On November 20, 2015, two jihadi militants attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, seizing about 100 hostages and "leaving bodies strewed across the building." When it was over, 22 people (including the attackers) had been killed. As the New York Times reported:
Mali has been crippled by instability since January, 2012, when rebels and Al Qaeda-linked militants -- armed with the remnants of late Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's arsenal -- began advancing through the country's vast desert in the north and capturing towns.
Not much has been made in American and Western media of this attack. Most of the dead were Malians, Russians, and Chinese--and, hey, it was in Africa; sh*t happens. Especially there. How many people reading this even remember that it happened? Follow-up analysis? It was Africa. That kind of coverage. (I did post about it at the time, making many points that unfortunately bear repeating here.)
Last Monday, jihadi suicide bomber Salman Abedi blew himself up at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 people. Salman grew up in an anit-Qaddafi Libyan immigrant family. In 2011, his father, Ramadan Abedi, along with other British Libyans (including one who was under house arrest), "was allowed to go [to Libya], no questions asked," to join the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an al-Qaeda-affiliate, to help overthrow Qaddafi. In Manchester, As Max Blumenthal puts it, in his excellent Alternet piece, it was all "part of the rat line operated by the MI5, which hustled anti-Qaddafi Libyan exiles to the front lines of the war." In Manchester, Salman lived near a number of LIFG militants, including an expert bomb maker. This was a tough bunch, and everybody--including the cops and Salman's Muslim neighbors--knew they weren't the Jets and the Sharks. As Middle East Eye reports, he "was known to security services," and some of his acquaintances "had reported him to the police via an anti-terrorism hotline."
Could it be any clearer? The Abedi family was part of a protected cohort of Salafist proxy soldiers that have been used by "the West" to destroy the Libyan state. There are a number of such cohorts around the world that have been used for decades to overthrow relatively prosperous and secular, but insufficiently compliant, governments in the Arab and Muslim world--and members of those groups have perpetrated several blowback attacks in Western countries, via various winding roads. In this case, the direct line from Libya to Mali to Manchester is particularly easy to trace.
Too bad more people in Britain and the West hadn't paid attention to what happened in Mali two years ago. Too bad they hadn't thought too much about the chain of jihadi proxy interventions that the United States and its allies, or about the connection with the chain of jihadi attacks in Western countries. Too bad they hadn't recognized the continuing arrogance of the Western (U.S./NATO) and Middle Eastern (Gulf, Israel) powers who think they can unleash and re-leash these jihadi fighters at will. Too bad they don't understand the contradiction between mourning the bombing of Manchester and crying for the bombing of Syria.
Too bad the Western (i.e., American-directed) media don't provide what would be necessary to understand these things: ongoing coverage and analysis of the obvious relation between the continuing series of horrors perpetrated by jihadi militants and the continuing series of horrors perpetrated by Western and allied governments. It's a good bet nobody will have forgotten the Manchester bombing two years from now. It was in merry old England, after all and many of the victims were beautiful British girls. It's also a good bet that the media analysis will continue to have everyone scratching their heads about why these death-loving Muslims hate us so much. That kind of coverage.
The jihadi attackers in Mali and the jihadi bomber in Manchester were direct products--not accidental by-products, but deliberately incubated prote'ge's--of American-British-French-NATO regime change in Libya, a project that was executed by the Obama administration and spearheaded by Hillary Clinton.
Before the glorious revolution, Libya under Ghaddafi had the highest standard of living of any country in Africa, according to the UN Human Development Index. Before the jihadi onslaught backed by NATO bombing campaign, Ghaddafi's Libya was an anchor of stability in North Africa, as even the U.S. and British governments knew and acknowledged, per a 2008 cable from American foreign service officer Christopher Stevens, published by Wikileaks:
Libya has been a strong partner in the war against terrorism and cooperation in liaison channels is excellent" Muammar al-Qadhafi's criticism of Saudi Arabia for perceived support of Wahabi extremism, a source of continuing Libya-Saudi tension, reflects broader Libyan concern about the threat of extremism. Worried that fighters returning from Afghanistan and Iraq could destabilize the regime, the [government of Libya] has aggressive pursued operations to disrupt foreign fighter flows, including more stringent monitoring of air/land ports of entry, and blunt the ideological appeal of radical Islam.