One of the Muslim terrorists who perpetrated the London Bridge attack previously fought in a militia associated with the Free Syrian Army, a group that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has worked tirelessly to arm and support.
According to the London Telegraph, terror suspect Rachid Redouane fought first in the Libyan revolution under a group known as Liwa al Ummah. He later joined a militia that deployed fighters to Syria and worked alongside al-Qaida jihadists.
Liwa al Ummah was formed by an underling of Abdul Hakim Belhaj, the former emir of the al-Qaida-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. The Liwa al Ummah in Syria merged with the FSA in 2012 and collaborated with al-Qaida’s Syrian branch, Al-Nusra.
McCain constantly trumpets the FSA as a moderate opposition force to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The senator has parroted Elizabeth O’Bagy, a former director of a Syrian Islamic organization that helped define the Obama-era policy toward Syria.
O’Bagy claimed in a Wall Street Journal editorial that “Contrary to many media accounts, the war in Syria is not being waged entirely, or even predominantly, by dangerous Islamists and al-Qaida diehards.”
Countless media outlets and politicians dispute that claim.
The New York Times ran a piece in 2013 outlining the dominance of jihadist groups in the fight against Assad’s regime.
“In Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, rebels aligned with al-Qaida control the power plant, run the bakeries and head a court that applies Islamic law,” the Times begins. “Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.”
A report from the Telegraph echoes thee claims, noting that the Syrian jihadists are “now the largest and best armed faction in the opposition.” Consequently, the London paper says, the “more moderate elements have become progressively weaker through a lack of supplies and defection of members.”
The Washington watchdog Judicial Watch, which documented the terrorist’s connections to the group McCain supports, said McCain “was so smitten by O’Bagy that he read a chunk of her Wall Street Journal opinion piece – touting the FSA as a moderate opposition force – during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.”
“In it, O’Bagy makes a case for U.S. military intervention in Syria by asserting that concerns about al-Qaida terrorists running the rebel operations are unfounded. After all, the United States doesn’t want to support the very jihadists that want to murder its citizens.”
McCain said at the hearing: “Contrary to many media accounts, the war in Syria is not being waged entirely, or even predominantly, by dangerous Islamists and al-Qaida diehards. The jihadists pouring into Syria from countries like Iraq and Lebanon are not flocking to the front lines. Instead they are concentrating their efforts on consolidating control in the northern, rebel-held areas of the country. Moderate opposition forces – a collection of groups known as the Free Syrian Army – continue to lead the fight against the Syrian regime.”