In SP; DRJ wrote:
"Shaykh Al-Albani has Ijaza in hadith from the late Allamah Shaykh Muhammad Raghib at-Tabaagh with whom he studied hadith sciences, gaining authority to transmit from him. The Shaykh himself refers to this Ijaza in Mukhtasar al-Uluw (p.72) and in Tahdir as-Sajid (p.63). He has a further Ijaza from Shaykh Bahjatul Baitaa (through whom his isnad stretches back to Imam Ahmad). These are mentioned in the book Hayat Al-Albani (the Life of Al-Albani) by Muhammad ash- Shaibaani. This sort of Ijaza is given only to those who have excelled in hadith and can be trusted to accurately convey a hadith. A copy of the Ijaza is in the possession of his student, Ali Hassan al-Halabi. So it is not correct to say that the Shaykh is self- taught from books, without authority and without Ijaza."
Muhammad Raghib al-Tabbakh (1293-1370) had many Shaykhs, among them al-Nabhani and some of the other Shuyukh of Sayyid Muhammad ibn `Alawi, and was a great Hanafi historian and `alim of hadith with whom Abu Ghudda read, among other things, al-Qari's al-Asrar al-Marfu`a, but Abu Ghudda said Tabbakh raised Ibn Taymiyya almost to the rank of a prophet.
There are three reasons why this ijaza fails to prove anything new about Albani:
1. Albani only had ijaza from Tabbakh and no one else to my knowledge.
2. Albani calls Tabbakh "Shaykhi fil-ijaza" which means he did not read anything with him.
3. Albani was known to denigrate the ijaza system as "worthless in our times," which automatically makes any ijaza he might have invalid.
Hence, this entire aspect of his life definitely fits his profile as "self-taught from books."
Muhammad Bahjat al-Baytar (1311-1396) was Albani's friend and taught `aqida in Saudi Arabia for years but in Syria he was asked only to teach Tafsir and hadith.
Both Tabbakh and Baytar were run-of-the-mill Wahhabis.
The remark "through whom his isnad stretches back to Imam Ahmad" shows ignorance of isnad on the part of the speaker as  the same can be said of all possessors of isnad, so it does not confer any particular distinction; and  the greatness of isnad is the fact that it rises back up to the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, not just the Successors of the Successors.
Albani, Mukhtasar al-`Uluw (p. 72). Al-Hafiz, Muti`. Tarikh Ulama' Dimashq fil-Qarn al-Rabi` Ashar (2:918- 925) [on Baytar]. Rashid, Muhammad `Abd Allah. Imdad al-Fattah (p. 307-312) [on Tabbakh].