One of the terrorists who carried out the deadly London Bridge attack in England this month fought in an affiliate of Senator John McCain’s beloved Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Libya, supporting the U.S.-backed effort to topple Muammar Gaddafi. His name is Rachid Redouane and, after fighting in the Libyan revolution with the Tripoli-based group Liwa al Ummah, he joined a militia that deployed jihadist fighters to Syria.
The unit fought alongside Al-Qaeda extremists in Syria, according to a British newspaper story that says Redouane’s plea for asylum in the United Kingdom was rejected in 2009 though he continued living in the country. The Liwa al Ummah was formed by a deputy of Abdul Hakim Belhaj, the former emir of the Al Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, according to a think tank that studies British foreign policy. In 2012, the Liwa al Ummah in Syria merged with the FSA, which was formed in August 2011 by Turkish-based army deserters aiming to bring down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Liwa al Ummah was considered an FSA unit in Syria and sometimes it teamed up with Al Qaeda’s official Syrian branch, Al-Nusra.
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