UK Knew Terrorists Would Gain from Toppling Gaddafi

Chemical containers in the Libyan desert in 2017. There are concerns unguarded weapons could fall into the hands of Islamist militants. PHOTO: The Guardian/David Sperry/AP

The revelation raises serious questions about British foreign policy and whether David Cameron misled Parliament, write Phil Miller and Mark Curtis.

By Phil Miller and Mark Curtis | 30 June 2022

CONSORTIUM NEWS — Britain’s military knew that fighters from an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist organisation were benefiting from the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, but continued to support NATO airstrikes in Libya for another two months.

The revelation raises serious questions about British foreign policy and whether the U.K.’s then Prime Minister David Cameron misled Parliament.

In early September 2011, Cameron updated the House of Commons about the situation in Libya, telling MPs:

“This revolution was not about extreme Islamism; Al-Qaeda played no part in it.”

However, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) had assessed the month before that: “The 17 February Brigade is likely to be an enduring player in [the] transition” away from Gaddafi’s regime and had “political linkages” to Libya’s rebel leadership, the National Transitional Council.

The 17 February Brigade, also known as the 17 February Martyrs Brigade, was a hardline Islamist militia named after the date the uprising began against Gaddafi. Its ranks included Salman Abedi, who went on to murder 22 innocent people in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017. […]

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