Libyan chaos finally breaches security at vital National Oil Corporation

by WorldTribune Staff, September 10, 2018

At least two people were killed on Sept. 10 when gunmen opened fire on the headquarters of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli.

The NOC building in Tripoli is seen after the Sept. 10 attack. / Reuters

Two of the gunmen were also killed and at least 10 NOC staff members wounded in what Libyan officials said was the first attack of its kind against the top managers of the vital state oil industry.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Libya’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that initial indications showed the gunmen were Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists.

The NOC provides the bulk of Libya’s state income and, along with the Tripoli-based central bank, is one of the only state institutions still functioning well amid chaos, according to a Reuters report.

WorldTribune.com columnist John T. McNabb, recalled “meetings in that NOC office in Tripoli just after Obama was elected but prior to his inauguration. I have a front page picture of that meeting from a Tripoli newspaper. Tripoli was safe and Libya was still a country,” he said.

Related: Benghazi hero suspended by Twitter after tweet criticizing Obama, Sept. 10, 2018

McNabb rejected remarks by Obama on Sept. 7 that dismissed outrage over the 2012 massacre of American officials in Benghazi as the result of a “wild conspiracy theory.”

“His Benghazi disaster was real, Americans died and Obama, Hillary and Susan Rice tried to cover it up,” McNabb said.

NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla and his office manager were seen safely leaving the building, Reuters reported.

The attack came less than a week after a fragile truce halted fierce clashes between rival armed groups in Tripoli, the latest eruption of violence in Libya, which has been in turmoil since a 2011 uprising backed by the Obama administration toppled Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

President Barack Obama called his administration’s failure to plan for the aftermath of Gadhafi’s ouster the “worst mistake” of his presidency.


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