Chaos: Gunmen kill Libyan rebels’ top military commander — while he’s in rebel custody

posted at 7:38 pm on July 28, 2011 by Allahpundit

To fully appreciate how shady this is, take two minutes to read the Atlantic Wire’s excellent tick-tock of news accounts of how this guy was killed. Rumors that he was dead started turning up in Arab media four days ago, oddly enough. Then word came that he had been recalled from the front lines to Benghazi to be questioned about collaborating with Qaddafi loyalists. (Younis used to be the regime’s Interior Minister but defected to the rebels earlier this year and took charge of their army.) Then, suddenly, he was under arrest. And lo and behold, shortly thereafter he was dead — shot by a mysterious group of gunmen whose identities the rebels’ spokesman is being curiously tight-lipped about. The AP’s story simply reeks of suspicion that it was an inside job:

The head of the Libyan rebel armed forces was shot and killed Thursday just before arriving for questioning by rebel authorities, their political leader said in a carefully worded statement to reporters that gave few details on who was behind the killing.

Adding to the confusion, the rebels had said hours earlier they had already detained the commander, Abdel-Fattah Younis, on suspicion his family might still have ties to the regime of Moammar Gadhafi, raising questions about whether he might have been assassinated by his own side

Announcing the killing at a press conference where he did not take questions, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, head of the rebels’ National Transitional Council, called Younis “one of the heroes of the 17th of February revolution,” a name marking the date of early protests against Gadhafi’s regime.

He said two of the commander’s aides, both colonels, were also killed in the attack by gunmen and that rebels had arrested the head of the group behind the attack. He did not say what he thought motivated the killers.

The spokesman himself alternately blamed the killing on “efforts by the Gadhafi regime to break our unity” and, er, “armed criminal gangs” running wild. Supposedly the “gang” killed him before he arrived before the rebel council in Benghazi to be questioned about ties to Qaddafi, but a rumor being pushed to Al Jazeera by Qaddafi loyalists claims that Younis was executed by the gunmen before the committee itself. Yet another journalist flagged by the Atlantic is hearing that the killing happened after a “major general” from a rival rebel tribe started an argument with Younis at a Benghazi hotel. (Remember, Younis wasn’t supposed to be in Benghazi today; he was recalled from the front.) Any guesses who that general might be? Revisit this post by Ed from April for a possibility.

To sum up, then: The man who’s supposed to be leading rebel troops to final victory over Qaddafi, thereby vindicating NATO’s decision to join the war, is now dead in his own capital on the orders of his own side, in all probability. The best-case scenario is that he was a traitor to their/our side and had to be removed immediately. The worst-case scenario is that the rebel leadership is so dysfunctional and gangsterish that they’re risking their war effort on settling personal grievances. This comes, incidentally, after a week filled with stories about the failure of “diplomatic solutions” to the stalemate, the best of which is this Time piece marveling at the fact that NATO’s been so ineffective in dislodging Qaddafi that we’re now looking at peace treaties that would involve letting him stay in the country. Take a moment to read it. And remember: “Days, not weeks.”

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I’m so glad O-bomba is waging an illegal war for these clowns.

DANEgerus on July 28, 2011 at 7:42 PM

I don’t even feel like snarking about this.

Aquateen Hungerforce on July 28, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Kinetic….

BallisticBob on July 28, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Days, not weeks.
Did I say “days”?

Electrongod on July 28, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Days, not weeks.

SouthernGent on July 28, 2011 at 7:47 PM

We have such a schizophrenic policy in Muslim world that I don’t even know what to say anymore.

Cindy Munford on July 28, 2011 at 7:48 PM

I’m going worst case scenario.

rbj on July 28, 2011 at 7:48 PM

…I don’t even know what to say anymore.

Cindy Munford on July 28, 2011 at 7:48 PM

You and the President. Except he still tries to say it.

WitchDoctor on July 28, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Somalia.

ThePrez on July 28, 2011 at 8:00 PM

I’ve got even worse news for you on the domestic front. Jay Carney said Christmas will be ruined by the tea partiers. It was quite a blow.

a capella on July 28, 2011 at 8:03 PM

This whole thing is such a friggin’ disaster, and yet not a peep about any of it from the MSM.

Smart Power, indeed.

AZCoyote on July 28, 2011 at 8:04 PM

SmartPower™

DeathB4Tyranny on July 28, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Winning The Future

You have to support the rebels to see on whose side they are on.

pedestrian on July 28, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Winning The Future

You have to support the rebels to see on whose side they are on.

pedestrian on July 28, 2011 at 8:13 PM

heh.. threadwinner..

Tim Zank on July 28, 2011 at 8:16 PM

WitchDoctor on July 28, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Yeah, but I don’t pick your pocket while not knowing what to do.

Cindy Munford on July 28, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Pre-2009 headline:
 
“High-ranking Tribal Operative with Known Ties to Al-Qaeda Killed in Libya, Details Murky.”

rogerb on July 28, 2011 at 8:19 PM

You have to support the rebels to see on whose side they are on.

pedestrian on July 28, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Pretty much sums up Obama’s foreign policy. Come to think of it, it sums up Obama period. Lead from behind and you can deflect all blame if and when things go awry.

DeathB4Tyranny on July 28, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Arab spring in bloom…which people are free, due to Obama?

Schadenfreude on July 28, 2011 at 8:32 PM

dazed and weak.

Alden Pyle on July 28, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Unexpectedly!

aquaviva on July 28, 2011 at 8:52 PM

I’m gonna say it and say it loud.

Screw the hajis.
Let them kill each other until they figure out how to stop doing so. Then and ONLY then will they be worth our time.

And stop sending my friends over there to try and pull them apart. It’s not worth our money and my buddies’ lives.

Gaddaffi is a bad SOB, but guess what….the ones waiting in the wings to replace him seem even worse now. Had we struck HARD in February with a single or series of decapitating strikes designed to KILL Gaddaffi then maybe they would be well on their way to figuring out how to govern themselves instead of this internecine tribal Bravo Sierra.

Afghanistan has devolved back to the same crap after nearly 10 years and a trillion dollars and so many lives. The Taliban and al-Qaeda knew what the hell they were doing when they assassinated Ahmed Shah al Mosoud on September 10, 2001. They managed to kill one of the few pro-Western DEMOCRACY guys who could unify the entire nation. So we got stuck with Karzi and how well has that worked out?

Iraq is from the few news reports that come out in a governmental stalemate but at least they have a mostly functional nation.

SgtSVJones on July 28, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Where are Powers, Rice, and Hillary…?

Seven Percent Solution on July 28, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Heh! The dog ran away with my kiffiyeh weeks ago and I haven’t given a thought to the great war for Muslim democracy. Hows our freedom fighting heroes doing of late? The rascals still shooting off most of their ammo in anticipation of yet more victory?

BL@KBIRD on July 28, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Am I so glad that we are helping these Libyan minutemen. BTW, have the French surrendered to MoMo yet?

/s

MJBrutus on July 28, 2011 at 9:33 PM

That’s a Peace Prize!

Alden Pyle on July 28, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Oh that’s right, we’re still in Lybia. I’d forgotten. Well at least we’re still not in Yemen and the Sudan. That would be bad.

Socmodfiscon on July 28, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Oh, yeah, Libya…thought that thing was over…it isn’t?

The Colonel should win the Castro-Mugabe Punk Dictator Longevity Award.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 28, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Screw the hajis.
Let them kill each other until they figure out how to stop doing so. Then and ONLY then will they be worth our time.

SgtSVJones on July 28, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Yes, Please.

Socmodfiscon on July 28, 2011 at 10:49 PM

Sooooo….it appears that:

1. The Lybian “rebels” don’t know what their objective is, or who is really in charge.
2. We have no idea whether we agree with the Lybian “rebels” any more than we agree with Quadafi.

So it is impossible to know what we’re doing over there: much less whether what we’re doing is “effective” or even “productive”!!!

Lybia is a classic case of a military action which should never have been undertaken. The MOST IMPORTANT thing for any military mission is to UNDERSTAND YOUR OBJECTIVE. Clearly, this is impossible.

landlines on July 29, 2011 at 12:41 AM

A gen-u-wine Hero of the Revolution!

mojo on July 29, 2011 at 12:42 AM

So this is the “legitimate government” Britain recognized?

It used to be they’d at least have the old leader taken over first, or had some sort of British colony with a governor in charge.

Oh how they have fallen.

BKennedy on July 29, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Screw the hajis.
Let them kill each other until they figure out how to stop doing so. Then and ONLY then will they be worth our time.
SgtSVJones on July 28, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Amen Sergeant. Amen.

On a side note… I’m throroughly convinced that the middle east is BOTH Gog and Magog.

If somehow by magic you were able to make every non-islamic person in the world disappear, there would still not be peace. They would still be at each other’s throats trying to determine which branch of what followers were the better disciples of Mohammed.

Of this I am almost certain.

Chaz706 on July 29, 2011 at 2:27 AM

It’s all good. What kind of animals eat their own? Go for it homeboys.

jarhead0311 on July 29, 2011 at 3:44 AM

Comrade Obama and Sec. of Insanity Hillary always pick quick and end up smelling like goat manure.

joe btfsplk on July 29, 2011 at 6:19 AM

The worst-case most likly scenario is that the rebel leadership is so dysfunctional and gangsterish that they’re risking their war effort on settling personal grievances

Greed on July 29, 2011 at 1:51 PM

eggs… omelettes

Terp Mole on July 29, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Apparently no one read the rest of my comment.

The reason the Western world is called (or was before PC kicked in) the civilized world is because we don’t butcher people on a whim or resort to physical violence when one minor sect (let’s say Southern Baptists) disagrees with a much larger sect (Catholics like I am).

We tolerate each other and even if we vehemently disagree with each other, see the debt ceiling debates for good reference, we don’t freaking KILL each other over it. Yes we DID CENTURIES ago. But we moved beyond that. That is why we are called First World (or more properly CIVILIZED) nations.

You cannot impose Western civilized democracy by simply wishing it to be so. Nor can you call anything in that region (other than MAYBE Iraq) democratic in nature.

We want/need their oil…fine give them money but stop interfering in their internal tribal crap. If they send or harbor terrorists, flatten their little sandy crapholes into flatter sandy crapholes and let the people rebuild on their own thank you very damn much.

SgtSVJones on July 30, 2011 at 1:09 AM