CIA recruits 1,500 Jihadists from Mazar-e-Sharif to fight in Libya
ISLAMABAD: The Central Intelligence Agency of the United States recruited over 1,500 men from Mazar-e-Sharif for fighting against the Qaddafi forces in Libya.
Sources told The Nation: “Most of the men have been recruited from Afghanistan. They are Uzbeks, Persians and Hazaras. According to the footage, these men attired in the Uzbek-style of shalwar and Hazara-Uzbek Kurta were found fighting in Libyan cities.”
When an Al-Jazeera reporter pointed it out he was disallowed by the ‘rebels’ to capture images.
Sources in Quetta said: “Some Uzbeks and Hazaras from Afghanistan were arrested in Balochistan for illegally traveling into Pakistan en route to Libya through Iran. Aljazeera’s report gave credence to this story. More than 60 Afghans, mainly children and teenagers, have been found dead after suffocating inside a shipping container in southwestern Pakistan in an apparent human smuggling attempt.
More than 100 illegal immigrants were discovered 20km from the border town of Quetta last week inside the container, which had been locked from the outside.
Aljazeera having a dubious record, gave a human touch to this story as most of the men who intruded inside Pakistan from Afghanistan were recruits for the Libyan rebels’ force.
The sources said: “The CIA funded Libyan rebels with cash and weapons.” In a report the New York Mayor’s TV Channel Bloomberg said, “Leaders of the Libyan rebels’ Transitional National Council flew to Istanbul seeking legitimacy and money. They will leave with the official recognition of the US and 31 other nations. As for the cash, they will have to wait.”
The decision to treat the council as the “legitimate governing authority” in Libya is a key step to freeing up some of the government’s frozen assets for rebels seeking the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi. Still, obstacles such as existing United Nations sanctions won’t disappear overnight.
“We still have to work through various legal issues, but we expect this recognition will allow the TNC to access various forms of funding,” said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
At stake are about $34 billion in frozen Libyan government assets that are held by the US institutions and as much as $130 billion more held around the world. Speaking via phone from Istanbul, Transitional National Council spokesman Mahmoud Shammam put the total in excess of $100 billion globally.
Qaddafi, in an audio message broadcast to supporters in the town of Zlitan, said the Libyan people “will never give up” in the fight to prevent him being ousted, the Associated Press reported. “The Libyan people will persevere,” he said.
In the coming weeks, US officials will consult with the TNC and international partners on the most effective and appropriate method of making additional significant financial assistance available, according to a Treasury official who was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly.
Shammam said the TNC needs $3 billion to cover the budget for six months. The council is seeking loans secured by the Qaddafi regime’s assets abroad as a means of funding, he said.
Recognition may lawfully allow nations to buy state-owned oil from the TNC, which controls the oil-rich eastern part of the country. Italy’s Eni SpA and France’s Total SA are the top oil companies operating in Libya, a former Italian colony.
How much money the Benghazi-based government can get, and when, may be more tied to politics than the law.
“The legal issues are in the eye of the beholder,” said Gary Clyde Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “If Obama and Clinton want to go slow in paying out the money, their lawyers can invent plenty of legal issues to justify the chosen pace.”
The US envisions a “short timeframe” for releasing some of the Libyan government assets frozen by the US, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.
President Barack Obama signed an order on February 25 freezing any US assets of Muammar Qaddafi, his family and members of his regime in Libya. As a practical matter, most of the frozen $34 billion is tied up in complicated property interests, including ownership interests in non-publicly traded companies or real estate, according to the Treasury official.
The mechanics of how the US will unfreeze assets still has to be worked out. The United Nations sanctions against Libya remain in place, a hindrance to efforts to get money to the rebels.
The UK and France, which led the campaign to unseat Qaddafi, yesterday didn’t commit any financial contributions.
Recognition of the council “will allow some countries to unfreeze some money,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said. Libyan frozen assets in France total $250 million, he said.
Other nations have already found the means to act.
Italy will open a credit line to rebels using frozen assets as collateral, and will provide them with 100 million euros ($141 million), Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said yesterday. Another 300 million euros will be released in two weeks and in total, Italy will release 400 million euros, he said, describing the money as loans.
The council is expecting $100 million from Turkey within three days, Shammam said.
The main criterion for international law for the recognition of a rebel group as the government of a state is its effective control over the territory.
The military campaign against Qaddafi will continue “indefinitely” until he steps down, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters yesterday in Istanbul.
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