US: Libya approved raid that netted al-Libi, 2nd one for Benghazi attack leaders

posted at 2:01 pm on October 9, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

After US special forces succeeded in spiriting Abu Anas al-Libi out of Libya and onto a warship, the government in Tripoli howled in indignation over the “kidnapping” of its citizen.  The New York Times reports today, though, that the Libyan government gave the US a green light for its raid — and for another one to capture the leaders of the attack on our consulate in Benghazi:

The Libyan government in recent weeks tacitly approved two American commando operations in its country, according to senior American officials, one to capture a senior militant from Al Qaeda and another to seize a militia leader suspected of carrying out the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

The Qaeda leader, Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, was captured by American commandos in Tripoli on Saturday in a raid that the United States had hoped to keep secret, but that leaked out to the news media. The operation has been widely denounced by Libyan officials, who have called it a kidnapping and said they had played no role in it.

Well, golly, who leaked the news?  Jazz’ Saturday post links … the New York Times. They would know the answer to that, but the actual leak had to come from people with knowledge of the mission, which would either mean the military or the White House.  With Barack Obama’s approval ratings taking a dive — especially on foreign policy after his humiliation on Syria — the latter would be the place to look for someone motivated to burnish reputations with some good news on the counter-terrorism front.

Unfortunately, the good news leads to some bad news:

While American officials expected that the Libyan government would claim that it had known nothing about the operation, news of the raid has raised concerns that the suspect in the Benghazi attacks, Ahmed Abu Khattala, has now been tipped off that the United States has the ability to conduct an operation in Libya.

It is not clear why American military commanders did not conduct both operations simultaneously to avoid this problem. Some military commanders said conditions in Libya on Saturday may not have been opportune. But the backlash against a second raid could bring down the government of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, which has teetered on the brink of collapse and has little control over vast parts of the country, particularly in the eastern part near Benghazi.

In other words, don’t expect a follow-up any time soon.  Zeidan has barely kept his grip on Tripoli, and the rest of Libya is a terrorist playground, thanks to the Obama-led NATO intervention that decapitated the Qaddafi regime.  Zeidan might find himself deposed by the militias that can seize the streets in front of the Defense Ministry at any time, and this latest revelation doesn’t help matters.

That prompts another question: why is the administration exposing Zeidan now? The DoD spokesman went on record as saying that Zeidan had tacitly approved the raids, which isn’t going to help him keep what little control he has left.  Why not let Zeidan rant to protect his position when he can’t do anything to stop the US from conducting these missions even if he had the will to do so?

We are missing more than one opportunity in Libya, and we’re losing them because this administration seems more concerned about public relations than with operational security.


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Check with the FBI on getting permission to enter Libya…they know how to do it really quick.

d1carter on October 9, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Black detention sites are now US warships…?

d1carter on October 9, 2013 at 2:06 PM

We are missing more than one opportunity in Libya, and we’re losing them because this administration seems more concerned about public relations than with operational security.

With polling at 37% approval I have no doubt that these operations were codenamed “save my bacon.” Or whatever is culturally appropriate for attacks on long-identified Muslim terrorists.

Happy Nomad on October 9, 2013 at 2:11 PM

All about the O

cmsinaz on October 9, 2013 at 2:14 PM

It’s funny to read the American “news” on what happened in Cairo/Benghazi, when the info from that region filled in the blanks right after it happened.

Al-Libi as involved in Benghazi.

He was the guy after the MPads.

That was common info. I think CNN International even mentioned it months before the attack.

Either way, it was orchestrated by Libi and Zawahiri’s brother, using Cairo as a cover.

Team Barry knew this, but didn’t want to play along due to the political hit of helping topple these two countries.

So they came up with another smokescreen, the video.

Which confused the crap at out AQ and other players as parts of the region went up in smoke over the video.

Now, we want Libi to find out what the next plan is NorAfrica.

It’s going to be head-shaking laughable when some media tool finally breaks the “truth”. I don’t where they fall on the spectrum. It’s a joke no one will relay the ground intel from the region.

budfox on October 9, 2013 at 2:15 PM

It’s going to be head-shaking laughable when some media tool finally breaks the “truth”.

When Obama has left the stage the currently unwritten books containing all the crap that went on in this administration will be published.

DanMan on October 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM

We are missing more than one opportunity in _________, and we’re losing them because this administration seems more concerned about public relations than with ___________.

Fill in the blanks as needed.

HumpBot Salvation on October 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Obama could have done the Libya raid at any time. He had been keeping that option under wraps until he wanted a temporary boost in his approval rating. Obama did the raid at this point to try to improve his approval rating during this shutdown.

anotherJoe on October 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM

It’s funny to read the American “news” on what happened in Cairo/Benghazi, when the info from that region filled in the blanks right after it happened.

budfox on October 9, 2013 at 2:15 PM

One one of the Sunday shows, they even had a Lybian official on right before Susan Rice saying that the attack had nothing to do with a YouTube video. Anderson Cooper was in the still smoldering remains of the Benghazi consulate and recovered Christopher Stevens journal as the FBI sat on their butts “unable” to investigate.

Bottom line the administration wanted to cover up the truth and the media willingly lied for them. When the whole truth comes out the depths of media complicity will be shocking.

Happy Nomad on October 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM

What happened to the second one?

They’re still working out the logistics on invading the State Department where his helpers are hiding out. The Muslim Brotherhood operatives in there are currently on paid vacation.

mankai on October 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Stand down still stood?

rogerb on October 9, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Obama did the raid at this point to try to improve his approval rating during this shutdown.

anotherJoe on October 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM

And you know what? Few noticed and even fewer care. Same goes for Kerry on Obama’s Asian vacation.

Happy Nomad on October 9, 2013 at 2:25 PM

In other words, don’t expect a follow-up any time soon.

Surely we can find some anti-US video somewhere made by someone in Libya to justify leveling the country.

That’s how these things work. I know. I watch MSNBC.

mankai on October 9, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Hey, Ed, go look at what I just posted on the Consensus thread.

Pure schadenfreude!

Resist We Much on October 9, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Yeah. OpSec has never been a real concern for this administration. But how can it be when you make a conscious choice to have Joe Biden as your VP?

The good news however, is that Holder will surely be all about finding the latest leaker.

Heh.

BKeyser on October 9, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Using our warships as “black sites” for interrogation is pretty cool …

The “detainee” is placed in a part of the ship that normally isn’t used for berthing … like a vestibule or something – that can be completely secured.

Then, everything he could hurt himself on is covered with foam and duct tape.

He’s always in solitary confinement … and hopefully always a bit seasick – or even REALLY seasick.

There is always a droning, background, “White Noise” … which gets annoying when you’re by yourself.

The food is bad – it’s bad for everyone.

Since he’s at sea – we’re not obligated to give him any “creature comforts” … no TV, no Radio – you frequently don’t have these at sea anyway.

He’s authorized no lawyer – and no visitors.

He doesn’t know where exactly on the planet he is each day.

He’ll talk quicker – knowing his toes won’t feel dirt again until he does. If the ship has to pull into a port – just helo the guy to another ship … that’s a serious mind f&ck right there.

HondaV65 on October 9, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Benghazi attack leaders

You mean other than the guy who uploaded some crappy video on youtube ?

burrata on October 9, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Mainstream media / low-info public: “zzz… Ben-whatti?… zzz…”
Administration: “There, there, quiet your little minds and go back to sleep.”

Marcola on October 9, 2013 at 3:14 PM

news of the raid has raised concerns that the suspect in the Benghazi attacks, Ahmed Abu Khattala, has now been tipped off that the United States has the ability to conduct an operation in Libya.

Hey remember when Bill Clinton used to do that for Osama ?
You know all that ” tipping off” thing :O

It is not clear why American military commanders did not conduct both operations simultaneously to avoid this problem.

Really ? You really don’t know ?
Have you seen the current CinC’s military record before he occuoied the SpiteHouse ?

Some military commanders said conditions in Libya on Saturday may not have been opportune.

Money Badger don’t give a $*1t, they were opportune for him and Killery

But the backlash against a second raid could bring down the government of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan,

and then …..the moozie bros and alqaeda are in…..yaaaaayyyy !!

burrata on October 9, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Under the bus goes the Libyan government again.

They’re just characters in O’s movie, about himself.

PattyJ on October 9, 2013 at 5:36 PM

How many US-centric Libyans is that little slip-of-the-lip going to kill?

It is obvious why Bob Gates left.
No one in the White House was capable of accepting and implementing his advice to STFU!

Another Drew on October 9, 2013 at 5:38 PM