Since the American-led invasion of Libya, the nation has seen worsening violence issues. However, Tuesday, January 23 was even worse than past attacks, as two car bomb explosions ripped through the city and caused chaos and panic.
The pair of bombs were detonated as Muslims left a local mosque in Benghazi, and the explosions killed 27 residents and wounded 30 more. Even worse, the bombs were timed to go off in a staggered manner, with the first bomb detonating well before the second, giving emergency personnel time to respond before the second bomb went off. Truly, these bombs were designed to disrupt the area and to target citizens and first responders alike.
According to Captain Tarek Alkharraz, the spokesman for military and police forces in Benghazi, the first explosion went off at around 8:20 P.M. The second bomb went off 30 minutes later in the same area, giving residents and first responders ample time to arrive on the scene in the Salmani neighborhood and ensuring an unusually crowded site for the bomb.
According to government officials in Benghazi, no terrorist, military, or militia organization has taken responsibility for the attack. The attacks were condemned by the United Nations, who took to social media accounts to point out that attacks on civilians are prohibited, and that such attacks are considered war crimes.
Libya has experienced widespread violence since it was invaded in 2011 by a coalition led by the United States. The invasion, which resulted from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy designs (aided by then-President Barack Obama and his desire to divert attention from his domestic policy failings), destabilized the country and has led to sectarian violence.
As a result of the 2011 invasion, Muammar Qaddafi was deposed (and killed in the street), and the country fell into chaos. In 2014 the nation essentially split itself, and since then rival governments and parliaments in east and west Libya have been fighting for control, and tribal and militia forces have chosen to back one side or the other.
Thanks once again to the foreign policy decisions made by President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the conflict is of greater intensity than expected. When Qaddafi’s regime fell, it still had weapons hidden in caches around the country. There were piles of military-grade weapons and supplies hidden around the nation, as well as ammunition and even vehicles, and the deposed Qaddafi government abandoned them. Eventually, these caches ended up in the hands of militia groups, terrorist organizations, and other less-than-desirable forces who are now using them against civilians and opposing government and militia forces.
Due to the widespread availability of explosives in Libya, it is almost impossible to determine who planted the bombs in Benghazi. Whichever organization planted the bombs, however, it is obvious that they are a cruel one.
Staging the detonation time of bombs to ensure a crowded target when the second bomb detonates is hardly a new trick. It was a despicable tactic that saw repeated use in Northern Ireland during the Troubles when the Irish Republican Army (and its various offshoot organizations) would use timed bombs to ensure chaos and mayhem and to ensure the British military would be at the bomb site when the second bomb detonated. The tactic was also used by the Viet Cong, as well as by numerous Islamic organizations and groups.
It is sad that the failed foreign policy of a former United States President would lead to such problems for a nation, even a nation such as Libya that suffered terribly under its former despot. Life under Muammar Qaddafi was never described as simple, easy, or peaceful, but by killing the nation’s ‘strongman’ leader without any plan to handle the chaos that would result, President Obama and his Secretary of State doomed Libya to a future as a war zone.
Many U.S. citizens will recognize Benghazi as the city where United States Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed, as well as the being the site of a fierce firefight between United States private military contractors paid to protect a CIA annex and an Islamofascist militia. The nation has not made any great strides toward peace since, and the situation on the ground continues to worsen.
Hopefully, Libya will unify under one government and put an end to sectarian violence. After that, with the combined might of the government and it’s allied militias, the nation may be able to stamp out Islamofascist warlords operating within their borders. Only then will Libya be freed from a continuous threat of bombings and combat engulfing civilian areas.