- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A secret U.S. base in Libya that was originally created by special operations forces to train authorities to hunt down terrorists has been converted into a terrorist training camp.

The military base, which housed Green Berets in 2012 for the purposes of setting up a Western-trained counter-terrorism center, is now being used by groups with direct links to al Qaeda, a U.S. defense official told the Daily Beast.

Libyan press validates the claim, saying Ibrahim Ali Abu Bakr Tantoush — a “veteran associate of Osama bin Laden,” since 2002 — now controls the base in question, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday.

“News that a veteran like Tantoush is now in charge of a military base only 27 kilometers from Libya’s capital shows just how much the security in Libya has deteriorated,” the Daily Beast reported.

Daveed Gartenstein Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told the Daily Beast that “We’ve known for some time that Jihadist groups have established training camps throughout Libya. But this is significant because of the camp’s proximity to Tripoli and because rather than creating camps in remote locations they took over a base used by the Libyan government.”

A spokesman for Africa Command declined to comment for the Daily Beast’s story.

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