FOX Report Today: Documents Reveal Benghazi Libya Weapons (Provided by U.S. and NATO) Shipped To Syria

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The Last Refuge, May 18, 2-15:

Today Fox News is reporting confirmation that weapons from Benghazi were shipped to Syria. This affirms one of the essential elements outlined in our Benghazi Brief.

The “Benghazi Brief” remains the most controversial research report we have ever produced. The brief contains over two years of research and hundreds of very specific citations supporting it.

The Brief has also been challenged and with extensive vetting factually withstood all scrutiny. The report, while exhaustive in detail, remains the strongest summary of events surrounding the two years leading up to the Benghazi Libya attack on 9/11/12.

We have repeatedly stated The Benghazi Brief, and ALL of the cited information contained therein, is available for use by anyone who has a goal of communicating the truth surrounding the controversial events.

The Power Point version is AVAILABLE HERE

Read the full report HERE

Read Catherine Herridge’s report:

Read Judicial Watch’s report:

Social media analysis suggests links between Baltimore and Ferguson violence

Baltimore firefighters battle a three-alarm fire Monday, April 27, 2015, at a senior living facility under construction at Federal and Chester Streets in East Baltimore. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Baltimore firefighters battle a three-alarm fire Monday, April 27, 2015, at a senior living facility under construction at Federal and Chester Streets in East Baltimore. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Fox News, by Catherine Herridge, April 28, 2015:

EXCLUSIVE – An analysis of social media traffic in downtown Baltimore Monday has unearthed striking connections to the protests in Ferguson, Mo. last year, according to a leading data mining firm that shared its findings exclusively with Fox News.

The firm, which asked to remain anonymous because of its government work, found between 20 and 50 social media accounts in Baltimore that were also tied to the peak period of violence in Ferguson. While further analysis is being conducted on the data, it suggests the presence of “professional protesters” or anarchists taking advantage of Freddie Gray’s death to incite more violence.

Gray, 25, died April 18, a week after being injured while in police custody. A wave of violence erupted in Baltimore following his funeral Monday.

One account, which also tracked the recent union protests in New York City as well as other disturbances, tweeted photos of Gray’s funeral and used language that seemed to anticipate violence in Baltimore.

The discovery that some social media accounts were tied to cities 825 miles apart was described to Fox News as “surprising.” While it is possible to spoof accounts and make it appear as if someone is in one location when they are really in another, the data mining firm told Fox News that it can’t fully explain the numbers.

The use of social media to fuel violence in Baltimore has already been highlighted by law enforcement. On Monday, police said an online call was issued for a “purge” at 3 p.m. ET, starting at Mondawmin Mall and ending in the downtown area. That type of threat is based on a movie called “The Purge,”  the plot of which involves rampant lawlessness.

The Washington Times also reported Monday that law enforcement intelligence officials issued a warning after someone sent a text urging people to “kill all white police officers” in reaction to Gray’s death. The text has fueled fears that the violence in Baltimore could spread nationally, according to safety memos obtained by The Washington Times.

Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, announced a 10 p.m.-5a.m. curfew would be imposed beginning Tuesday.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Update: Uneasy peace: Social media buzz points to more Baltimore violence as cops, troops keep the peace

Bergdahl’s platoon mates: Head of Joint Chiefs knew he walked off base in 2009

oreilly_catherine_041615Fox News, By Catherine Herridge, April 16, 2015:

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his base in Afghanistan June 30, 2009, and by December of that same year, the president’s principal military adviser, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen, knew those details, according to three of Bergdahl’s platoon mates who spoke to Fox News.

“I asked him (Mullen) if he knew about Bergdahl and that he deserted and he (Mullen) told me that he knew of the circumstances surrounding his walking off,” former Sgt. Matt Vierkant told Fox,”(and) that they were developing leads and following leads, trying to do everything they could to get him back.”

After pulling security duty for the chairman, who was doing a swing through Afghanistan in December 2009, Vierkant, along with Evan Buetow and Cody Full, said they met informally with Mullen and about eight other soldiers. After a pep talk about the mission, the three said Mullen asked the squad leaders and platoon leadership to take a break.

“He sat down with all the lower enlisted guys and the team leaders and basically he said, ‘Hey, what do you want to know…You got any questions? He’s like, I’m an open book. Let’s just have a little question and answer session,” Buetow explained.

“So Matt asked him, you know Bergdahl deserted, what’s going on with that? And Admiral Mullen said, ‘Yes, we know all the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl walking away from the OP (outpost,)and we’re still working on getting him back, figuring out where he is and kind of figuring out that whole situation.’”

This account was backed up by a third platoon mate, former Specialist Cody Full. The men were split on whether Mullen singled them out because of the Bergdahl connection or whether it was a chance meeting, but they emphasized that at the time, they appreciated the fact that Mullen seemed to speak candidly and openly.

“I don’t remember him being taken aback by it at all, you know, he knew what was going on, he answered not confidently but he didn’t have to think about it, he didn’t want to give us some political answer,” Buetow explained. “He just gave us an answer.

Asked if there was any ambiguity based on the conversation, Vierkant said no. “Without a doubt, he (Mullen) knew he (Bergdahl) deserted or, you know, was suspected of desertion. There was no doubt in my mind that he fully understood what Bergdahl did.”

The three said they felt relieved, and grateful to Mullen for the conversation.

The men’s account is significant because Mullen reported directly to President Obama and then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and the reported admission comes a full four and a half years before National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Bergdahl served honorably and his parents were called to the White House for a Rose Garden ceremony after he had been swapped for five Taliban commanders.

“If Mullen knew, and now it’s alleged that he did know, it would be, it would be unthinkable that he didn’t pump this up the chain of command, his chain of command, or, tell the president directly,” Brad Blakeman who served in the Bush White House, explained. “At a minimum, this would have been included in the president’s daily brief, and at a maximum, it would’ve been told directly to the President by Mullen.”

In a statement to Fox News, Mullen said, “From the moment Sgt. Bergdahl went missing, the U.S. Military was focused on finding him–as it does with any serviceman or woman who goes missing. The exact circumstances were not known then, nor did they drive our decisions. We do not leave our people behind.”

Fox has extended an open invitation to the Admiral to explain his recollection of events during the 2009 trip, what he knew in December 2009 about the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s capture, and whether he told anything to the president and defense secretary, or if the circumstances were already well understood at senior levels of the White House.

A military official who was travelling with Mullen during the 2009 Afghanistan trip confirmed Bergdahl’s teammates did pull security during a leg of the trip,

While not commenting on the claims that they met informally with Mullen, the official said it was common practice for Mullen to ask leadership to take a break so that he could speak directly and candidly with soldiers.

“I want to ask him (Mullen) did they brief the White House? Who knew about it and why would you still do this trade knowing all the information that you knew?” Vierkant said. “We don’t leave anyone behind. The thing is, we never left him (Bergdahl) behind. He left us behind. He chose to walk off and do whatever and get captured, that was his fault. Those were his choices.”

Bergdahl has not been convicted of any charges, but faces a military court martial in the summer.

U.S. Backed Rebel Reportedly Leads Islamic State in Libya

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CSP, by Kyle Shideler, March 2, 2015: 

Major news out of Libya as  the former head of the Al Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and a major player in the U.S.-backed overthrow of Mummar Gaddafi, has reportedly joined the Islamic State and is leading its forces there. This according to The Blaze National Security journalist Sara Carter on twitter, and Fox News’ Catherine Herridge in a Fox News report.

Belhadj’s ties to Al Qaeda were controversial during the run up to U.S. airstrikes in support of the Libyan rebels, but this did not prevent him from maintaining a high profile at the time, including being made head of the Tripoli Military Council, a position he held until resigning to run for office in May 2012. Belhadj has a reputation for involvement in the international jihad has well, playing a role in the 2004 Madrid training bombings, and accused by investigators of being involved in the murder of two Tunisian politicians at behest of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Islamic State fighters landed in Libya back in November of 2014, and have been at work establishing training camps in the Libyan city of Derna before launching a terror offensive which included an attack on a Libyan hotel, attacks on oil field workers, and the execution of 21 Copts in a graphic video which made international headlines.

If Belhadj has gone over to Islamic State, it will represent a major boost to IS’ efforts to co-opt and bring in Libya’s existing jihadist forces under their banner, which now reportedly includes as many as 3,000 fighters.   BelHadj’s forces play a significant role in the Islamist “Libyan Dawn” coalition (which includes the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda’s Ansar al-Sharia), which currently holds Tripoli, and which claims to be the rightful government in opposition to the UN recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni.

Libyan Dawn supporters have repeatedly blamed Anti-Islamist general Khalifa al Haftar for the terror attacks of the Islamic State, including on the hotel residence of the Libyan Dawn prime minister, so there is reason to believe that if a binary choice develops between Belhadj and Haftar (who was recently made Commander and Chief of the Al-Thinni government forces), the Islamist factions will chooses Belhadj.

This would represent a major coup for the Islamic State, whose global strategy requires the incorporation of pre-established jihadist groups to bolsters their claim to Caliphate status and take additional territory, thus reinforcing their religious and legal authority, and attracting additional recruits.

Also see:

Brother in Paris massacre met with American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen

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Fox News, By , January 12, 2015:

Exclusive: Said Kouachi, one of the two brothers who massacred the staff at Charlie Hebdo, met with the American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in 2011 in Yemen at an Al Qaeda camp east of the capital Sana’a, a Yemeni government official briefed on the terrorist investigation told Fox News.

The Yemeni official, who is not authorized to speak on the record, confirmed the 34-year-old Kouachi came to Yemen in 2011 to study at an Islamic institute and Arabic language center – the same center where John Walker Lindh, an American and Muslim convert arrested as an enemy combatant in Afghanistan, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutullab, also known as the “underwear bomber,” both studied.

While the investigation is still ongoing, the official said there is thus far no evidence Said and the underwear bomber knew each other.

The Yemeni official said Kouachi came to Yemen on a visa to study, but was kicked out of the institute, in part because he failed to show up for class.

In the spring or summer of 2011, al-Awlaki had moved out of the capital of Sana’a to the Al Qaeda camps for security reasons.

Al-Awlaki was the “talent spotter” for Al Qaeda in Yemen and, according to US government sources, the head of their external operations – including terror plotting. The training camp was described as makeshift, and “like roving bandits.”

Significantly, after he met with al-Awlaki, the Yemeni government official said there is no record Said Kouachi ever returned to Yemen, and they had no inquiries from the French or American intelligence services about the brother’s time in Yemen, suggesting the trip was successfully kept below the radar.

“This is the first significant foreign fighter case that we have seen where they travel to Yemen and back, trained under al-Awlaki,”  Mike McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News. “One of the brothers actually funneled fighters to Al Qaeda in Iraq, which is a precursor to ISIS.”  McCaul was referring to the younger brother, Cherif Kouachi.

Fox News has been told that the evidence increasingly points to the involvement of a foreign terrorist organization either inspiring or directing the attack. Less than an hour after the attack, Fox News was first to report on a series of tweets accompanied by images of three Al Qaeda members – Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda in Pakistan, and two American members of AQAP who were both killed in U.S. drone strikes, Samir Khan and al-Awlaki – went out, raising more suspicions the attack was an Al Qaeda plot.

Fox’s ongoing reporting on Al Qaeda in Yemen has shown that in October 2002 the cleric was in federal custody, and despite an outstanding warrant for his arrest on passport fraud, was released on the say-so of FBI Agent Wade Ammerman.

Shortly after al-Awlaki re-entered the US, he showed up in Ammerman’s investigation of Ali al-Timimi whose conviction is on appeal. In an August 2013 interview with Fox News, the outgoing director of the FBI did not deny there was an effort by the bureau to work with, and even recruit, the cleric as an asset.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

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Money Jihad has this: Kouachi brothers’ weapons trail leads to AQAP

Yemini intelligence has confirmed that both Said and Cherif Kouachi travelled to Yemen by way of Oman and received marksmanship training after meeting with deceased terrorist imam Anwar al-Awlaki between July and August of 2011. (French authorities have said earlier that one of the brothers also traveled to Yemen in 2005.) From Reuters:

…”These two brothers arrived in Oman on July 25, 2011, and from Oman they were smuggled into Yemen where they stayed for two weeks,” a senior Yemeni security official, who declined to be named, said.

“They met (al Qaeda preacher) Anwar al-Awlaki and then they were trained for three days in the deserts of Marib on how to fire a gun. They returned to Oman and they left Oman on Aug. 15, 2011 to go back to France.”

A senior Yemeni intelligence source confirmed the brothers had entered Yemen via Oman in 2011, citing the ease with which they entered while the security forces were focused on the Arab Spring protests that were convulsing the country at the time.

The source also confirmed the brothers had met Awlaki “and trained in Wadi Abida,” – which is between Marib and Shabwa provinces where Awlaki was known to move freely…

But the tale of the weapons trail doesn’t end there. During their attacks in Paris last week, the Kouachi brothers had AK-47s, a rocket propelled grenade launcher, and 10 smoke grenades among other military-grade weapons. One expert has theorized that the Kouachi sleeper cell was simply waiting for these weapons until they could activate for the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Many of the firearms on the black market in France are sold by the Italian mafia and originate from the Balkans (and perhaps Libya), but illegal online weapons purchases in France are on the rise, too. Keeping in mind that neither of the Kouachi brothers had full-time jobs, and that even just their two Kalashnikovs would have cost about $3,000, it is unlikely they were able to fund these purchases on their own without external help. Cherif Kouachi said before his death that he had been financed by AQAP.

One wonders when France will begin air strikes against AQAP targets in Yemen.

34-year-old Paris suspect directly linked to Al Qaeda training camp in Yemen

Brothers Cherif Kouachi, (l.), and Said Kouachi, (r.), are suspects in the deadly attack on a French satirical magazine in Paris. (AP) (Judicial Police of Paris)

Brothers Cherif Kouachi, (l.), and Said Kouachi, (r.), are suspects in the deadly attack on a French satirical magazine in Paris. (AP) (Judicial Police of Paris)

Fox News, by Catherine Herridge, Jan.8, 2015:

One of the two brothers suspected of gunning down 12 people in an attack on a Paris-based satirical magazine traveled to Yemen in 2011 and had direct contact with an Al Qaeda training camp, according to U.S. government sources.

Fox News is told the investigators have made it a priority to determine whether he had contact with Al Qaeda in Yemen’s leadership, including a bomb maker and a former Guantanamo Bay detainee.

Both Said Kouachi, 34, who is known to have gone to Yemen, and his brother, Cherif Kouachi, who served time in France on a terrorism conviction, were on a U.S. no-fly list, sources confirmed. The new information shows both suspects, who were still being hunted Thursday night, had ties to Al Qaeda affiliates, one in Yemen and the other in Iraq.

“AQAP (Al Qaeda’s Arabian Peninsula affiliate) has been the real force within Al Qaeda that’s always been focused on external operations against the West and the United States – the most committed to doing this,” Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News. McCaul has been getting regular briefings about the Paris attack.

“This would be one of the more real successes that they’ve have had if it turns out to be true.”

While there has been no credible claim of responsibility for the attack, Fox News was told that the evidence increasingly points to the likely involvement of a foreign terrorist organization — either inspiring or directing the attack. Less than an hour after the attack, a series of tweets accompanied by images of three Al Qaeda members – Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda in Pakistan, and two American members of AQAP who were both killed in U.S. drone strikes, Samir Khan and Anwar al-Awlaki – went out, raising more suspicions the attack was a possible Al Qaeda plot.

The Twitter account is well known in counter-terrorism circles and linked to AQAP.

Even as French authorities focused an intense manhunt on a vast forest north of Paris, other details about the Kouachis were trickling out, painting a picture of alienated brothers, sons of Algerian immigrants who later died. Experts who viewed cellphone video of their escape from Wednesday’s rampage told FoxNews.com it was apparent they’d had training, citing such examples as the way the laid down cover fire for each other and their commando-style flight in a getaway car.

Here’s what is known about Cherif and Said Kouachi:

— They were born in Paris’ 10th Arrondissement (district) to parents of Algerian origin, but reportedly grew up in a secular home.

— They are believed to have lost their parents, and grew up as orphans, with Cherif bouncing around foster homes in the city of Rennes, in the Brittany region of western France.

— Cherif trained to be a fitness instructor, and eventually both brothers returned to Paris as adults.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Also see:

Evidence in Sony hack attack suggests possible involvement by Iran, China or Russia, intel source says

cyyber attackFox News, By Catherine Herridge, December 18, 2014

The U.S. investigation into the recent hacking attack at Sony Pictures Entertainment has turned up evidence that does not point to North Korea as the “sole entity” in the case, but rather, raises the possibility that Iran, China or Russia may have been involved, an intelligence source told Fox News on Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, Fox News confirmed that the FBI is pointing a digital finger at North Korea for the attack.

The source pointed to the sophistication of malware “modules or packets” that destroyed the Sony systems — on a level that has not been seen from North Korea in the past — but has been seen from Iran, China and Russia.

There is no evidence of a forced entry into the Sony systems, pointing to an insider threat or stolen credentials. And the first emails sent to Sony, described as blackmail or extortion, included demands unrelated to the movie.

The malware had two destructive threads, the source said: it overwrites data and it interrupts execution processes, such as a computer’s start-up functions. After the initial attack, the FBI warned the industry that the malware can be so destructive that the data is not recoverable or it is too costly a process to retrieve. The intelligence source added that the forensic evidence suggests that the final stage of the attack was launched outside North Korea’s borders — creating some plausible deniability.

“Given the destructive efforts or effects of this attack, we’re treating this as a national security matter, and as such, members of the president’s national security team have been in regular meetings regarding this attack,” State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Also, Fox News has learned that U.S. security firms were first notified Monday by the U.S. government that they planned to publicly blame North Korea, which is inconsistent with past practice, as the U.S. government often has chosen to work behind the scenes in similar instances.

The White House declined earlier Thursday to directly blame North Korea for the attack, though Press Secretary Josh Earnest referred to the incident as a “serious national security matter.”

The case is “being treated as seriously as you’d expect,” Earnest told reporters at an afternoon briefing. He added that the White House would allow the investigation to move forward before speculating about a response.

“There is evidence to indicate that we have seen destructive activity with malicious intent that was initiated by a sophisticated actor,” Earnest said. “And it is being treated by those investigative agencies both at the FBI and the Department of Justice as seriously as you would expect.”

The North Korean link came shortly after Sony canceled plans for its Dec. 25 release of “The Interview,” a comedy about the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.  Getting Sony to pull the release of the movie had been one of the hackers’ public demands.

Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attack originated outside North Korea, but believe the individuals behind it were acting on orders from the North Korean government.

While the U.S. government is unlikely to issue formal charges against North Korea or its leadership, a formal announcement of North Korea’s involvement is likely to come Thursday.

The Sony hack attack is “deeply worrying” to the intelligence community because it is believed to be the first time destructive malware has targeted a U.S. firm, according to the Fox News source, who added that the cyber assault is seen as “retribution” for “The Interview.”

Fox News is told that the malware used in the Sony hack attack has two destructive threads: it overwrites data and it interrupts execution processes, such as a computer’s start-up functions. The FBI warns that the malware can be so destructive that the data is not recoverable or it is too costly a process to retrieve.

It is not clear how long the malware needs to be in the system before it brings on an almost complete paralysis. In the case of Sony, support functions — including emails –were knocked off-line, seen as a distraction while the more destructive attack was launching.

This week North Korea’s state-run media KCNA endorsed the Sony hacking, saying it was done by “sympathizers.” Andrei Lankov, an expert on North Korea who writes a column for The Korea Times, says this is as close to an endorsement as possible.

Another expert noted “ambiguity of attribution and guerilla-warfare approach” are the tactics of North Korea. The expert concluded it will be seen that America is vulnerable to blackmail and North Korea will try it again.

Fox News has also been told, however, there was “zero” chance there would have been any actual attacks on theaters.”

“Sony was stupid to make a movie about killing Kim Jung-un,” Lankov said, “but it was even more stupid to cave in to pressure.”

A Steve Carell “paranoid” thriller “that was to be set in North Korea” also has been scrapped, sources say. The project from director Gore Verbinski and writer Steve Conrad wasn’t yet titled, though industry outlets said the working title was “Pyongyang,” which is the North Korean capital.

“Sad day for creative expression,” Carell tweeted Wednesday evening, adding “#fear eats the soul” as a hashtag.

In an interview with ABC News aired Wednesday, President Obama encouraged Americans to go to the movies.

The Sony hacking saga took a sinister turn on Tuesday when hackers sent a message threatening to target theaters showing “The Interview” in a 9/11-type attack.

Sony then told theaters they will not be penalized should they choose not to show it.

A representative for the FBI Los Angeles Field Office told FOX411 that the bureau is “aware of the recent threats and continues to work collaboratively with our partners to investigate.”

Security experts told Fox that in the wake of the Sydney siege and the release of the CIA enhanced interrogation report last week, it was crucial the threat be taken seriously by authorities.

“This threatening statement obviously has some foundation and may be linked to current global hostilities toward the West and predominantly the U.S.,” said Lee Oughton, global security and risk management expert. “We are still unaware how deep the hackers were able to penetrate into the Sony systems. Only time will tell how much information they were able to ascertain and what price Sony will pay in the international market.”

Actors James Franco and Seth Rogen already canceled all media appearances promoting their film.

Fox News’ Greg Palkot, Lucas Tomlinson, Hollie McKay and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Also see:

 

Leading Republican wants Senate to join House probe of Benghazi attack

Sept. 11, 2012: A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames. (Reuters)

Sept. 11, 2012: A protester reacts as the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames. (Reuters)

By Catherine Herridge, Pamela Browne:

A leading Republican wants to expand the House investigation into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack by adding a Senate probe, as a new House Intelligence Committee report Friday concluded that the initial CIA assessment found no demonstrations prior to the assault and a primary purpose of the CIA operation in eastern Libya was to track the movement of weapons to Syria.

The report described the attack as “complex” with the attackers affiliated with Al Qaeda. It also said the initial CIA assessment concluded there were no demonstrations outside the State Department Consulate in Eastern Libya.

Referring to the House Select committee Chairman, and the Democratic ranking member, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, said the current House investigation should be expanded.

“(Republican) Trey Gowdy and (Democrat) Elijah Cummings have done a good job,” he said. “I can’t imagine the U.S. Senate not wanting to be a part of a joint select committee. We’ll bootstrap to what you’ve done, but we want to be part of discussion,” Graham told Fox News. “What I would suggest to (incoming Senate majority leader) Mitch McConnell is to call up Speaker Boehner and say ‘Listen, we want to be part of this’.”

Graham, along with his two Republican colleagues, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, have been outspoken advocates of a special investigation, because they say then-acting director of the CIA Mike Morell misled them about his role in crafting the so-called media talking points that blamed an opportunistic protest gone awry for the assault.

“Number one, Mike Morrell misled three senators,” Graham said of their November 2012 meeting on Capitol Hill, where Morell accompanied then UN Ambassador Susan Rice to explain her flawed explanation on national television five days after the attack.

“I think it’s important that for future CIA personnel to understand, that if you come to Congress and you’re asked a question and you give a deceptive answer, you tell half the story, not the entire story, you play word games, it will follow you and will be unacceptable,” Graham said.

On Friday, with little fanfare, the House Intelligence Committee released the findings of its two year, bi-partisan investigation into the terrorist attack. The 37 page report found that the first, internal CIA assessment was accurate — that no protests were involved — but then-CIA Director David Petraeus, Morell and the administration latched onto information that supported the flawed demonstration scenario.

Fox News was first to report on September 17, 2012, one day after Rice’s controversial Sunday talk show appearances, that there were no protests when the attack unfolded.

“One day after the assault, on 9/12/12, the first CIA assessment about the attacks, a September 12th Executive update, said ‘the presence of armed assailants from the incident’s outset suggests this was an intentional assault and not the escalation of a peaceful protest,” investigators found.  And while intelligence gaps remain, “No witness has reported believing at any point that the attacks were anything but terrorist acts,” the report added.

On Saturday September 14, 2012, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes wrote in an email titled “PREP CALL with Susan,” that one of the goals for the administration’s public statements should be “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy.”  The House report says these conclusions were “incorrect.”

Judicial Watch, not Congress, obtained the Rhodes email as the result of a federal lawsuit.

The Obama White House did not move away from the protest explanation for the attack that killed four Americans – Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals and CIA contractors Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty – until September 20, when then White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters ‘It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” and the State Department did the same much later.

The report found the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs made three “substantive” changes to the talking points that included the removal of references to Al Qaeda and swapping the word “attacks” with “demonstrations.”  It is not clear from the publicly available, and heavily redacted emails exactly who made the changes and who directed them, since the CIA public affairs office would be unlikely to make these changes unilaterally.

When Morell retired from the CIA last year, he told The Wall Street Journal he hoped to advise a presidential campaign, with anonymous sources telling the paper Morell was close to HillaryClinton. Morell now works as a counselor at Beacon Global Strategies, a Washington D.C. firm closely aligned with the former secretary of State. He is also a national security analyst for CBS News. The President of CBS News is David Rhodes, the brother of Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

An appendix filed by Democrats did not find evidence of “political motivations,” and Morell is praised for testifying “freely and openly” about the process.  Four Republicans, including chairman Mike Rogers, concluded “Mr. Morell operated beyond his role as CIA Deputy Director and inserted himself into a policy making and public affairs role….It is simply unfathomable that the White House’s policy preferences, or the concerns of the State Department senior officials, did not factor into his calculation about what was fair.  For these reasons, we believe that Mr. Morell’s testimony was at time inconsistent and incomplete.”

The House report leaves no doubt that the attack drew heavily on “those affiliated with al-Qai’da,”  including AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb), AAS (Ansar al-sharia), AQAP (Al Qaeda in Yemen), AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq) as well as the Egypt based Jamal Network.  As Fox News was first to report, and the committee investigation affirms, at least two long time Al Qaeda operatives, Faraj al-Chalabi, and former Guantanamo detainee Sufian bin Qumu, were significant players in the assault.

Read more at Fox News

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Taliban claim freed ex-Gitmo prisoners visited by members of terror group

TalibanFox News, by Catherine Herridge, October 21, 2014:

The Taliban are claiming that two senior members of the Haqqani terror network recently visited the five former Guantanamo detainees who were traded for an American soldier, raising new questions about the terms of their one-year house arrest in Qatar and eventual release in the spring as U.S. forces leave Afghanistan.

The Taliban statement, first reported by the Long War Journal, claims that Qari Abdul Rasheed Omari, a military commander for southeastern Afghanistan, and associate Anas Haqqani were taken into Afghan custody after visiting the former Guantanamo detainees in Qatar earlier this month.

At least one of the visitors is said to be related to one of the five detainees under house arrest. Charles “Cully” Stimson, who oversaw detainee affairs under President George W. Bush and heads the Heritage National Security Law Program, told Fox News: “We know that family visits are allowed.”

He added: “I would expect that not only those two guys talked to the Taliban Five but others have already talked to them and they are in constant communications, preparing for their eventual return.”

While the Taliban’s claim of a visit has not been independently verified, the Taliban are not known to provide patently false statements. The release posted online alleges American involvement, saying the two visitors were captured afterward.

“While returning home on 12th October after spending about a week both were captured by the American forces in Bahrain from where they were sent back to Qatar and then handed over to Kabul via United Arab Emirates,” the statement says. “It must be mentioned that the above mentioned journey took place under the watchful eyes of America before both men were handed over to Kabul despite the freed Guantanamo detainees being assured that their relatives may visit them unharmed.”

Asked about the Taliban statement, and the reported meeting between known members of the Haqqani terror network and the former Guantanamo detainees, neither the government of Qatar nor the CIA provided comment. Significantly, no denial was issued.

The Pentagon, contacted about the report in advance of Tuesday’s briefing, appeared to be on the same talking points — also offering no denial, and no detail.

“I have nothing for you on that, right now. I’ll take it for the record and if I can get more information for you, I will but I have nothing for you on it right now,”Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said at Tuesday’s briefing. Asked if the Taliban claim was false, Kirby said, “I have nothing for you right now.I’ll see what I can do to get back to you.”

The Long War Journal’s Thomas Joscelyn describes Anas Haqqani as “the youngest son of veteran jihadist leader Jalaluddin Haqqani,” and Qari Omari as the younger brother of Mohammad Nabi Omari, a senior Taliban official and former Guantanamo detainee who is among the five held by Qatar.

“This provides an additional reason the ‘Taliban Five’ should not have been transferred as the younger Omari oversees suicide operations in south eastern Afghanistan,” Joscelyn said.

The five men in Qatar were part of the Obama administration’s controversial deal in May with the Taliban, to swap the Guantanamo detainees for American Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.Critics describe the five men as a kind of terror “dream team” because of their long-standing ties to the Taliban or Al Qaeda leadership.

“I don’t think we [the Bush administration] would have allowed the five to go to Qatar for a mere year under the conditions that we’ve read about,” Stimson said, adding: “I think we would have struck a much harder bargain than that and maybe forced them to stay in custody for five years or longer under house arrest conditions so that we had more assurances than the one-year deal.”

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

West Point report describes Islamic State threat as crisis 4 years in the making

herridgeFox News:

A new report from the West Point counterterrorism center challenges the notion that the Islamic State only recently became a major terror threat, describing the network’s gains in Iraq as a crisis four years in the making.

Meanwhile, Fox News has learned that top aides to President Obama expect the threat from the organization, also known as ISIS or ISIL, to outlast Obama’s time in office.

The details underscore the challenge facing the U.S. government and its allies as the president and military advisers weigh how — and where — to confront the Islamist militant forces.

“ISIL did not suddenly become effective in early June 2014: it had been steadily strengthening and actively shaping the future operating environment for four years,”the report from the West Point center said.

The report said that the “shattering” of Iraq’s security forces in June is a “case-in-point, the result of years of patient preparatory operations.”

The report, obtained in advance by Fox News, was published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, an independent, privately funded research group. It was written by Michael Knights, with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The report pointed to a long trail of warning signs, after leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “re-booted” the organization in 2010. The report said it has developed a “highly-motivated cadre of light infantry forces” since 2012, while launching major attacks like a wave of car bombs across multiple cities that lasted until the end of 2013.

Despite these warning signs, President Obama earlier this year compared ISIS and related groups to a “jayvee team” during an interview with The New Yorker.

The White House has since defended those remarks, claiming the president was not referring only to the Islamic State. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes also claimed earlier this month that the network indeed “has gained capacity in the last several months.”

Rhodes said the Islamic State poses “a greater threat today than they did six months ago.”

Left unclear is when that danger might diminish.

With the Islamic State now controlling large swaths of territory across Syria and northern Iraq, senior Obama administration officials have repeatedly referred to the terrorist army as a “long-term” threat.

Asked if that means that the dangers posed by ISIS will extend beyond Obama’s time in office, a senior State Department official told Fox News: “Probably. Probably.”

The official hastened to add that the U.S. has embraced similarly lengthy time frames in its post-9/11 efforts to combat other major terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that such a view — especially given the success against Al Qaeda in those regions — should not be mistaken for a lack of initiative or zeal in the president’s approach.

The official also stressed that the administration does not see a 9/11-style attack on the American homeland as among the threats the Islamic State presently poses. Rather, the group is thought by U.S. policymakers to threaten Washington’s regional allies and interests, as many administration officials have emphasized in recent weeks.

The State Department source also pointed to the variety of methods the administration is using to address ISIS. These range from “kinetic” operations aimed at “taking their leadership off the battlefield” to online initiatives designed to choke off the group’s financing to diplomatic activities that will stem the flow of foreign fighters to ISIS’ breeding ground, Syria.

“We are also working on getting others to stand up and push them out,” the source said.

The West Point report did detail the organization’s potential weaknesses.

The report said ISIS leaders are “crafting far-sighted political-military campaigns that are resilient enough to survive the deaths of their progenitors,” but their ability to “continually shape and control the conflict will be sorely tested” as the pace of the counteroffensive accelerates.

The Obama administration is currently weighing whether to expand its air campaign from northern Iraq into Syria.

“Although they may boast a deep bench of talented individuals following years of prisoner releases, prison breaks and recruitment, leadership casualties will nonetheless complicate their ability to hold the initiative in the future,” the report said.

The West Point article said ISIS has benefited from the “unpreparedness of its enemies” but such factors “are diminishing.”

“As a defensive force, ISIL may struggle to hold terrain if it is attacked simultaneously at multiple points or if its auxiliary allies begin to defect,” the report said.

Still, the report noted the group is absorbing “whole networks of militants into its ranks.”

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and James Rosen contributed to this report.

US launched raid in Syria to rescue American hostages held by Islamic State

Published on Aug 20, 2014 by Mass Tea Party

 

Long War Journal, By

The US military attempted to rescue “a number of American hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State,” the Department of Defense’s spokesman said today. The rescue attempt failed as the hostages were not at the location of the raid.

“The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by the [Islamic State,or ISIL],” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement released on the Department of Defense’s website. “This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL. Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location.”

The exact location of the raid inside Syria was not disclosed by the US military.

Kirby indicated that top tier US special operations forces, likely Navy SEALs or Army Delta teams, were involved in the rescue operation. “In this case, we put the best of the United States military in harms’ way to try and bring our citizens home,” Kirby said.

Kirby indicated that the military will continue to seek to free the US hostages.

“The United States government uses the full breadth of our military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring people home whenever we can,” he said. “The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.”

The Islamic State is known to hold one American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, who was captured near the Syria-Turkey border in August 2013. Kirby was clear that there are multiple hostages. At least three other Americans, Austin Tice, and two others who have not been named at the request of their families, are known to have disappeared in Syria. A US intelligence official told The Long War Journal that Tice and the other two Americans are also being held by the Islamic State.

The US has launched at least one other special operations raid in Syria since 2008. In October 2008, special operations forces killed Abu Ghadiya, a senior al Qaeda leader who has been in charge of the group’s Syrian network since 2005, and several aides during a raid in Albu Kamal. The Al Nusrah Fornt, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, have named a training camp after Abu Ghadiya.

Military continues airstrikes against Islamic State despite threats

The military’s announcement of the hostage rescue operation took place just one day after the Islamic State beheaded James Wright Foley, an American journalist who was captured by the group in Binesh, Syria on Nov. 22, 2012. A videotape of the execution was released on the Internet.

The Islamic State has threatened to kill Soltoff if the US does not end the airstrikes against the jihadist group in northern Iraq.

“The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the Foley’s executioner said as he grasped the collar of the orange jumpsuit worn by a terrified Sotloff.

But the US military said today that it is continuing air operations in Iraq. In a press release issued by US Central Command, the military said it executed 14 airstrikes against Islamic State “terrorists in support of Iraqi security force operations, using fighter, remotely piloted and attack aircraft.”

“The strikes destroyed or damaged six ISIL Humvees, three IED emplacements, one mortar tube, and two armed trucks,” CENTCOM said.

CENTCOM confirmed that the US military has launched “a total of 84 airstrikes across Iraq … and of those 84 strikes, 51 have been in support of Iraqi forces near the Mosul Dam.”

The US military aided the Iraqi military and Kurdish Peshmerga’s advance to retake the Mosul Dam and nearby towns after the Peshmerga withdrew with little opposition in early August.

Earlier today, US Secretary of State John Kerry referred to the Islamic State as “evil” in a statement condemning the execution of Foley.

Also see:

 

Herridge: Court Filings Reveal Benghazi Attack Had Nothing to Do with Anti-Islam Video

BY: :

Catherine Herridge, Chief intelligence correspondent for Fox News, revealed documents filed by the U.S. Justice Department against Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khatallah hurt the claim made by the Obama administration that the Benghazi attack developed from from an anti-islam video.

Speaking to host Bill Hemmer, Herridge said “Based on the documents, what the government is saying is that there was a conspiracy, it began in the days leading up to the 9/11 attack and that it was coordinated and premeditated.”

Herridge also reported “There is no reference in these documents to spontaneity, or the video being a catalyst, and that is significant given that on her recent book tour, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said that it was entirely possible that some in the crowd may have been motivated by the video. But the people who are filing this against Khatallah say at least at this point was not part of the equation.”

Fact Check: Hillary came up with Benghazi video explanation

Hillary Clinton Repub_CawlBy Catherine Herridge:

Hillary Clinton’s newly released memoir leaves little doubt she was the first member of the Obama administration to publicly link an anti-Islam video to the 2012 Benghazi terror attack – though she does not explain what intelligence she relied on to make the faulty connection.

The former secretary of State and potential Democratic presidential candidate discussed the Benghazi attack in her memoir “Hard Choices.” The 33-page Benghazi chapter sheds some light on events, but it leaves plenty of inconvenient details out.

According to the chronology she offers,Clinton issued the statement linking Benghazi to the video before she called President Obama on the night of the attack to provide an update, suggesting she was the originator of the flawed explanation.

The State Department press release, issued in her name, on Sept. 11, 2012 at 10:07 p.m. tied the death of Foreign Service officer Sean Smith to the video. Later that evening, a mortar strike killed former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glen Doherty, permanently maimed another CIA contractor and severely injured diplomatic security agent David Ubben – all of whom were defending the CIA annex. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens also died in the Benghazi assault.

The accuracy of the mortar attack, three out of five rounds on target, from more than a half mile away in the dark of night in under a minute, required military training, and premeditation according to multiple military and intelligence professionals.

“As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss,”Clinton’s press release said. “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the internet.”

In her book, Clinton makes passing reference to the Sept. 11 press release, and the former secretary of State offers this argument for citing the video:that violence was erupting all over the Middle East and the obscure Internet video was to blame, throwing Benghazi, without credible intelligence reporting, into the same category.

“[The video] was unquestionably inciting the region and triggering protests all over, so it would have been strange not to consider, as days of protests unfolded, that it might have had the same effect here, too,”Clinton wrote. “That’s just common sense.”

But sources told Fox News in late September 2012 that U.S. officials knew it was terrorism within 24 hours and U.S. personnel on the ground in Libya reported a direct assault — not a protest gone awry.

Recently released documents to conservative watchdog Judicial Watch show the Obama administration continues to withhold the full contents of a “media strategy” discussion it had weeks after the attack.

Those emails pertained to a Sept. 27. 2012 Fox News report on how U.S. officials learned the attack was terrorism within 24 hours. The emails were circulated to the State Department and at senior levels of the administration, including to White House communications adviser Ben Rhodes, who also linked the anti-Islam video to Benghazi in a Sept. 14 email.

The administration claims that releasing the contents would have a chilling effect on their “frank deliberations.”

Read more at Fox News

*************

Hillary Won’t Hand Over Benghazi Notes To Congress – 

‘They can read it in the book.’

Truth Revolt, by Larry O’Connor:

 

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton kept private notes about the attack in Benghazi and when asked by NBC News if she would share those notes with the House Select Committee investigating the attacks and the subsequent cover-up by the Obama Administration, she said, “they can read it in my book.”

“They can read it in the book. Let’s see whether this is on the level or not because that really matters to me. I don’t want to be part of something which, in any way, politicizes or demeans the sacrifice that we saw happen there.”

To her credit, reporter Cynthia McFadden ended the report on NBC News by saying, “Of course, there are some who would say it is Hillary Clinton who is politicizing the attack in Benghazi.”

**********

Walid Shoebat has laid out a timeline of events connecting the dots on the genesis of the Benghazi video which points to Clinton and Obama:

Many Fear To Tread Where Benghazi Facts Lead

There is a perfect storm brewing over Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s role. The confluence of events and realities continues to close in around her. Try as she might, the truth is so ugly that her own book may inadvertently reveal some of it. A case in point may be that her account of events on that night indicate that she personally was the one who first decided to link the attacks to the anti-Muhammad video:

According to the chronology she offers, Clinton issued the statement linking Benghazi to the video before she called President Obama on the night of the attack to provide an update, suggesting she was the originator of the flawed explanation.

Up until now, as Shoebat.com has laid out, the timeline of events seemed to afford Clinton a modicum of plausible deniability in this regard. According to then Press Secretary Jay Carney, President Barack Obama called Hillary at 10pm ET and Hillary’s statement pointing to the video was released shortly thereafter. An admission by Clinton that the video narrative originated with her would be explosive indeed, simply by introducing that fact into a larger fact pattern.

Here are some facts as we know them:

1.) The Special Mission Compound (SMC) was woefully short on security prior to the attacks. Clinton herself has conceded that, though has deflected accountability to unnamed security ‘experts’ upon whom she relied.

2.) Muslim fundamentalists in Egypt ginned up anger at the video in the days prior to the attacks. Two in particular – identified by Shoebat.com at the time – professed that exploiting the video was designed to help create the environment for criminalizing speech critical of Islam in non-Muslim countries.

3.) The maker of the video – Nakoula Basseley Nakoula – became a federal informant in 2009 after a plea deal involving a lighter prison sentence in exchange for his help in nabbing the ringleader of his bank fraud scheme operation. Shoebat.com has clearly demonstrated that when that ringleader was apprehended by Canadian authorities, the FBI refused to take him. It can be logically concluded that Nakoula became an agent of the Feds for reasons other than those stated.

4.) In the same month that Nakoula began casting for his video (July of 2011), Hillary traveled to Istanbul, Turkey and chaired the first of several meetings that would constitute “The Istanbul Process”. That first meeting took place on July 15, 2011. It was chaired by Hillary, the Foreign Minister of Turkey, and the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The shared timing of these two events was laid out by Shoebat.com in great detail.

5.) On March 26, 2011, the impetus for “The Istanbul Process” was born. On that day, the UN Human Rights Council passed Resolution 16/18. It was designed to help thread the needle between freedom of expression and being allowed to criticize religion (Islam). Hillary championed its passage.

6.) Barack Obama’s envoy to the OIC (State Department employee) and Muslim Brotherhood infiltrator of the U.S. Government – Rashad Hussain – is intricately involved in “The Istanbul Process”. At this year’s annual summit, Hussain continues to push the same agenda the anti-Muhammad video was supposed to push – an assault on the first amendment.

7.) A Muslim agent who is also an employee of the White House – Mehdi K. Alhassani – was on the distribution list of the September 14, 2012 email from White House Deputy Ben Rhodes, as Shoebat.com reported. The email instructs that Susan Rice is to blame the video for the Benghazi attacks. As someone with Muslim Brotherhood ties (Alhassani was the President of the George Washington University chapter of Muslim Brotherhood front group, Muslim Students Association), Alhassani’s agenda would have mirrored that of Hussain and the OIC’s “Istanbul Process”.

8.) Charles Woods – the father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was murdered in the attacks – relayed that Hillary told him the man behind the video would be arrested. Again, this comports with the agenda of “The Istanbul Process” and the OIC.

9.) Nakoula was ultimately arrested one month prior to the second annual “Istanbul Process” summit in London, as Shoebat.com reported. In the U.S., Nakoula’s arrest was pinned on a parole violation but the not-so-subtle message was that he was being punished for making the video.Note: Re-read item #3. Nakoula’s plea bargain for a lesser sentence in 2009 was not for the reason stated. Again, what was it for? It is known that at that time, Nakoula was beholden to the Feds for something.

10.) Cindy Lee Garcia – an actress who appeared in the video – has come forward to state that Nakoula confessed to her that he is a Muslim, as Shoebat.com EXCLUSIVELY reported.

11.) Barely more than hour prior to the Benghazi attacks, Ambassador Stevens said good night toTurkey’s Consul General, Ali Said Akin.

All of this says nothing about Hillary’s very close Muslim Brotherhood agent and former Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin. What happened in Benghazi is clearly drawing the most media interest in Hillary’s new book. In a very surreal – and rather brazen – development, Abedin has joined Hillary on the tour…

Fact Check: Clinton’s Benghazi chapter has holes

benginternal1615114By Catherine Herridge:

Excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming memoir obtained by Politico conflict with the factual record about what happened during and after the 2012 Benghazi terror attack.

Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who sits on the newly formed Benghazi select committee and the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News before the excerpts were released that he is concerned the administration has not fully grasped the impact of the terrorist assault.

“We know that intelligence analysts on the ground knew instantaneously that this was Al Qaeda and its affiliates who had led this attack. And yet it took an awfully long time — indeed today, it’s still not clear this administration has acknowledgedthe depth and the risks associated with what it means to have an Al Qaeda affiliate actually take down an American [consulate],” he said.

In the limited excerpts published Friday from Clinton’s Benghazi chapter, the former secretary of State continued to defend the administration from what she termed a “political slugfest.”

Specifically, she defended the flawed explanation — used by then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice five days after the attack — that an obscure anti-Islam video fueled a protest gone awry in Benghazi.

“There were scores of attackers that night, almost certainly with differing motives,” Clinton wrote, according to Politico. “It is inaccurate to state that every single one of them was influenced by this hateful video.It is equally inaccurate to state that none of them were.Both assertions deny not only the evidence but logic as well.”

Further, she reportedly wrote that Rice relied on existing intelligence in making her statements.

But former CIA deputy director Mike Morell, who now works for Clinton’s principal gatekeeper Philippe Reines at the D.C. consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies, testified in April that it was Rice who linked the video to the Benghazi attack.Morrell, who still faces allegations he misled Congress over the so-called talking points, said the video was not part of the CIA analysis as Clinton seems to suggest.

Morell told members of the House Intelligence Committee that Rice’s claims about the attacks evolving from a protest were “exactly what the talking points said, and it was exactly what the intelligence community analysts believed.”

However, he said: “When she talked about the video, my reaction was, that’s not something that the analysts have attributed this attack to.”

An independent review of more than 4,000 social media postings, conducted by a leading social media monitoring firm in December 2012, also found the YouTube video was a non-event in Benghazi.

“From the data we have, it’s hard for us to reach the conclusion that the consulate attack was motivated by the movie. Nothing in the immediate picture — surrounding the attack in Libya — suggests that,” Jeff Chapman, chief executive with Agincourt Solutions (now Babel Street), told Fox News.

Chapman said his analysts reviewed postings in Libya, including those from Benghazi, over a three-day period beginning on Sept. 11, and saw “no traffic in Benghazi in the immediate lead-up to the attack related to the anti-Islam film.”

The first reference to the anti-Islam film appears to be a retweet of a Russia Today story that was not posted until Sept. 12 at 9:12 a.m. local time. The translation reads, “U.S. ambassador killed in Libya during his country’s consulate in Benghazi – Russia Today http://t.co/SvAV0o7T response to the film abuser.”

Read more at Fox News

 

Herridge: State Dept Withholding Benghazi Media Strategy Email

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
May 6, 2014 

National Security correspondent Catherine Herridge reported on the planned activities of the new Benghazi Select Committee Tuesday on Fox News.

Herridge said the committee will interview all relevant witnesses including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, something the State Department’s Accountability Review Board (ARB) failed to do.

Additionally, Herridge said new information is surfacing about a 7 page email chain circulated at the highest levels of the Obama administration in the aftermath of a September 27, 2012 Fox News report indicating the intelligence community knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack within 24 hours. The email concerned the White House’s media response to the story and included senior administration officials including Ben Rhodes, John Brennan, and Dennis McDonough. The State Department is withholding the email, citing executive privilege.

According Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell, “this report from Fox News would run counter to what the Obama administration was attempting to put out there as their position. And there was a contrarian news report that didn’t align with their position and they were clearly reacting to it in a way that would help reinforce their position.”

Herridge added Fox News does not know the content of the emails given the redactions. However, the FNC reporter said some of the redactions are curiously missing legal justifications. The State Department is required to provide legal justifications for the redactions.