Published December 11, 2012
The CIA, as well as other U.S. intelligence agencies, have been working with Libyan militias to track down and secure alleged WMDs after it was alleged that Muammar Qaddafi's program was not entirely shuttered in 2004, Fox News has learned.
"Some militias claim Qaddafi hid mustard gas, possibly yellow cake, in underground warehouses as a type of insurance policy," a military source with knowledge of weapons-clearing operations in Libya told Fox News.
U.S. officials say the small amount of WMDs seems to have been undeclared due to "incompetence and accounting errors" by the Libyans, emphasizing that so far no new stockpiles of any significance have been identified beyond the former dictator's declared sites.
In return for helping to track remaining weapons, the military source alleged that the CIA was facilitating the movement of weapons out of country, describing the role as one where the U.S. "supported logistics."
U.S. officials, though, insist there is no "quid pro quo" with the Libyan militias for their help on the WMD issue, which could include moving weapons out of Libya, and ultimately, to opposition forces in Syria.
This new information about the CIA's work with the Libyan militias comes as the administration faces renewed questions, following a New York Times and Sunday Times of London report over the weekend claiming the U.S. had facilitated or tacitly approved the movement of weapons to Syrian rebels. At the State Department briefing Monday, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland rejected the reports, stating that the U.S. position on aid for the Syrian rebels was unchanged.
"We are providing nonlethal assistance. Other countries are making other choices," Nuland said.
Earlier this month, Fox News reported that the CIA annex in Benghazi was cleared of all classified material and equipment within 12 hours of the Sept. 11 terror attack on the U.S. compound. By contrast, the U.S. consulate has never been secured.
While not commenting on the record, citing the sensitive nature of the information, two congressional sources told Fox News the speed at which the CIA annex was shut down shows that the public exposure of the depth and breadth of the CIA operation in Benghazi was of significant concern to the U.S. intelligence community.
The CIA did not comment for this article.
In late October, a source told Fox News that Ambassador Chris Stevens was in Benghazi to negotiate a weapons transfer -- an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists. When asked to comment at the time, a State Department spokeswoman dismissed the idea, saying Stevens was there for diplomatic meetings and to attend the opening of a cultural center.