While appearing on Bryan Fischer’s radio show, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) claimed that Americans should worry that the terrorist groups Hamas, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda may be behind the rebellion against Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Bachmann said:
I have been very reluctant to see the United States to go into Libya. For one thing, we haven’t identified yet who the opposition even is to Qaddafi. We don’t know if this is led by Hamas, Hezbollah, or possibly al Qaeda of North Africa. Are we really better off, are United States, our interests better off, if let’s say Al-Qaeda of North Africa now runs Libya?
Such a statement is stunning coming from a congresswoman who is poised to run for president and was recently appointed to a seat on the House Intelligence Committee. While it is true that there is some confusion over who is in charge of the rebellion, it is clear who is not:
Hamas is a Palestinian terrorist group in charge of Gaza engaged in a conflict with both the state of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. According to the State Department, the group’s “strength is concentrated in the Gaza Strip and a few areas of the West Bank” and has a goal of “establishing an Islamic Palestinian state in place of Israel.” There is absolutely no evidence or reason that the Palestinian group is tied to the rebellion in Libya, especially since Qaddafi has called for a violent rebellion against Israel.
Hezbollah is a radical Shiite organization based in Lebanon backed by Iran and Syria. According to the CIA World Factbook, 97% of Libyans are Sunni Muslims, and again, there is no reason to believe that a Lebanese Shiite terrorist group is behind the anti-Qaddafi movement.
Lastly, the only people who believe that al Qaeda is behind the rebellion in Libya appear to be Muammar Qaddafi…and Bryan Fischer. Qaddafi said that al Qaeda terrorists “give [youth] pills at night; they put hallucinatory pills in their drinks, their milk, their coffee, their Nescafe.” However, Qaddafi’s assertions have no credibility, and the rebel’s transitional council which has been recognized by France even said they seek to create a “democratic and secular” state and recently held a parade waving placards thanking the U.S., U.K., France and other coalition allies.
By conflating different terrorist groups, Bachmann displayed stunning ignorance regarding the Middle East.
Watch her speak about the Libyan rebels beginning at the 4:30 mark: