Benghazi – The Signs of Al Qaeda

Jihadist-Hand-Sign-366x350By Dawn Perlmutter:

The latest version of the Benghazi cover up is being argued with semantics of whether the jihadist group that attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was part of the “core” al Qaeda network. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said,

“…at this point, we have no indications that core al-Qaida, which I think is what most people are referring to when they talk about, quote, al-Qaida, directed or planned what happened in Benghazi. …..So it is not the U.S. Government’s assessment or position that Ansar al-Sharia is an affiliate of core al-Qaida. We don’t recognize them as an affiliate of core al-Qaida… These folks don’t carry ID cards. They don’t come out and wear a t-shirt that says, ‘I belong to al-Qaida,’ right?”

I beg to differ. In addition to the tremendous amount of evidence and statements by members of the House Intelligence Committee claiming that intelligence indicates al Qaeda was involved and that Ansar al Shariah is widely believed to be affiliated with al Qaeda, there are simpler, more obvious indicators. Ms. Harf is correct, they don’t carry ID cards or wear T-shirts that say “I belong to al Qaeda,” but they do throw hand signs and leave graffiti behind in the same manner as gangbangers that just marked their territory after murdering their rival.

The quintessential image that is used in almost every news report about the Benghazi attacks depicts one of the assailants in a white T-shirt with an assault rifle posing with his index finger pointing up in front of the burning consulate. The man is seen in several photos making this gesture using both his left and right hands. This does not signify that he is number one. This gesture is one of the most prevalent Salafi jihadist hand signs. There are images of every al Qaeda leader, including Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al Zarqawi and others, with their index fingers pointing skywards. Ayman al Zawahiri, the current leader of al Qaeda, is often seen in images making the hand sign. His former top lieutenant Mohammed al Jamal, of the Jamal Network, is believed to have had fighters in the assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound and they would be familiar with this gesture. In October, the State Department designated the Jamal Network as a terrorist group tied to al Qaeda.

The hand gesture also appears on jihadist forums, protest posters, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and in almost every form of al Qaeda propaganda. It is also a favorite gesture among Chechen jihadists, members of the Caucasus Emirate, those most likely responsible for the recent suicide bombings that killed at least 31 people in the city of Volgograd, Russia. Their leader, Doku Umarov, has also been photographed making the jihadi hand sign. For Salafi jihadists groups, the hand gesture of the index finger pointing up represents one God and their willingness to die for Islam, thus attaining martyrdom and entrance into paradise. This Islamist hand sign is also commonly used by radical Imams around the globe while they are recruiting young men to join the global jihad and murder soldiers in their own countries. Although this hand gesture is one of the most recognizable signs of al Qaeda-affiliated jihadist groups, the Obama administration either overlooked, or worse, were unaware of the identifier when they portrayed the attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam film.

Read more at Front Page

Dawn Perlmutter Director and founder of Symbol & Ritual Intelligence and Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum is considered one of the leading subject matter experts (SME) in the areas of symbols, unfamiliar customs, ritualistic crimes and religious violence.

Yes, Al-Qaeda ‘Infiltrated’ Libya

ben4by :

The New York Times’ conclusion that Al-Qaeda was not involved in last year’s attack on Ambassador Stevens in Libya—or even “infiltrated” Libya to begin with—is an example of a misleading game of semantics. The definition of “enemy” and even “Al-Qaeda” is becoming narrower and narrower, moving us closer to a more comforting (but incomplete) picture of the danger the West faces from Islamism.

The Times writes that an Islamist militia leader named Ahmed Abu Khattala is the almost certain culprit behind the Benghazi attacks, even if he denies it. This fact is used to deny Al-Qaeda’s role, along with the premise that there are two distinctly separate groups named Ansar al-Sharia and the one linked to Al-Qaeda cannot be implicated.

Khattala denies that he and his Obeida Ibn Al-Jarra militia are tied to Al-Qaeda. To the Times, the lack of an operational link is equivalent to no link at all, but the two are connected ideologically. Khattala is openly anti-American and approved of the Benghazi attacks. Both agree in violent retribution for mockery of their faith because of their common Sharia doctrine.

According to the Times’ own previous reporting, an Islamist group named Ansar al-Sharia is suspected of involvement. The Times confirms, “Witnesses at the scene of the attack identified many participants associated with Ansar al-Shariah.

Its leader, Mohammed Ali al-Zahawi, said he disagrees that Western diplomats in Libya are legitimate targets and, “If it had been our attack on the U.S. Consulate, we would have flattened it.”

There are two groups named Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, one in Benghazi that may share responsibility, and one in Derna, led by Sufian bin Qumu.

Qumu was once a driver for a company owned by Osama Bin Laden. He was captured in Pakistan and spent six years in Guantanamo Bay before returning to Derna. His Al-Qaeda links are solid, but the Times reports that his Ansar al-Sharia was uninvolved in the Benghazi attacks.

Thomas Joscelyn persuasively argues that this is not the case. The two have a common name, branding and propaganda publisher. The Times also fails to answer an important question: If the two groups are truly separate, why wouldn’t one avoid the confusion by changing its name?

Even the use of the name “Ansar al-Sharia” is rooted in Al-Qaeda. The name first appeared in Yemen as a front for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. We know from Osama Bin Laden’s records that were captured in Pakistan that he planned to change Al-Qaeda’s name and wanted affiliates to portray themselves as wholly independent.

study by the American Federation of Scientists in August 2012, one month before the Benghazi attacks, confirmed that Al-Qaeda had a “core network” in Libya “but it remains clandestine and refrains from using the Al-Qaeda name.” It predicts that Al-Qaeda will continue to “mask its presence under the umbrella of the Libyan Salafist movement.”

Read more at Front Page

Barack HUSSEIN Obama – Islam’s TROJAN HORSE!!!

TROJAN 1By Craig Andresen:

When you look at a number of Obama quotes, there are some things that should come as no surprise.

 “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

“Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

“These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

“I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam.”

“Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”

Need I continue?

Yes…I believe, to make the point crystal clear…I do.

“That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

“Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

“Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”

Are you starting to get the picture?

Maybe THESE quotes will help…

“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”

TROJAN 2“We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”

“If all it took was someone proclaiming I believe Jesus Christ and that he died for my sins, and that was all there was to it, people wouldn’t have to keep coming to church, would they?”

Perhaps these last 2, when compared to each other, are the most telling.

When Obama was asked to give HIS definition of sin, he responded: “Being out of alignment with MY values.”

And…

The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”

The stark difference between CLAIMING to be a Christian while REALLY being an ISLAMIST can clearly be seen in Obama’s decisions on the world stage.

Obama presides over the killing of Osama bin Laden or…DOES he?

The decision TO kill bin Laden was political and would become a “feather” in the political hat of the Islamist president but, according to his close friend, Obama couldn’t bear to watch it all play out so…After a photo op in the situation room…Obama spent the bulk of the bin Laden raid playing cards and, as reparations to Islam FOR the raid, he lets the Pakistani doctor who was the KEY to nailing down the al Qaeda leader’s residence…ROT IN JAIL TO THIS DAY.

Politically expedient for Obama and, at the same time, respecting his Islamic beliefs.

TROJAN 3Mubarak…an ally…Who had kept the peace with the bane of Islam’s existence, Israel, is told to go by the Islamist occupier of the oval office and who does Obama back as the replacement?

The MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD that vowed to do away with the Israel/Egypt peace accord.

As the Muslim Brotherhood cracked down by KILLING Coptic Christians at will…Obama’s quote, “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam,” provides the reason why he never held the Muslim Brotherhood to account.

In Benghazi…

After supplying al Qaeda with arms to overthrow Gaddafi, Obama turns more than a blind eye to al Qaeda’s (Ansar al Sharia’s) control of Benghazi…HE HIRES them to provide “SECURITY” for our American diplomats IN Benghazi after…DRAWING DOWN OUR OWN SECURITY there.

Read more at The National Patriot

Did Hillary Clinton’s globetrotting ways as Secretary of State contribute to Benghazi disaster?

Hillary-Clinton-APBy J.D. Gordon:

According to a centuries old rumor, Roman Emperor Nero played his fiddle as Rome burned for six days in A.D. 64, destroying 70% of the city.

While historians ponder if Nero, an aloof ruler and moonlighting musician, really did play his harp-like Cithara as Rome went up in flames, or whether the rumor is simply a metaphor for his absentee leadership, he wasn’t the world’s first top political figure to disappoint. And certainly not the last.

In piecing together the vast intelligence warnings on Benghazi, will Hillary Clinton go down in history as another Nero?

We’ve all heard stories about that fateful night of Sept. 11, 2012 in Benghazi.  Ansar al-Sharia, an Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist outfit led an attack on the U.S. Consulate, killing four Americans — U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and two former Navy SEALs, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

Yet most Americans don’t realize this was the second terrorist attack on the consulate, the first came on June 6, blowing a 40-foot hole in the outer wall.

On June 11, the State Dept. issued an Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens entitled “Attack on Benghazi,” that warned Americans, “this incident is a reminder of the fluid security situation in Libya and is the latest in a series of attacks in Benghazi against diplomatic and international installations.”

Three intelligence reports recently uncovered by the American Media Institute’s Richard Miniter and Susan Katz Keating detail an Islamic militant rally in Benghazi on June 7-8 with 300 armed-men, flying the Al Qaeda flag, sporting automatic rifles and rocket launchers.

According to Miniter & Katz Keating, writing earlier this month in Investors Business Daily, “At that rally, terror leaders called for the murder of American diplomats.”

On August 15, 2012, the U.S. Mission in Benghazi convened an emergency meeting, and the following day sent a classified cable to Secretary Clinton notifying her that it could not defend against a “coordinated attack.”

First reported in a Fox News Exclusive by Catherine Herridge, U.S. security officials were briefed on the location of “approximately ten Islamist militias and A.Q. training camps within Benghazi.”

Considering the June attack on the consulate, the August emergency meeting, and over 200 terror-related incidents in Libya since strongman Muammar Qaddafi was ousted, the U.S. embassy in Tripoli repeatedly requested additional security from State Dept. headquarters in Washington.

So what did then-Secretary Hillary Clinton and staff do?

Read more at Fox News

Wolf Renews Call For Select Committee On Benghazi

images (100)Washington, D.C. (October 30, 2013) – In a 30-minute speech today on the House floor, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) again called on House leadership to create a Select Committee on Benghazi, saying the threshold for creating the special panel has been reached in terms of the number of cosponsors and endorsements of the measure, as well as several revelations about the attack that have been covered in the press in recent weeks.

Wolf said that in the nearly 11 months since he first introduced the measure, the broad support that has been built “makes it clear we have more than passed the threshold for a Select Committee now … Let’s get to the truth once and for all so we can find out what happened and restore the American people’s confidence in congressional oversight.”

Just last week, a bipartisan national poll revealed that 63 percent of Americans think the Obama Administration is covering up the facts about the Benghazi attack, and just 29 percent of registered voters believe the administration has been honest.  Further, 83 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Independents support the idea, and notably, nearly half of Democrats said it was important to create a bipartisan committee to learn the truth.

“Bottom line: Americans from across the political spectrum recognize that not only are they not being told the truth [about Benghazi], but they feel Congress needs to change its approach to the investigation by creating a special committee,” Wolf said.

Wolf also pointed to several recent developments that confirm the individuals involved in the Benghazi attack were senior al Qaeda associates with ties to the group going back decades, and that the plot appears to have been weeks, if not months, in the making.

Wolf said that according to Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, “sources said one of the suspects was believed to be a courier for the Al Qaeda network, and the other a bodyguard in Afghanistan prior to the 2001 terror attacks,” noting that “the direct ties to the Al Qaeda senior leadership undercut early characterizations by the Obama administration that the attackers in Benghazi were isolated “extremists” – not Al Qaeda terrorists – with no organizational structure or affiliation.”

Further, Wolf described a 60 Minutes piece that aired this past Sunday in which CBS’ sources confirmed what Wolf had detailed on the House floor this past July: “a quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound, at time running and shooting their way through the streets just to get there.”  Alarmingly, the piece also included information saying that when the terrorists stormed the consulate property, they said “We’re here to kill Americans, not Libyans” and spared the lives of the Libyan guards, Wolf said.

CBS’ Lara Logan also addressed the pressure on witnesses she encountered during the 60 Minutes investigation, saying “An extraordinary amount of pressure on anyone in the government – the military side, the political side – not to say anything outside of official channels.”

“This is consistence with the concerns I have repeatedly raised on the House floor about efforts by this administration to silence survivors and witnesses to the Benghazi attack and response,” Wolf said.  “What are they afraid of these witnesses sharing with the American people?  And how can the Congress stand by and allow this to happen, knowing full well it is taking place?”

Wolf pointed out numerous intelligence failures that occurred prior to and following the attack.

“The administration’s response to the Benghazi attack over the last year has been nothing short of shameful – and that also merits a full investigation by a Select Committee,” Wolf said.  “From the first hours of the attack, when it became apparent that no help was coming to assist those under attack – either from U.S. forces or our allies in the region – to the failure of the FBI to gain access to key suspects in Tunisia and Egypt over the last year, this administration has sent a signal to terrorists that the U.S. will not strongly respond to an attack on Americans abroad.”

Wolf’s measure to create a House Select Committee on Benghazi currently has 178 cosponsors – more than a supermajority in the House.  It has been endorsed by the family members of the victims, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the Special Operations community and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents the Diplomatic Security agents who were at the consulate in Benghazi.

For a full list of endorsements, click here.

For more on Wolf’s work on Benghazi, click here.

The full text of Wolf’s floor speech.

Excerpt:

We need a public hearing with the principals involved in the decision making process in Washington on September 11, 2012, including former Secretary Panetta, former Secretary Clinton, former CIA Director Petraeus, former White House advisor and current CIA director John Brennan and former AFRICOM commander General Ham, as well as the White House.

We also need a similar hearing with each of their deputies and others who were witness to the calls for help and the decisions surrounding the response.

Unless we hear from these people publicly, the American people will never learn the truth about whether there were warnings prior to the attack, what calls for help were made that night, whether the CIA security team was in fact delayed in leaving to respond to the initial attack at the consulate and what the response was from Washington, among many other questions.

Until these key individuals are sitting side-by-side answering questions under oath, we will never get a clear picture of who made decisions that night and why.  Failure to get those answers means there will never be any accountability, which further erodes public confidence in government.

Absent a Select Committee, the Congress will fail to learn the truth about what happened that night because the administration will continue to use the jurisdictional barriers between each committee to continue to slow walk or deny information.

There are a number of new developments in recent weeks that make a Select Committee more timely than ever.

First, our colleague Mike Rogers, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, confirmed earlier reports telling Fox News that the plot against the consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi appears to have been weeks, if not months, in the making and that at least two of the plot’s leaders had close connections to senior al Qaeda leadership.

Nearly a year ago, I circulated a memo to all Members prepared by respected terrorism analyst Thomas Joscelyn detailing the apparent connections and likely coordination between al-Qaeda affiliates in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen that resulted in threats and attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in those countries the week of September 11, 2012.  Unfortunately the committees have not held public hearings looking at the connection between these threats.

Last week, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge first reported that: “At least two of the key suspects in the Benghazi terror attack were at one point working with Al Qaeda senior leadership, sources familiar with the investigation tell Fox News. The sources said one of the suspects was believed to be a courier for the Al Qaeda network, and the other a bodyguard in Afghanistan prior to the 2001 terror attacks.”

Herridge noted that, “The direct ties to the Al Qaeda senior leadership undercut early characterizations by the Obama administration that the attackers in Benghazi were isolated “extremists” — not Al Qaeda terrorists — with no organizational structure or affiliation.”

Then, on Sunday, CBS’ 60 Minutes aired a segment by Lara Logan further explaining what happened that night and the increasingly clear connection to al-Qaeda.  Logan reported that “Just a few weeks ago, Abu Anas al-Libi was captured for his role in the Africa bombings and the U.S. is still investigating what part he may have played in Benghazi.  We’ve learned that this man, Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee and long-time al Qaeda operative, was one of the lead planners along with Faraj al-Chalabi, whose ties to Osama bin Laden go back more than 15 years.  He’s believed to have carried documents from the compound to the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan.”

It is particularly notable that al-Chalabi reportedly delivered documents from U.S. facilities in Benghazi to “the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan,” establishing a direct link between the Benghazi attacks and most senior leadership of al Qaeda.

Among the other revelations in the 60 Minutes segment:

•    Al-Qaeda stated its intent to attack Americans in Benghazi, along with the Red Cross and the British mission well in advance of September 11.  Lt. Col. Andy Wood, the top American security official in Libya in the months leading up to the attack told CBS that both the State Department and Defense Department were well aware of the threat and the attacks on the Red Cross and British mission and it was “obvious” to the Americans in Libya that it was only a matter of time until an attack on the U.S. facilities.

•    When the terrorists stormed the consulate property, they said: “We’re here to kill Americans, not Libyans” and spared the lives of the Libyan guards.

•    Confirmation of information I detailed on the House floor in July noting that “a quick reaction force from the CIA Annex ignored orders to wait and raced to the compound, at times running and shooting their way through the streets just to get there.”

•    The Americans faced a “professional enemy” as they encountered waves of intense fighting on the CIA annex in Benghazi during the early morning of September 12.   Mortars fired during the final wave of the assault hit the roof of the annex three times in the dark.  Lt. Col. Wood described hitting a target like that as “getting the basketball through the hoop over your shoulder” and that it took “coordination, planning training, experienced personnel” to pull off such a “well executed attack.”

•    Two Delta Force operators who fought at the CIA annex, apparently as part of the impromptu team that flew in from Tripoli with Glen Doherty during the attack without permission from Washington, have “been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Navy Cross – two of the military’s highest honors.”

•    The U.S. already knew that senior al Qaeda leader Abu Anas al-Libi was in Libya and was “tasked by the head of al Qaeda to establish a clandestine terrorist network inside the country.  Al-Libi was already wanted for his role in bombing two U.S. embassies in Africa.”  Notably, the administration made no mention of his connection to the Benghazi attacks in its announcement of his capture last month.

•    Some of the key questions that remain unanswered are why the CIA security team was ordered not to respond to the attack at the consulate and “why no larger military response ever crossed the border into Libya – something [U.S. deputy chief of mission] Greg Hicks realized wasn’t going to happen just an hour into the attack.”

It’s particularly noteworthy that Logan addressed the pressure on witnesses she encountered during her investigation, saying: “An extraordinary amount of pressure on the people involved not to talk.  And an extraordinary amount of pressure on anyone in the government – the military side, the political side – not to say anything outside of official channels.”
This is consistent with the concerns I have repeatedly raised on the House floor about efforts by this administration to silence survivors and witnesses to the Benghazi attack and response.

What are they afraid of these witnesses sharing with the American people?    And how can the Congress stand by and allow this to happen, knowing full well it is taking place?
CNN in July reported that: “Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings. The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.”

Fox News, in a separate piece in July, reported: “At least five CIA employees were forced to sign additional nondisclosure agreements this past spring in the wake of the Benghazi attack.”

As someone who represents thousands of federal employees and contractors, including many who work for the CIA, FBI, State Department and the Defense Department, I know from years of firsthand experience how agencies can sometimes use various forms of pressure and intimidation to keep employees from sharing information of concern with Congress.
I know the Benghazi survivors and other witnesses that night from those agencies need the protection of a “friendly subpoena” to compel their testimony before Congress, particularly on a matter as sensitive as this.

So far, the committees have failed to provide this protection to allow survivors and other witnesses to allow them to share their story publicly.

Based on disclosures in recent news reports, I now believe that the Benghazi plot represents a significant intelligence failure by the U.S. at several levels.  Understanding these failures – as well as the government’s inexplicable response during and after the attack – is critical to preventing future attacks.

I want to outline a number of the apparent intelligence failures leading up to the attack, which I believe a Select Committee investigation would confirm:

First, the State Department and CIA apparently failed in their assessment of the militia groups working for the Americans in Benghazi, including the February 17 Martyrs Brigade responsible for guarding the consulate property, which abandoned the Americans and may have even facilitated access to the compound for the terrorists.  According to a May 21 article by Eli Lake on The Daily Beast, CIA “officers were responsible for vetting the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, the militia that was supposed to be the first responder on the night of the attack, but melted away when the diplomatic mission was attacked.”

Second, the State Department, Defense Department and CIA apparently failed to adjust their security posture to support the Americans in Benghazi based on the growing number of attacks on Western targets in Benghazi during the summer of 2012.  To date, no one has explained or been held accountable for why the U.S. mission was so poorly secured, despite pleas for assistances from the Embassy staff in Tripoli to Washington.  No one has adequately explained why the Defense Department’s emergency response team was on a routine training mission in Croatia during the week of September 11, when it should have been on alert to respond – especially given the threats to the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt earlier in the day before the Benghazi attacks.

Third, the intelligence community apparently failed to understand the size and scope of the attack brewing in Benghazi in the months leading up to September 11.  As Chairman Rogers acknowledged to Fox News’ Catherine Herridge last week, this was a well-coordinated attack that was many weeks, if not months in the making.  Earlier this year, CNN reported on the number of foreign fighters that arrived in Benghazi to participate in the attack in the days leading up to September 11.

A witness in the 60 Minutes report noted how black al-Qaeda flags were openly flying in the months before the attack, and also noted the announced threat against U.S., British and Red Cross facilities.  How did the government miss these warnings?  Or were they simply ignored?

Fourth, the intelligence community seems to have more broadly failed to understand and anticipate how al-Qaeda was metastasizing in North Africa.

This administration has been quick to take credit for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011 and declared throughout the 2012 presidential campaign that as a result of its efforts that “core al-Qaeda” had been decimated.

However, the facts don’t support the administration’s narrative.

As CNN reported on Monday, terrorist attacks hit a record high in 2012 and, “More than 8,500 terrorist attacks killed more than 15,500 people last year as violence tore through Africa, Asia and the Middle East.”  Increasingly, this includes North African countries, like Libya.

CNN also said that “Despite the death of Osama bin Laden and capture of other key al Qaeda leaders, the group has exported its brand of terrorism to other militant Muslims.”  These groups include affiliates like Ansar al Sharia in Libya.

Additionally, CBS’ Lara Logan noted earlier this week following her report on Benghazi that, “it became evident to us during the course of our research that very little is known publicly about the true nature of al Qaeda’s network in Libya.  And that has consequences beyond Benghazi and beyond Libya. It has consequences that speak to the national security interests of the United States of America.”

Most of these affiliate terrorist groups have sworn an allegiance to al-Qaeda and appear to closely coordinate their activities and plots with the “core al-Qaeda” leadership, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s successor.  To dismiss or minimize their relationship with al-Qaeda’s senior leadership is misguided and dangerous, as we have seen over the last several years.

I fear that this administration’s insistence in treating “core al-Qaeda” in Afghanistan and Pakistan differently than groups like Ansar al Sharia in Libya has led to a dangerous mischaracterization of the threat – and has apparently resulted in a failure to anticipate attacks like the one that occurred in Benghazi.

Fifth, it appears that documents were taken from the consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi in the wake of the attacks.  As I said earlier, 60 Minutes reported that terrorist Faraj al-Chalabi, whose ties to bin Laden go back nearly two decades, is “believed to have carried documents from the compound to the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan.”  What was taken from the consulate and annex and given to al Qaeda’s leadership?

Additionally, as Lara Logan noted following her report, “We did not expect that we would find the U.S. compound in the state that we found it.  There was still debris and ammunition boxes and a whiteboard that had the day’s assignment for the security personnel at the compound as of September 11, 2012.”  Clearly in the chaos of the fighting and evacuation that night, information was left behind at the facilities that may have consequences for Americans operating in the region.

I also believe the administration’s response to the Benghazi attack over the last year has been nothing short of shameful – and that also merits a full investigation by a Select Committee.  From the first hours of the attack, when it became apparent that no help was coming to assist those under attack – either from U.S. forces or our allies in the region – to the failure of the FBI to gain access to key suspects in Tunisia and Egypt over the last year, this administration has sent a signal to terrorists that the U.S. will not strongly respond to an attack on Americans abroad.  The failure to either arrest or kill any of the scores of terrorists responsible for the attacks more than a year later is inexcusable and reflects unwillingness by this administration to bring diplomatic pressure to bear on countries harboring these terrorists.

I am increasingly convinced that this administration is more comfortable using the ongoing FBI investigation as an excuse not to answer questions than they are in bringing these terrorists to justice.  As I said on the House floor in July, last year, Tunisia detained the first suspect in the Benghazi terror attacks, Ali Harzi, after he was deported from Turkey in the weeks following the attack.  Tunisia, despite being the beneficiary of more than $300 million in U.S. foreign aid, refused to allow the FBI access to this suspect for nearly five weeks.  It was only after Congressional threats to cut off the aid that the government of Tunisia reconsidered its position.  Ultimately, the FBI interrogation team returned to Tunisia and was allowed just three hours to interview Harzi, with his lawyer and a Tunisian judge present.  Not long after the FBI interview, Harzi was inexplicably released by Tunisian authorities, and his release was celebrated by Ansar al Sharia terrorists.

Last month, it was confirmed that Harzi has been involved in at least one assassination of a Tunisian political leader.

In another equally concerning case in Egypt, the FBI has been denied access to Muhammed Jamal, an al Qaeda-connected terrorist who ran training camps in Egypt and eastern Libya prior to the Benghazi attacks.  Several of Jamal’s associates are believed to have participated in the Benghazi plot, and terrorism analysts believe that Jamal may have communicated directly with Zawahiri and al Qaeda leadership about this and other terrorist attacks.  Although Jamal has been in Egyptian custody for more than a year on other terrorism-related charges, the U.S. has never been provided access to him under both the Morsi government and now the military government.  I personally delivered a letter to former Ambassador Patterson in Cairo asking then-President Morsi to provide the FBI access to Jamal and his documents.  I don’t believe the ambassador ever even delivered my letter, despite her assurances.  Jamal’s connection to the Benghazi attack is particularly noteworthy given that both the U.S. and the United Nations formally designated him as a terrorist earlier this month.  However, in another example of this administration’s aversion to discussing terrorist connections to the Benghazi attack, the UN designation clearly notes Jamal’s connection to the Benghazi attack, whereas the State Department designation omits it.

I believe there has been pressure from the administration to omit this type of information from U.S. intelligence products, sending conflicting signals to both our allies and to countries that may have Benghazi suspects of interest to the FBI.  But if we’re unwilling to identify their involvement in the attacks, it further erodes U.S. credibility in asking for access to these individuals.  This willful blindness is disingenuous and, ultimately, dangerous.

In early January, when I offered an amendment to create a Select Committee in the House Rules package for the 113th Congress, Speaker Boehner told the Republican Conference he didn’t believe that we had “reached the threshold” for a Select Committee.  He suggested that we might get to the threshold, but the committees of jurisdiction just needed a little more time.

That may have been the case in January, but nearly 11 months later, I think the broad support that has built over the last year makes clear we have more than passed the threshold for a Select Committee now.  I believe the “threshold” has clearly been reached in terms of cosponsors, endorsements and new revelations from press reports.

I was particularly struck by comments made by Ambassador Stevens’ deputy Greg Hicks in the 60 Minutes segment on Sunday: “for us, for the people that go out onto the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they’re coming to get us.  That our back is covered.  To hear that it’s not, it’s a terrible, terrible experience.”

It is not enough for the administration to just say there’s nothing more that could have been done, especially given that evidence indicates that they didn’t try much at all to assist the Americans under fire in Benghazi.

Mr. Speaker, it’s time for a unified, bipartisan Select Committee. Let’s get to the truth once and for all so we can find out what happened and restore the American peoples’ confidence in congressional oversight. 

 

 

CBS’ 60 Minutes avoids Egyptian Connection to Benghazi

Logan: Well done report but missing something very important.

Logan: Well done report but missing something very important.

Walid Shoebat:

The 60 Minutes piece by Lara Logan on the Benghazi attacks was well done. It included excerpts of interviews with State Department whistleblower Gregory Hicks, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, and a British security official who was in charge of the Libyans who were hired to provide security, Libyans he didn’t seem impressed by.

Here’s the report via 60 Minutes; commentary to follow:

 

 

Well done, yes but also a bit incomplete and possibly misleading in some respects.

First, here we are more than one year later and Logan reports it’s now “well established” that the compound was attacked by al-Qaeda. When was this established? It would seem that this is a bit of a bombshell, would it not? Initially, the attack was about a video; then it was a group called Ansar Al-Sharia. Now, a “well established” fact that al-Qaeda was involved. This is a bit of news if for no other reason than it is officially acknowledged.

Earlier this week, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reported that the attack had connections to “Al-Qaeda Core” in Pakistan. Again, huge bombshell because it leads to Ayman al-Zawahiri, whose first cousin was Mohammed Mursi’s chief of staff.

The 60 Minutes piece went in a curious direction when it seemed to imply that the guy who could take the fall for the attack is Abu Anas al Libi, who was apprehended by U.S. Special Forces in Tripoli earlier this month. Al Libi is wanted for his role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. He was not a suspect in the Benghazi attack but Logan reported he is being questioned to find out what he knew about it.

Completely absent from the report was any reference to Egypt’s involvement. For example, the Jamal Network’s involvement in the Benghazi attacks is far more established than any connection al Libi may have. The network’s founder Muhammad Jamal Abdo Al-Kashif is currently sitting in an Egyptian jail and has even been identified by the U.N. Security Council as a lead suspect in the attack with connections to Ayman al-Zawahiri (yes, that Ayman al-Zawahiri).

Let’s also not forget that Thomas Pickering inadvertently divulged information from his Accountability Review Board’s “classified” report when he mentioned an Egyptian connection. He was almost undoubtedly referring to the Jamal Network. A few weeks after doing so, the U.S. State Department identified Al-Kashif and his network as terrorists. Unlike the U.N., State did not identify Al-Kashif or his network as suspects in the Benghazi attack but it did acknowledge his connection to and correspondence with Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Publicly acknowledging that al Libi was involved in the Benghazi attacks is far more preferable to the Obama administration than putting the spotlight on the Jamal Network for several reasons. Among them is that Al-Kashif was released from prison after the fall of Mubarak and subsequently founded his network. There are multiple Arabic reports that say Mursi pardoned him. This would mean that the President of a nation state pardoned the guy whose network was responsible for the murder of a U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans.

We also know that Al-Kashif is connected to Al-Zawahiri. Making this even more potentially explosive are reports that Mursi and al-Zawahiri collaborated to release jihadists and open terror camps in the Sinai and along Egypt’s border with Libya.

Read more at Shoebat.com

Al Qaeda and the threat in Syria

 

THOMAS JOSCELYN

THOMAS JOSCELYN

Long War Journal, By THOMAS JOSCELYN:

Editor’s note: Below is Thomas Joscelyn’s testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security, on al Qaeda in Syria and the threat it poses to the US. Al Qaeda affiliates and allied jihadist groups dominate the insurgency in the heart of the Middle East.

Chairman McCaul, Ranking Member Thompson and members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the potential threats to the U.S. emanating out of Syria. Obviously, the situation inside Syria is grim, with a despicable tyrant on one side and a rebellion compromised by al Qaeda and like-minded extremists on the other. In between these two poles are the people who originally rose up against tyranny in search of a better life. As we’ve seen time and again in this long war, Muslims embroiled in violence in faraway lands are often the first line of defense against an ideology and an organization that pose a direct threat to the West. There are many Syrian families who deserve the free world’s support today, beyond the prospect of limited airstrikes.

We should have no illusions about the nature of the Syrian war. What we are witnessing right now is a conflict that will have ramifications for our security in the West. The fighting in Syria and the terrorist campaign in Iraq are deeply linked, feeding off of one another in a way that increases the violence in both countries and potentially throughout the region. American interests outside of Syria have already been threatened by the war. We saw this late last year when al Qaeda repurposed a cell of Jordanian citizens who had fought in Syria for an attack inside their home country. They reportedly had the U.S. Embassy in their crosshairs and were planning a complex assault that involved other targets as well.

In my testimony today, I focus on the threat posed by al Qaeda and allied groups inside Syria, recognizing that al Qaeda did not start the Syrian rebellion. Moreover, there are many groups fighting on the side of the rebellion, making any clear-eyed analysis difficult. However, we can distill a number of observations.

Al Qaeda and its extremist allies have grown much stronger since late 2011. Al Qaeda does not control the entire rebellion, which is made up of a complex set of actors and alliances. However, al Qaeda and its allies dominate a large portion of northern Syria and play a key role in the fighting throughout the rest of the country. These same al Qaeda-affiliated forces have fought alongside Free Syrian Army brigades. There is no clear geographic dividing line between the most extreme fighters and other rebels. For example, al Qaeda’s affiliates played a key role in the fighting in Latakia, an Assad stronghold on the coast, in early August. And within the past week we saw al Qaeda-affiliated fighters lead an attack in Malula, a Christian village not far from Damascus. These are just two examples chosen from many.

Al Qaeda has made the fight for Syria a strategic priority. Ayman al Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s emir, has repeatedly called on jihadists to concentrate their efforts on the fight against the Assad regime. But al Qaeda desires much more than Assad’s defeat. Al Qaeda wants to control territory and rule over others. This is consistent with al Qaeda’s desire to establish an Islamic Emirate in the heart of the Levant. In his book, Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner, Zawahiri discussed at length the importance of creating such a state. Al Qaeda and associated groups have consistently pursued this goal in jihadist hotspots around the globe and this is especially true in Syria today.

Two known al Qaeda affiliates operate inside Syria: Jabhat al Nusrah [Al Nusrah Front] and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (or Levant). The leaders of both groups have sworn an oath of loyalty (bayat) to Ayman al Zawahiri and al Qaeda’s senior leadership. The heads of these two affiliates openly bickered over the chain-of-command in early April 2013. This forced Zawahiri to intervene, but the head of the ISIS initially rejected Zawahiri’s decision to have the two remain independently-operated franchises. It appears that some sort of compromise has been brokered, however, as the two al Qaeda affiliates fight alongside one another against their common enemies, including Kurdish forces in the north.

Al Qaeda is not just a terrorist organization. Al Qaeda’s leaders are political revolutionaries seeking to acquire power for themselves and their ideology in several countries. They have a plan for Syria. Al Qaeda’s affiliates inside Syria are not just fighting Assad’s forces, or committing various other acts of terror. They are seeking to inculcate their ideology within the Syrian population. Many Syrians have no love for al Qaeda’s ideology, or its harsh brand of sharia law. But al Qaeda knows this and has adjusted its tactics accordingly. Jabhat al Nusrah and the ISIS are providing local governance in the areas they control, and are seeking to win hearts and minds by making various social services available to the population. This is a continuation of a trend that we’ve seen elsewhere, beginning in Yemen, where al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula launched Ansar al Sharia as its political face. Ansar al Sharia does more than fight al Qaeda’s enemies. It has provided food, electricity, medical care, and various other necessities to Yemenis. Al Qaeda’s affiliates in Syria have copied this strategy in Syria, and are increasing their popular support in some areas (especially in the north and east) in this manner. This model is being implemented in Raqqah, Aleppo, Deir al Zor.

Syria has become the central front in the global jihad. Other al Qaeda-linked groups have joined the fight in Syria, thereby strengthening al Qaeda’s hand. Groups including the Pakistani Taliban (Tekrik-e Taliban) and the Muhajireen (Migrants) Brigade are fighting in Syria. The first group sent fighters and trainers from South Asia to Syria, while the second is comprised of Chechens and other foreign fighters. Indeed, several thousand foreign fighters from around the globe have joined the fight. Countries throughout North Africa and the Middle East have supplied a large number of jihadist recruits. In addition, a significant number of Europeans have traveled to Syria for jihad.

Some of the more powerful Syrian rebel groups are closely allied with al Qaeda’s affiliates. Ahrar al Sham and its coalition of like-minded groups, the Syrian Islamic Front (SIF), fight alongside al Qaeda’s fighters regularly. Brigades belonging to another Islamist coalition, the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front (SILF), have coordinated their operations with al Qaeda’s affiliates and Ahrar al Sham in key battles as well. For example, fighters from Nusrah, the SIF, and the SILF overran the Taftanaz Airbase in January. The collective strength of these groups is easily in the tens of thousands of fighters nationwide.

As the 9/11 Commission recognized, there is a direct connection between terrorism “over there” and the terrorist threat to Americans “over here.” Most of al Qaeda’s assets are devoted to acquiring power in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. However, some portion of their assets is always devoted to terrorist plots against the West. Before the 9/11 attacks, most al Qaeda recruits were trained to fight alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan or as part of insurgencies elsewhere. Only a small number of al Qaeda members were selected to take part in international operations. Since 9/11, al Qaeda has greatly expanded its overall footprint by directing or supporting various insurgencies. This increases al Qaeda’s potential recruits, with a small percentage of them being repurposed for operations against the West. We have seen this in Yemen, for example, where al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula simultaneously increased its capacity to wage an insurgency against the government, while also increasing its ability to launch attacks on the U.S. homeland. Al Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate, which spawned the Al Nusrah Front, has dedicated a small part of its resources to attacking the West as well. The Department of Homeland of Security announced in 2004 that al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was ordered by Osama bin Laden to assemble a cell capable of attacking the U.S. In 2007, failed attacks in London and Glasgow were tied back to AQI. It should be noted that during this same time-period AQI was mainly focused on winning territory, not attacking the West.

Al Qaeda has talent inside Syria today, including top operatives who currently pose a threat to the West. According to credible press reports, a top al Qaeda terrorist named Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (a.k.a. Abu Musab al Suri) was freed from prison in the wake of the rebellion. Nasar has been tied to al Qaeda’s terrorist plotting inside Europe, including the networks that executed the 2004 Madrid train bombings and the 2005 attacks in London. Nasar played a prominent role in al Qaeda’s operations prior to being detained in 2005 and transferred to Syrian custody. Nasar is a widely influential jihadist thinker and a key advocate of small-scale terrorist attacks inside the West. He was reportedly freed by the Assad regime in the wake of the current rebellion. One of Nasar’s closest colleagues, known as Abu Khalid al Suri, was appointed by Zawahiri to a key position within the region. We should wonder what happened to Mohammed Zammar, an al Qaeda recruiter who helped convince the 9/11 Hamburg cell to travel to Afghanistan for training. Zammar was once imprisoned by the Assad regime and may very well be free today. In addition to this “old school” talent, al Qaeda has been recruiting Westerners who could be used in attacks against their home countries or elsewhere in the West. In recent months, European officials have openly worried about this possibility.

Al Qaeda’s affiliates are seeking possession of chemical and biological weapons in Syria. On May 30, the Turkish press reported that an al Nusrah Front cell had been arrested and was found to be in possession of about two kilos of sarin gas. The following day, June 1, Iraqi officials announced that they had broken up an al Qaeda cell that was seeking to launch sarin nerve gas attacks in Iraq, Europe and possibly North America. If the Iraqi government’s claims are accurate, then we already have evidence that al Qaeda’s affiliates in Iraq and Syria intend to use chemical weapons in an attack the West. I encourage the Homeland Security Committee to investigate these claims and ascertain for itself the extent of al Qaeda’s efforts in this regard.

 

Chairman McCaul Questions Witnesses at Hearing on Syria:

 

More on the hearing here: 

Crisis in Syria: Implications for Homeland Security


 

Behind Benghazi: Muslim Brotherhood and Obama Administration

Egyptians understand the U.S. president’s policies better than Americans.

Egyptians understand the U.S. president’s policies better than Americans.

By :

Evidence that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was directly involved in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, where Americans including U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens were killed, continues to mount.

First, on June 26, 2013, I produced and partially translated what purported to be an internal Libyan governmental memowhich was leaked and picked up by many Arabic websites. According to this document, the Muslim Brotherhood, including now ousted President Morsi, played a direct role in the Benghazi consulate attack. “Based on confessions derived from some of those arrested at the scene,” asserted the report, six people, “all of them Egyptians” from the jihad group Ansar al-Sharia (Supporters of Islamic Law), were arrested. During interrogations, these Egyptian jihadi cell members:

confessed to very serious and important information concerning the financial sources of the group and the planners of the event and the storming and burning of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi…. And among the more prominent figures whose names were mentioned by cell members during confessions were: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi; preacher Safwat Hegazi; Saudi businessman Mansour Kadasa, owner of the satellite station,Al-Nas; Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Hassan; former presidential candidate, Hazim Salih Abu Isma’il…

Four days after this memo appeared, the military-backed June 30 Egyptian revolution took place. Many of the Islamists in the Libyan document have either been arrested—including Safwat Hegazi and Abu Isma’il—or have arrest warrants under terrorism charges.

Walid Shoebat followed up with some important investigativework concerning the Libyan document, including by documenting that Western sources had finally acknowledged that there is a group called Ansar al-Sharia operating in Egypt with a cell in Libya, and that, with the ouster of Muhammad Morsi, it (along with al Qaeda) had declared jihad on Egypt’s military (not to mention regular civilians in general, and Coptic Christians in particular.)

The fact is, days after the Benghazi attack back in September 2012, Muslim Brotherhood connections appeared. A video made during the consulate attack records people approaching the beleaguered U.S. compound; one of them yells to the besiegers in an Egyptian dialect, “Don’t shoot—Dr. Morsi sent us!” apparently a reference to the former Islamist president.

Most recently, on July 29, 2013, Ahmed Musa, a prominent Egyptian political insider and analyst made several assertions on Tahrir TV that further connected the dots. During his program, while berating U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson for her many pro-Brotherhood policies—policies that have earned her the hate and contempt of millions of Egyptians—Musa insisted that he had absolute knowledge that the murderer of Chris Stevens was Mohsin al-‘Azzazi, whose passport was found in Brotherhood leader Khairet al-Shatter’s home, when the latter was arrested. According to the firm assurances of political analyst Musa, ‘Azzazi is currently present in Raba‘a al-Adawiya, where he, the seasoned terrorist, is preparing to do what he does best—terrorize Egypt, just as the Brotherhood have promised, in revenge for the ousting of Morsi.

Read more 

 

Walid Shoebat meticulously lays out case for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood involvement in #Benghazi attack

Benghazi_Burns

Shoebat -The experts who insist that the Benghazi attacks were carried out by jihadi stragglers who belong to the Jamal Abu Ahmad network don’t tell you how Ansar al-Sharia Egypt or the Muslim Brotherhood there were involved.

Why?

Identifying terrorist groups we entrusted to protect our diplomatic post in Benghazi is an admission that the Obama administration put the fox in charge of the henhouse; Ansar al-Sharia Egypt, along with its Libyan branch, members of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, and LIFG were all very likely involved in the Benghazi attacks. This admission would also destroy the U.S. foreign policy reputation, as giving al-Qaeda the ability to rename and supervise its operations helped plunge the region into chaos.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) were in Egypt calling for the release of Muslim Brotherhood prisoners, and State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said that Mursi should be released. The State Department continues to work toward giving Muslim Brotherhood leaders a role in any future Egyptian government.

Benghazi: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood implicated

As promised, below you will find what we believe to be a Benghazi bombshell, published at Pajamas Media. There are no hyperlinks in the Executive Summary; they can all be found in the full report.

Executive Summary
When it comes to the Benghazi attacks, there is clearly an effort underway to avoid implicating Ansar Al-Sharia Egypt, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, or ousted Egyptian president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mursi in those attacks. As of yet, we can’t fully answer the question as to why but we can actually refute those who refuse to entertain such notions – with what such individuals are already willing to concede.

In the now infamous July 10th House Joint Subcommittee hearing, expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross said he knew “of absolutely no information suggesting” Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was involved in the Benghazi attack on 9/11/12. He also dismissed the idea of Egypt’s Ansar Al-Sharia branch being involved and instead pointed to the “Jamal network”, headed by Muhammad Jamal Abdo Al-Kashif.

The implication was clear. Those demanding answers were to believe that while the Benghazi attacks included Egyptians, any of those attackers must have been part of a rag-tag group of terrorist freelancers and that no evidence suggested they were tied to Ansar Al-Sharia Egypt or sanctioned by a larger group.

As for Al-Kashif’s ties to Mursi, Arabic sources reveal that among the charges filed against the ousted president of Egypt, at least one involves the latter’s release of Al-Kashif. Other sources reveal that Mursi also pardoned Al-Kashif’s leader, Tariq Taha Abu Al-Azm.

Consider that this news about Mursi releasing Al-Kashif comes on the heels of other evidence implicating the former president and Muslim Brotherhood leader. The Libyan Intelligence document, dated September 15, 2012, speaks of six Egyptians who were arrested for their roles in the Benghazi attacks; they mentioned Mursi’s involvement. In a cell phone video, shot from the scene during the attack, one gunman can be heard telling others not to shoot and that “we were sent by Dr. Mursi”. On July 21st of this year, Libya’s Intelligence Chief flew to Cairo, reportedly with documents that implicated Mursi in the Benghazi attacks; it was backed up by multiple Arabic sources.

As for Egypt’s Ansar Al-Sharia branch being involved in the attacks, consider the testimony of Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). Joscelyn was scheduled to testify at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on July 18th; that hearing was canceled for reasons we cannot fully determine.

However, Joscelyn’s written testimony was posted online and is at variance with the oral testimony of Gartenstein-Ross in one critical aspect. Coupled with his previous articles, Joscelyn’s written testimony essentially made the case that Al-Kashif is a central figure within Egypt’s Ansar Al-Sharia branch by making the following assertions:

  1. Al-Kashif signed a document expressing solidarity with Ansar Al-Sharia founder Ahmed ‘Ashoush and Mohammed Al-Zawahiri.
  2. It’s believed that Al-Zawahiri put Al-Kashif in touch with his older brother, Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
  3. Al-Kashif was a top commander in Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ).
  4. Ansar Al-Sharia Egypt is led by EIJ leaders who’ve remained loyal to Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
  5. Al-Kashif communicated with Ayman Al-Zawahiri throughout 2011 – 2012.

The connection between Al-Kashif and Egypt’s Ansar Al-Sharia is one Gartenstein-Ross seemed to dismiss in his oral testimony on July 10th.

Though not yet provably reciprocal, Egypt’s Ansar Al-Sharia branch is unabashedly loyal to Mohammed Mursi, according to Arabic sources; the group is reportedly comprised of Mursi loyalists who threatened to assassinate for Mursi’s sake.

Read more

Rohrabacher cites Shoebat’s work on Benghazi in Hearing

Rohrabacher: demands analysis of Shoebat’s report

Rohrabacher: demands analysis of Shoebat’s report

By Walid Shoebat:

At a House Foreign Affairs Joint Subcommittee hearing into the Benghazi attacks this week, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced our report into the Congressional record. Upon doing so, Rohrabacher made the findings of our report the central focus of his exchange with witnesses.

The witness list included Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Director of the Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalization, Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Dr. Daniel L. Byman, professor at Georgetown University. A fourth witness – Michael Lovelady – lost his brother in the attack / hostage-taking operation at an Algerian gas plant last January. Lovelady gave issued a gut-wrenching statement that included details about what happened to his brother.

Gartenstein-Ross, seated on the far left, and Zelin, who was seated next to him, are the two witnesses who spoke the most in response to Rohrabacher’s questions about our report and appeared more interested in dismissing it, especially Zelin, who said he found “these claims not that credible” when talking about the alleged involvement of Ansar al-Sharia, the Muslim Brotherhood, or Mohammed Mursi in the Benghazi attacks. Zelin also said:

“…there’s no evidence to suggest based off of anything I’ve seen that the Muslim Brotherhood is linked to Ansar al-Sharia in Libya or that any members of the Muslim Brotherhood were involved or that Mohammed Mursi told members of the Muslim Brotherhood to go to Libya to conduct…”

Rohrabacher then cut off Zelin and told him to read our report. Chairman Ted Poe (R-TX) reiterated Rohrabacher’s request that witnesses get back to him in writing:

Read more

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Connection to Benghazi

By Kevin McCullough:

On Wednesday June 26, 2013 reports began to pop up across the Arabic world citing an internal Libyan government memo that has not yet been acknowledged in the American press.

The memo is pictured here:


*Photo Courtesy of Raymond Ibrahim

Multiple sources have confirmed this document details several confessions of the six Egyptians in Libyan custody for the 9.11.12 bombing of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

The document details the involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as being involved with and in the funding, support, planning, and execution of the attack.

What is unique about this document is that its content wasn’t leaked to the press in some sort of salacious move. This is simply an interdepartmental memo from the Libyan National Security offices in Tripoli to the Ministry of the Interior. Written solely as a perfunctory after-action report as the results of the Libyan investigation in the events of that night.

It was prepared by Mahmoud Ibrahim Sharif, the Director of National Security of Libya.

In his report Sharif conveys that the Libyan investigation unearthed an Egyptian (terror) cell that had been involved in the planning and execution of the attack. Six confessions from those arrested at the scene–all of them Egyptian–and all connected to the U.S. terror watch listed group Ansar al-Sharia.

Concerning the most important claim of the Libyan memo, Raymond Ibrahim, (an American research librarian, translator, and author, whose focus is Arabic history, language, and current events) indicates that “during interrogations, these Egyptian jihadi cell members ‘confessed to very serious and important information concerning the financial sources of the group and the planners of the event and the storming and burning of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi…. And among the more prominent figures whose names were mentioned by cell members during confessions: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi…’”

Read more at Town Hall

 

More evidence of slain U.S. ambassador’s secret activities

christopher-stevens-340x161By AARON KLEIN:

JERUSALEM – A Libyan weapons dealer from a group hired to provide security to the U.S. mission in Benghazi told Reuters he has helped ship weapons from Benghazi to the rebels fighting in Syria.

The detailed account may provide more circumstantial evidence the U.S. Benghazi mission was secretly involved in procuring and shipping weapons to the Syrian opposition before the deadly attack last September that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

According to informed Middle Eastern security officials speaking to WND on multiple occasions, the Benghazi mission was a planning headquarters for coordinating aid, including weapons distribution, to the jihadist-led rebels.

After the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi, the arming efforts shifted focus to aiding the insurgency targeting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.

Two weeks after the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack, WND broke the story that murdered U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens himself played a central role in arming rebels and recruiting jihadists to fight Assad, according to Egyptian security officials.

In November 2012, Middle Eastern security sources further described both the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels, which was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Many rebel fighters are openly members of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida.

The information may help determine what motivated the deadly attacks in Benghazi.

In an interview with Reuters published Tuesday, Libyan warlord Abdul Basit Haroun declared he is behind some of the biggest shipments of weapons from Libya to Syria. Most of the weapons were sent to Turkey, where they were then smuggled into neighboring Syria, he said.

Haroun explained he sent a massive weapons shipment from the port in Benghazi in August 2012, days before the attack on the U.S. compound. The weapons were smuggled into Syria aboard a Libyan ship that landed in Turkey purportedly to deliver humanitarian aid.

Ismail Salabi, a commander of the February 17 Brigade, told Reuters that Haroun was a member of the Brigade until he quit to form his own brigade.

The February 17 Brigade provided external security to the attacked Benghazi U.S. compound, including the villa where Stevens lived when he was in Benghazi. Stevens held his last meeting with a Turkish diplomat in the compound and ultimately died there in the attack.

The February 17 Brigade is part of the al-Qaida-linked Ansar Al-Sharia, a militia that advocates the strict implementation of Islamic law in Libya and elsewhere.

Ansar al-Sharia initially used Internet forums and social media to claim responsibility for the Benghazi attack. Later, a spokesman for the group denied it was behind the attack.

Witnesses told reporters they saw vehicles with the group’s logo at the scene of the Sept. 11 attack and that gunmen fighting at the compound had stated they were part of Ansar al-Sharia.

Some witnesses said they saw Ahmed Abu Khattala, a commander of Ansar al-Sharia, leading the attack. Contacted by news media, Khattala denied that he was at the scene.

Meanwhile, a Libyan official speaking to Reuters said he had allowed weapons to leave the port of Benghazi for Syria.

MANPADS

Haroun told Reuters he runs the weapons smuggling operation with an associate, who helps him coordinate about a dozen people in Libyan cities collecting weapons for Syria.

Last month, WND reported the U.S. Benghazi compound was involved in weapons collection efforts.

In a largely unnoticed speech to a think tank seven months before the Benghazi attack, a top State Department official described an unprecedented multi-million-dollar U.S. effort to secure anti-aircraft weapons in Libya after the fall of Gadhafi’s regime.

The official, Andrew J. Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, said U.S. experts were fully coordinating the collection efforts with the Libyan opposition.

He said the efforts were taking place in Benghazi, where a leading U.S. expert was deployed.

In January, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed the efforts when she told Congress the CIA was leading a “concerted effort to try to track down and find and recover … MANPADS” looted from Gadhafi’s stockpiles.

Haroun did not mention any U.S. involvement in his weapons dealings.

However, last March the New York Times reported the CIA had worked with rebel commanders to coordinate the shipment of arms to the Syrian rebels since early 2012.

Last year, Business Insider alleged a connection between Stevens and a reported September shipment of SA-7 MANPADS and rocket-propelled grenades from Benghazi to Syria through Turkey.

Syrian rebels then reportedly began shooting down Syrian military helicopters with SA-7s.

Stevens’ last meeting on the night of the Benghazi attack was with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin.

One source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi “to negotiate a weapons transfer in an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists.”

‘Largest weapons shipment’

Fox News may find another one of its exclusive reports vindicated.

In October 2012, Fox News reported the Libyan-flagged vessel Al Entisar, which means “The Victory,” was received in the Turkish port of Iskenderun, 35 miles from the Syrian border, just five days before Stevens was killed.

Read more at WND

The Deception Marathon of Benghazigate/Bostongate – a Conspiracy?

20130620_BENGHAZI_BOSTON_CONSPIRACY_LARGEby JIM HORN:

We need to demand that Congress investigate deeper into the cause behind the Islamist terrorist bombing in Boston. Investigate the reasons why Benghazi was attacked by Islamist terrorists. What was really going on in Benghazi that Clinton and Obama are so desperate to bury?  There are links tying them together.  Some dot connecting is done here.

The Obama administration, bereft of moral clarity and decency, is demonstrably among the least trustworthy and most corrupt and corrupted administrations this country has ever experienced.  There may be people who will disagree with this assessment because cognitive skills do happen to escape some people.  The buck really must stop at Obama’s desk.

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Leon Panetta, and dozens more worked tirelessly not to solve the Benghazigate incident, but instead to cover it up; and it is now apparent that the same Obama crew are busily covering up certain aspects or threads linking Benghazi to the Boston jihadi (dare I use the forbidden term, Islamist terrorist) attack.

Four people were slaughtered by Shiia Iranian-backed Ansar Al Sharia Islamist jihadis in Benghazi while Obama, Clinton, and dozens of others lied, blaming the “Innocence of Muslims” video trailer that had been posted on the internet for several months without notice.  Clearly the lies of Obama, Clinton, and others remain an intentional attempt to blame innocent people for the terrorist attack committed by an al Qaeda affiliate, and to cover for other nefarious activities.

Reportedly, the Islamist terrorist action at Benghazi took the CIA by surprise. That’s no shock.  The handicapped CIA is inept in gathering and analyzing meaningful on-the-ground intelligence.  The causes of the CIA’s ineptitude are discussed in detail in the (censored by the CIA) book Experiencing Islam and Becoming Islam-Aware.

Apparently, the clandestine operations side of the CIA was heavily involved in the illegal acquisition of weapons from terrorist al Qaeda affiliates in Libya and shipped them to al Qaeda Sunni terrorists in Syria via Turkey.  Of course, we taxpayers paid the bill for these weapons.  One cannot claim that the so-called freedom fighters in Syria are all Syrians.  Several thousand Turks, Palestinians, Jordanians, Saudis, and others are involved.  The Saudis are their paymasters.

The CIA, which is infiltrated by Islamist fifth columnists, aka The Moslem Brotherhood – who are not kindly disposed towards the USA – was acting at the behest of the Sunni Saudis who hate and fear the Shiia/Alawites who govern Syria and Iran, and much of Iraq.  Obama was aware of all this, as was Hillary Clinton, both of whom may have played active roles in planning this.  They certainly jumped in for the cover up and lied for weeks until mounting pressure forced them to admit their deceit – that the terrorist act was a planned and orchestrated al Qaeda attack.

Americans died, and Obama and Clinton lied.  We should never forget this.

Unbelievably, the State Department even had a contract with al Qaeda affiliates to provide security at the consulate office.  What level of audacious stupidity prevailed here?

There were adequate USAF, USMC, and Naval forces nearby who could have gone in and settled the peace quickly within a few hours.  They were repeatedly ordered to stand down, and General Ham, who was in charge of AFRICOM, was apparently cashiered for whatever role he played.  Why?  Did he have the courage stand up to the Obama crew?

Read more: Family Security Matters

 

Al Qaeda weapons expert: U.S. ambassador to Libya killed by lethal injection

us-libya-attacks_reps_s640x440By Bill Gertz:

An al Qaeda terrorist stated in a recent online posting that U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens was killed by lethal injection after plans to kidnap him during the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi went bad.

The veracity of the claim by Abdallah Dhu-al-Bajadin, who was identified by U.S. officials as a weapons expert for al Qaeda, could not be determined. However, U.S. officials have not dismissed the terrorist’s assertion.

An FBI spokeswoman indicated that the bureau is aware of the claim but declined to comment because of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the Benghazi attacks.

“While there is a great deal of information in the media and on the Internet about the attack in Benghazi, the FBI is not in a position at this time to comment on anything specific with regard to the investigation,” spokeswoman Kathy Wright said.

A State Department spokesman had no comment.

The FBI is investigating the deaths of Stevens, State Department information officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. They were killed in attacks that U.S. officials say was carried out by an al Qaeda-linked group known as Ansar al-Sharia.

A State Department Accountability Review Board report and an interim House Republican report on the attacks gave no cause of death for Stevens, whose body was recovered by Libyans in the early hours of Sept. 12.

The House report, “Interim Progress Report for the House Republican Conference,” said that “Libyan doctors tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate Ambassador Stevens upon his arrival at the hospital.”

To date, no official cause of death for Stevens has been made public, although it was reported that a Libyan doctor who examined Stevens said he died from apparent smoke inhalation and related asphyxiation.

Video and photos of Stevens being handled by a mob in Benghazi were posted on the Internet. It is not clear from the images whether he was dead or alive at the time.

According to a March 14 posting on an al Qaeda-linked website, Dhu-al-Bajadin stated that Stevens was given a lethal injection that was overlooked during the autopsy.

The “plan was based on abduction and exchange of high-level prisoners,” the terrorist wrote on the prominent jihadist Web forum Ansar al-Mujahideen Network. “However, the operation took another turn, for a reason God only knows, when one of the members of the jihadist cell improvised and followed Plan B.”

Dhu-al-Bajadin’s claim of assassination also was copied to the Ansar al-Mujahidin website from the al Qaeda-accredited website Shumukh al-Islam. That site is open only to members, and the claim initially was posted for Dhu-al-Bajadin by a member identified as Adnan Shukri.

The reference to Shumukh al-Islam has boosted the credibility of the claim among some U.S. intelligence analysts. A Western intelligence official said Dhu-al-Bajadin is a well-known jihadist and a key figure behind a magazine called Al Qaeda Airlines.

According to this official, intelligence analysts believe Dhu-al-Bajadin’s claim of assassination by lethal injection appears aimed, in part, at pressuring the U.S. government on its handling of the Benghazi attacks.

The article did not say what substance was used in the lethal injection. It also stated that the State Department had come under criticism for not providing adequate security in Benghazi before the attacks.

Dhu-al-Bajadin said he had more details about the attacks and the assassination, but would not reveal them in the posting.

Read more at Washington Times

Tell Me Again Why U.S. Used Jihadists to Guard Benghazi?

20130503_benghazi_libya_clinton_obama_LARGEBy Diana West:

“I want to ask a couple of questions about the February 17 Martyrs Brigade,” said Rep. Blake Farenthold.

The Texas Republican was addressing the three State Department “whistleblowers” who testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The three witnesses were Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for counterterrorism; Greg Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya; and Eric Nordstrom, former regional security officer in Libya.

When Farenthold introduced this crucial subject into the hearings, he also opened a window into Benghazi that shone light not only on disastrous Western support for “Arab Spring,” but also on the core crisis in U.S. foreign policy.

Farenthold: “Mr. Nordstrom, can you tell me the role of February 17 Martyrs Brigade in protecting the consulate in Benghazi?”

Nordstrom: “Certainly. That was the unit, for lack of a better term, that was provided to us by the Libyan government.”

This already was news to me: The Libyan government provided known jihadists to guard U.S. interests?

On second thought, there is nothing fantastic about this when – or, rather, if – we consider that the U.S. government supported an army of known jihadists in its revolution against Libya’s anti-jihadist former leader Moammar Gadhafi. I say “if” because I don’t expect even the members of the committee to see the “Arab Spring” this way. Uncle Sam’s open support for jihad is an epic scandal that is never even acknowledged.

Farenthold: “Were you aware of any ties by that militia to Islamic extremists?”

Nordstrom: “Absolutely. Yeah, we had that discussion on a number of occasions, the last of which was when there was a Facebook posting of a threat that named Ambassador Stevens and Sen. (John) McCain, who was coming out for the elections. That was in the July (2012) time frame. I met with some of my agents and also some (CIA) annex personnel, and we discussed that.”

More news: Nordstrom seems to be saying that the February 17 Martyrs Brigade actually threatened both the U.S. ambassador and a U.S. senator – and still served as U.S. security guards. This is shocking to read in black and white, although, again, when it becomes clear that Uncle Sam supported the same, exact jihad in Libya that al-Qaida supported, it makes, if not sense exactly, then certainly a pattern.

Farenthold: “Mr. Hicks, you were in Libya on the night of the attack. Do you believe the February 17 militia played a role in those attacks, was complicit in those attacks?”

Hicks: “Certainly, elements of that militia were complicit in the attacks. The attackers had to make a long approach march through multiple checkpoints that were manned by February 17 militia.”

More news: Most media accounts identified al-Qaida-linked Ansar al-Sharia (“Supporters of Shariah”) as the militia manning the checkpoints around the compound that horrible night. Of course, Libya militias seem to be loose organizations with overlapping membership. More important, though, as John Rosenthal, author of “The Jihadist Plot: The Untold Story of Al-Qaeda and the Libyan Rebellion,” puts it, virtually all of them “sympathize” with Ansar al-Sharia. “In fact,” Rosenthal said in a recent interview with me, “in the literal sense of the term, virtually all of the Eastern Libyan militias are ‘Ansar al-Sharia’ – that is to say ‘supporters of the Shariah.’”

Read more: Family Security Matters