Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb
The Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb is a terrorist organization and part of Al-Qaeda. It has 300-400 members and is one of the best organisied terrorist groups in the world. The group was founded by Hassan Hattab, who was a member of the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria. Al-Qaida in the Maghreb received support from Barack Hussein Obama in the murder of Muammar al-Gaddafi during the Libyan War. AQIM was also responsible for the deaths of 37 hostages, including two Americans in Mali.
The Benghazi rebellion started as a series of protests in eastern Libya on February 16, 2011 after the fall of the secular regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. Ansar al-Shariah, an affiliate Al-Qaida in the Maghreb (AQIM) vowed to do everything in the uprising against Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi said jihadists who fought against American troops in Iraq served on the front lines.   NATO's Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee days before President Obama publicly admitted to intervention that U.S. intelligence knew of al Qaeda and Hezbollah elements among the Libyan insurgents.
On March 21, 2011, President Obama publicly disclosed U.S. military forces operations began over Libya two days earlier, on March 19, "to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe". Secretary of Defense Robert Gates opposed the action and warned establishment of a no-fly zone meant attacking the legitimate government of Libya. Officials such as National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough also were opposed to attacking Libya; but Secretary of State "Hillary Clinton won the bureaucratic battle to use DOD resources to achieve what's essentially the State Department's objective... and Obama let it happen". 
Libyan Islamic Fighters Group
A document published by the U.S. West Point Military Academy's Combating Terrorism Center reveals that jihadi rebels, unhappy with the Gaddafi regime, exited Libya to join the Islamic insurgency in Iraq in numbers greater than any other country. The captured Sinjar documents include background information on foreign jihadists who migrated to Iraq to kill American soldiers, many of those jihadi rebels coming from among the very people Obama pledged to protect in the name of "humanitarianism". David Wood wrote: "Almost one in five foreign fighters arriving in Iraq came from eastern Libya, from the towns of Surt, Misurata and Darnah. On a per capita basis, that’s more than twice as many than came from any other Arabic-speaking country, amounting to what the counter terrorism center called a Libyan 'surge' of young men eager to kill Americans." The report notes 82% of Libyan jihadi rebels volunteered as suicide bombers, well above the 56% of all foreign insurgents in Iraq.
The report reminded that Benghazi has long been associated with Islamic militancy in Libya, in particular for an uprising by Islamist organizations in the mid‐1990s. One group—the Libyan Fighting Group (jamaʹah al‐libiyah al‐muqatilah)—claimed to have Afghan veterans in its ranks. The West Point study noted Gaddafi had taken measures to mitigate the threat from rebel jihadi groups, and amnestied some Muslim Brotherhood activists in the hope that they would moderate the views of more violent Islamist activists.
The Combating Terrorism Center document concludes,
|“||The Syrian [ Assad regime] and Libyan [Gaddafi] governments share the United States’ concerns about violent salafi‐jihadi ideology and the violence perpetrated by its adherents. These governments [Syria, Gaddafi, and the US] like others in the Middle East, fear violence inside their borders and would much rather radical elements go to Iraq rather than cause unrest at home. U.S. and Coalition efforts to stem the flow of fighters into Iraq will be enhanced if they address the entire logistical chain that supports the movement of these individuals—beginning in their home countries – rather than just their Syrian entry points.||”|
This set off a fierce debate in the Obama administration over the wisdom of arming terrorists. It is now known sometime prior to March 31, 2011, Obama signed a Presidential Finding authorizing support for the rebel jihadis.
- Al Qaeda in N. Africa backs Libya uprising: SITE
- Libya uprising.
- Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links.
- Libyan, Once a Detainee, Is Now a U.S. Ally of Sorts.
- How Obama turned on a dime toward war.
- A First Look at the Sinjar Documents
- The Sinjar Documents are a collection of al Qaeda computer data captured by Americans in 2007 in a predawn raid near Sinjar, Iraq, six miles from the Syrian border.
- Anti-American Extremists Among Libyan Rebels U.S. Has Vowed To Protect, David Wood, Huffington Post, 3/19/11.