How Weapons Went to Libya Radicals—With US OK
US gave Qatar approval to arm rebels, but...
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2012 7:40 AM CST
Updated Dec 6, 2012 8:06 AM CST
In this Sept. 18, 2011 file photo, former rebel fighters celebrate as smoke rises from Bani Walid, Libya. A new report shows the US knew Islamic radicals were getting weapons from Qatar and the UAE.   (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini, File)

(Newser) – Weapons shipped by Qatar to rebels in Libya—with US approval—also made their way into the hands of radical Islamic militants during last year's uprisings, reports the New York Times. US officials grew concerned as evidence mounted that Qatar was also delivering weapons to extremists, and officials say President Obama took his concerns about the lack of coordination to the country's emir. Qatar is considered an ally of the United States, said one US official, "but the Islamists they support are not in our interest. ... [They are] more antidemocratic, more hard-line, closer to an extreme version of Islam."

There is no evidence that the US-sanctioned weapons were used in the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans in September. But the incident illuminates the challenges of the US supporting rebel movements, such as that in Syria (where Qatar is also sending arms), without getting too involved. The Times sums up the issue succinctly: "Relying on surrogates allows the United States to keep its fingerprints off operations, but also means they may play out in ways that conflict with American interests." A former State Department adviser echoes that sentiment: "When you have an intermediary, you are going to lose control."

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
HANKHILL
Dec 7, 2012 4:35 PM CST
how could anyone not have seen this outcome? oh right obammie had to get guns to his fellow radical islamic millitants some how! qatar is his best pal. next he will send arms to egypt and other of his pals in the area. oh my did i forget affeganneeeestan? his pals are killing our troops with guns obammmibam gave them! nice bo nice fubo potus no potal for sure! pres of the arab lands! sad very sad!
whattodo
Dec 6, 2012 3:13 PM CST
Every time America has armed some group or other, those weapons have subsequently been turned onto American Troops.
MattB
Dec 6, 2012 1:13 PM CST
the United States has been & will be the major exporter both on & off the legal markets for Weapons sales. 1. We keep certain regions unstable (mutual feeling among our allies), we can hamper our true rivals (russia, china, ETC...). These are the allies, so to speak so the more instability we creat for them the better for us & the worse for them. 2. Albeit direct or indirect we sell 3rd class firearms to these people. By the crate fulls. 3. Not saying it is right, but if they were not busy bashing each other for power, then they would be after western intrest (Since we are EVIL). 4.If they could show some sort of sivility amongst themselves it would not be such a big deal.