AFGHAN BOY (holding a gun and making gun noises): Ka-choo! Daga daga daga daga! Pum pum pum! (etc.)
VO: In 1982, Ronald Reagan dedicated the Space Shuttle Columbia to the resistance fighters in Afghanistan.
President RONALD REAGAN : Just as the Columbia, we think, represents man’s finest aspirations in the field of science and technology, so too does the struggle of the Afghan people represent man’s highest aspirations for freedom. I am dedicating, on behalf of the American people, the March 22nd launch of the Columbia to the people of Afghanistan.
VO: Since 1979, the mujaheddin resistance had been fighting a vicious war in Afghanistan against the Soviet invasion. But now, a small group in the Reagan White House saw in these fighters a way of achieving their vision of transforming the world. To them, they were not just nationalists; they were freedom fighters, who could bring down the Soviet Union and help spread democracy around the world. It was called the Reagan Doctrine.
RICHARD PERLE , Assistant Secretary of Defense 1981-1987: We’re closer to being revolutionaries than conservatives, in the sense that we want to change some deeply entrenched notions about the proper role of American power in the world. We want to see that power used constructively, and to enlarge the opportunity for decent governance around the world. We’re not happy about the old, cozy relationships with dictators.
VO: And the man who was going to help the neoconservatives do this was the new head of the CIA, William Casey. He was convinced that Afghanistan was one of the keys to this aggressive new policy. America was already sending limited amounts of aid to the mujaheddin. But now, Casey ordered one of his agents to go and form an alliance with the freedom fighters, and give them as much money as they wanted and the most sophisticated weapons to defeat the Soviet military forces.
MILTON BEARDEN , CIA Field Officer, Afghanistan, 1985-89: For Casey, Afghanistan seemed to be possibly one of the keys. So he tapped me one day to go. He says, “I want you to go out to Afghanistan, I want you to go next month, and I will give you whatever you need to win.” Yeah. He said, “I want you go to there and win.” As opposed to, “let’s go there and bleed these guys,” make a [unintelligible] Vietnam, “I want you to go there and win. Whatever you need, you can have.” He gave me the Stinger missiles and a billion dollars.
VO : American money and weapons now began to pour across the Pakistan border into Afghanistan. CIA agents trained the mujaheddin in the techniques of assassination and terror, including car bombing. And they gave them satellite images of Russian troops to help in their attacks
VO: At the very same time, another group began to arrive in Afghanistan to fight alongside the mujaheddin. They were Arabs from across the Middle East, who had been told by their religious leaders that their duty was to go and free Muslim lands from the Soviet invader.
al-Jam'a al-Islamiyyah al- Muqatilah emerged in 1995 among Libyans who had fought against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Declared the government of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi un-Islamic and pledged to overthrow it. Some members maintain a strictly anti-Qadhafi focus and organize against Libyan Government interests, but others are aligned with Usama Bin Ladin�s al-Qaida organization or are active in the international mujahidin network. The group was designated for asset freeze under E. O. 13224 and UNSCR 1333 in September 2001.
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) is dedicated to two principle objectives. The founding goal of the terrorist group is to overthrow the current Libyan government led by Muammar Qadhafi. LIFG was founded on the belief that Qadhafi and his government are un-Islamic and should be overthrown. LIFG members have attempted, but failed, to assassinate Qadhafi. From the time it was founded until the late '90s, LIFG attacked Libyan security forces in armed altercations. Today, LIFG continues to target interest of the Libyan government. Some allege that LIFG still attacks Libyan security forces, although the frequency and intensity has decreased since the late 1990s. LIFG is suspected as one of the terrorist entities to provide materials for the May 2003 suicide bombings in Casablanca.
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group also maintains a second objective beyond Libya's border, to contribute to the international jihadist campaign. This objective has become increasingly central to LIFG's activities and overall goals. In November 2007, al-Qaeda leaders released an audio recording officially declaring LIFG had been joined with the al-Qaeda organization. It is believed that certain LIFG senior leaders maintain positions in al-Qaeda's senior command structure.
US senator John McCain, one of Congress's most vocal supporters of military intervention in Libya, said rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi's troops were his heroes and praised their efforts to overthrow the dictator.
PRESIDENT Barack Obama has approved the use of armed Predator drone aircraft to launch airstrikes against ground targets in Libya.
Rebel recruits in the eastern port city of Derna are being trained by Sufyan Bin Qumu, a Libyan who was arrested following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and held at Guantánamo for six years. Abdel Hakim al-Hasidi, a senior Libyan rebel commander in Derna, was also held following the invasion of Afghanistan and handed over to Libyan custody two months later. Both men were said to have been released from prison in Libya in 2008 as part of a reconciliation process with Islamists in the country.
Former Guantanmo Detainee Trains Rebels in Lybia
Combatant Status Review for Sufyan