The Libyan National Council the group that speaks for the rebel forces has appointed Khalifa Hifer as head of its military operations.
He first arrived in Benghazi back on March 14. Hifter has spent the last twenty years in Suburban Virginia but he was once a top commander of the Gadaffi regime until "a disastrous military adventure in Chad in the late 1980s." He then joined the opposition until two weeks ago when he has returned to take command in Benghazi.
The McClatchy profile concluded, "Since coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Hifter lived in suburban Virginia outside Washington, DC." It cited a friend who "said he was unsure exactly what Hifter did to support himself, and that Hifter primarily focused on helping his large family."
One wonders how he was so easily able enter the U.S. He could have had help in high places and certainly he would be of interest to the CIA as a former high ranking Libyan commander. He actually settled in with his family in Vienna Virginia about five miles from CIA headquarters in Langley.
A Washington Post report March 26 1996 described an armed rebellion against Gadaff in Libya The article cites witnesses to the rebellion who report that "its leader is Col. Khalifa Haftar, of a contra-style group based in the United States called the Libyan National Army.This comparison is to the "contra" terrorist forces financed and armed by the US government in the 1980s against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
Hifter's CIA connections go further back, to 1987, . A French newspare reported that Hifter, then a colonel in Gaddafi's army, was captured fighting in Chad in a Libyan-backed rebellion against the US-backed government of Hissène Habré. He defected to the Libyan National Salvation Front (LNSF), the principal anti-Gaddafi group, which had the backing of the American CIA. He organized his own militia, which operated in Chad until Habré was overthrown by a French-supported rival, Idriss Déby, in 1990.
So Hifter can list many different military experiences on his resume. Two at least probably involve the CIA. Perhaps the former Libyan Justice Minister who heads the Libyan National Council received a glowing recommendation from the CIA as to Hifter's skills.