Even as the Obama administration celebrates the killing of American-born al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki and his traitorous friend Samir Khan in Yemen, its analysts are beginning to admit their war by decree in Libya empowered Islamic extremists bent on exporting jihadthroughout the region. Thanks to Obama’s policies, al-Qaeda-linked radicals may be pillaging Muammar Qaddafi’s stockpile of weapons and receiving shipments of contraband from overseas.

In the closest thing to an admission Obama administration figures lied us into war, Reutersreports:

During the half-year campaign by rebels to drive Muammar Gaddafi from power, U.S. and NATO officials downplayed fears that al Qaeda or other militants would infiltrate anti-Gaddafi forces or take advantage of disorder to establish footholds in Libya.

Since then, however, the assessment of top experts inside the U.S. government has sharpened.

Former CIA asset and Obama adviser Bruce Riedel summarizes, “There is a great deal of concern that the jihadi cadre now are going to be exporting their ideas and weapons toward the east and west.”

This author reported the cause of their alarm a month ago. The National Transitional Council (NTC), the body the United States now exclusively recognizes as the official government of Libya, elected Abdel Hakim Belhaj commander of the Tripoli Military Council in late August. Belhaj is the co-founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which the State Department designated a foreign terrorist organization in December 2004. The New York Times relates that LIFG members received “combat experience in Iraq or Afghanistan” — fighting the United States. Belhaj, who met Osama bin Laden twice, now commands 8,000 troops, Libya’s largest fighting force.

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