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Monday, November 18, 2013

U.S. to Train Libyan Military, Including Islamists -- Socom chief warns counterterrorism training will be risky -- By Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon

Ansar al Shariah supporters protest the United States' capture of Abu Anas al-Libi / APThe U.S. military is preparing to conduct military and special operations training for Libya’s military and the training will risk including Islamist terrorists among the trainees, according to the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

Adm. William McRaven, the commander who helped lead the covert raid to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, said in a brief interview Saturday that the counterterrorism training operation has not begun. “We’re in the early stages,” he told the Free Beacon.

McRaven said a major gun battle erupted in Tripoli last week among opposing militias, a sign of instability in the North African country. The training is needed to stabilize Libya, an oil-rich country beset by mounting terrorism and Islamist militias.

During a panel discussion on the war on terrorism at the Reagan National Defense Forum, McRaven disclosed that the Libyan military training would include both conventional forces training and special operations training and that there will be risks.

“We are going to have to assume some risks,” McRaven said. “Right now we have the authorities to do that training, and I think as a country we have to say there is probably some risk that some of the people we will be training with do not have the most clean records, but at the end of the day it is the best solution we can find to train them to deal with their own problems.”

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