Is Libya’s Rebel Leader CIA-Trained?

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Khalifa Hafter
Abdoulgassim Khalifa Hafter (a.k.a. Khalifa Hiftar) was a top military officer for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, until the Libyan dictator’s bungled military invasion of Chad in the late 1980s, in which Haftar was taken prisoner and Gaddafi did not come to his aid. Hafter then joined the political opposition to the dictator. In 1987 he was reported to be the leader of an anti-Gaddafi military force in Chad that was being trained by the U.S. and Israel.
In 1991, the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat reported that Hafter was commanding a 400-man army that was being trained in the United States. In an interview the following year, Gaddafi spoke of Haftar with regret, saying that “he was my son and I was like his spiritual father.”
In 1993, Haftar established a base in Algeria, and in 1996 he was said to be behind an anti-Gaddafi uprising in eastern Libya. He returned to the United States and has remained there ever since, without any clear-cut job. His proximity to Washington, DC, added to the suspicion of his being on the CIA payroll.
He recently decided to return to his home country and take over the leadership of rebel forces seeking to topple Gaddafi. He is the third such leader in less than a month, as the groups seeking regime change have struggled to work in harmony.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Is General Khalifa Hifter the CIA’s Man in Libya? (by Russ Baker, Business Insider)


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