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Al Qaeda "Presence [in Libya] Grows Every Day… They are Certainly More Established Than We Are."

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today elicited testimony in a Congressional hearing that Al Qaeda is stronger subsequent to the U.S. intervention in Libya. Responding to questions from Kucinich, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood testified that Al Qaeda's "presence grows every day" and that "they are certainly more established than we are." Lt. Col. Wood was Commander of the Site Security Team in Libya from February 12 to August 14, 2012.

In response to Rep. Kucinich's questions about missing shoulder-to-air missiles that were left unsecured in the destruction of the Gaddafi regime, Department of State Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom testified that "between ten and twenty thousand" missiles are believed to be missing in Libya. Modern military aircraft possess anti-missile defenses which are able to counter the Libyan missiles, but civilian, passenger jets do not have those defenses, making the jets vulnerable to terrorists.

Congressman Kucinich elicited this testimony while addressing the Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on "The Security Failures of Benghazi." In his remarks, Congressman Kucinich said, "[W]e owe it to the diplomatic corps which serves our nation, to start at the beginning. The security threats in Libya, including the unchecked extremist groups who are armed to the teeth, exist because our nation spurred on a civil war, destroying the security and stability of the nation."

"Our military intervention led to greater instability in Libya. Many of us, Democrats and Republicans alike, made that argument to try to stop the war… You would think that after 10 years in Iraq and 11 years in Afghanistan, the United States would have learned the consequences and the limits of interventionism. You would think that after trillions have been wasted on failed attempts at "democracy building' abroad while our infrastructure crumbles at home, Congress and the Administration would reexamine priorities," said Kucinich.

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