Fears are being raised in Washington that a secret delivery of arms shipments to Libyan rebels, Okayed by the Obama administration, might have gotten into the hands of Islamic terrorists, and may very well be the weapons used by Al Qaeda linked terrorists to kill U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
The United States agreed last year to arm Libyan rebels from Qatar, but, as the New York Times reported, American officials grew concerned when intelligence evidence revealed only a few weeks after the deal was agreed to that the rebels were handing weapons over to known terrorist groups.
As of yet, there is no clear evidence linking the weapons provided to the Qataris during the uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to fatal attack in Benghazi, however new reports have surfaced which reveal that in the months before the September attack the Obama administration expressed extreme concern over the secret weapons deal and where the weapons ended up.
The situation in Libya plays directly into the U.S.’s concerns on how to act in regards to the violent civil war in Syria – fearing that if they choose to arm the Syrian opposition the weapons might easily find their way into the hands of terrorists.
Throughout its dealings with the various Arab uprisings that took place throughout the last year, the Obama administration has consistently tried to avoid U.S. military entanglement by choosing to support the popular opposition groups, often with arms and money.
“To do this right, you have to have on-the-ground intelligence and you have to have experience,” said Vali Nasr, a former State Department adviser. “If you rely on a country that doesn’t have those things, you are really flying blind. When you have an intermediary, you are going to lose control.”
The U.S. has not yet made public any plans for how to quell the violence in Syria. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to meet with her Russian counterpart and the UN peace envoy for Syria Thursday to discuss the situation.