no Donald Trump

darwin-t on April 3, 2011 at 11:26 AM

It’s not like the Democrats or Obama care that we fail. They relish in it.

Cindy Munford on April 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

This is the army Samantha Power has always wanted. Soon she will tell Obama that these folks should go and protect the PLO from Israel and we will then arm and finance a war agaist the Jews. This where all this going

georgealbert on April 3, 2011 at 11:17 AM

You just have to shake your head. I am bouncing between sheer stupidity and ignorance on the part of little Bammie and his handlers, and something malevolent.

I wonder if Power ever went to the Bamster and said something like “what good is this fabulous military if we don’t get to use it?” This loony broad is being suggested as a replacement for Hillary btw.

slickwillie2001 on April 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

So why did we release Qumu in the first place? Supposedly, it acted to strengthen our position on the global stage.

Is that what the Saudis told Bush when they ordered the release? Well the Saudis are little, brown and totally not responsible for their actions,just like all the other Muslims, so it is best to blame it on Terry Jones.

BL@KBIRD on April 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM

This loony broad is being suggested as a replacement for Hillary btw.

slickwillie2001 on April 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM

I just saw that headline on Drudge, The Israeli’s have got to be questioning our(up until Obama’s presidency) faithful allegiance.

fourdeucer on April 3, 2011 at 11:56 AM

I just saw that headline on Drudge, The Israeli’s have got to be questioning our(up until Obama’s presidency) faithful allegiance.

fourdeucer on April 3, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Also in the past couple of days the author of the Goldstone Report has come to the conclusion that the Israeli’s did not engage in human rights abuses against the Gazans. Hopefully Powers will reconsider using the R2P mandate against the Israeli’s.

fourdeucer on April 3, 2011 at 12:03 PM

No better example exists of the incompetence of and why the ruling elite shouldn’t be. With a handful of exceptions there is no one from either party in DC who has any business making decisions for this nation, IMO. That is especially true if they attended an Ivy League school. That should be an automatic disqualifier for any position in government. The Bushes, Kerry, Obama, the Clintons, Kennedy…. Give me a Eureka College grad everytime.

JimP on April 3, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Meanwhile, the US continues to publicly mull sending weapons to the rebellion. That’s a flicker of smart power.

Yeah, if by “flicker”, you mean big ol’ blazing, generator-powered halogen searchlight on a moonless night “flicker”.

/their hatred for this country and our way of life just keeps showing itself day after day

AZfederalist on April 3, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Ted Kennedy said it all: “Osama, Obama…whatever.”

Christien on April 3, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Samantha Powers approved…

mjbrooks3 on April 3, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Sadly, Marco Rubio is supporting this as well.

tetriskid on April 3, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Here’s the Samantha Power video that she’d like us to forget:

Obama chief advisor calls for a military invasion of Israel

Via AtlasShrugs.com

And here’s Glenn Beck connecting the dots:
The Daily Beck, March 24, 2011

petefrt on April 3, 2011 at 12:55 PM

And by the way, WHERE IN HOLY HELL ARE THE CONGRESSIONAL GOPers ON THIS?!!!!![...]
Rational Thought on April 3, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Thanking their lucky stars that Libya is distracting tea partiers from the spending battle.

FloatingRock on April 3, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Meanwhile, the US continues to publicly mull sending weapons to the rebellion. That’s a flicker of smart power.

…a flicker of Samantha Power is more like it.

Schadenfreude on April 3, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Obama Fighting Alongside Al-Qaeda in Libya
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUE8sEYDYEQ

will13smith on April 3, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Samantha Powers?

Born in Ireland, expected to become the next Secretary of State after Hillary is given leave this fall. Will be fourth in line to the Presidency…though not a natural born American…but that is OK, neither is our present President…is gonzo over genocide, sees it behind every national border or frontier, seems a bit selective, though, Libya is a genocide but Cote d”Ivoire is not? More Africans killed in the past two days than Libyans. Guess the darker folks have to make it on their own. Can’t wait till Kenya explodes again.

But, Powers seems to the power behind US foreign policy these days, even overriding Hillary most of the time. Is an Obama favorite, a tough Mick who can stand up to Barack.

As for who is in charge of the rebels…I really do not think the White House cares one bit.

There is a new election season starting…Obama is in campaign mode again…he needed to check off the box “war time President” and Libya gave him the street cred he needed. Too bad “others” will have screwed things up by the time people start to ask serious questions. Obama’s “intentions” were good…and to a liberal and the liberal mindset, “intentions,” good “intentions,” are all that really matters.

Results? Who cares. It is always someone else’s fault when things don’t work out. Boooosh. Cheney. Haliburton. Republicans.

Obama is awesome.

coldwarrior on April 3, 2011 at 2:47 PM

As Gomer Pyle would say, “surprise, surprise.”

chewmeister on April 3, 2011 at 2:49 PM

This proves why all Gitmo prisoners should have been hanged by Bush as terrorIsts, spies and saboteurs.

As they always were in every previous war.

According to the Third Geneva Convention.

SM4RT POW3R!

profitsbeard on April 3, 2011 at 3:49 PM