New Benghazi Questions for Brennan
4:36 PM, Feb 11, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
(1) Did the U.S. government ask the Egyptians to detain Jamal? If so, on the basis of what intelligence? If not, why not?
(2) Has the U.S. government asked the Egyptians to detain any of Jamal’s associates? If so, on the basis of what intelligence?
(3) Has the U.S. government (the FBI or any other agency) been granted access to Jamal? If not, why not? The same questions are appropriate with respect to Jamal’s associates, more than two dozen of whom were captured during the Nasr City raid and in other operations.
(4) Has the U.S. government asked for any of these suspects, Jamal or his associates, to be transferred to U.S. custody for questioning?
(5) Has Jamal been questioned about his role in the Benghazi attack? If he has denied prior knowledge of the attack, why should we believe him? Is there evidence indicating that he did have foreknowledge?
(6) How many of Jamal’s trainees took part in Benghazi assault? Put another way, how many “Egyptian jihadis” were part of the assault team? Has Jamal been asked to identify them? What steps are being taken to locate them? One member of Jamal’s Nasr City cell who was killed during the October raid reportedly was involved in the Benghazi attack. Can the Obama administration confirm what his suspected role was, if any?
(7) What is Jamal’s relationship with Ansar al Sharia in Libya? According to ABC News, Jamal has “admitted to traveling to Libya and assisting Ansar al Sharia, which U.S. officials suspect organized the attack on the consulate that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.”
(8) What other intelligence on Jamal’s relationship with AQAP exists?
(9) What is Jamal’s relationship with Ayman al Zawahiri’s younger brother, Mohammed al Zawahiri, who operates in the open inside Egypt? Put differently, what intelligence has the U.S. government collected on this relationship? (The two both served under Ayman al Zawahiri in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad during the 1990s. While imprisoned in 2007, they both signed a letter rebutting criticisms of al Qaeda’s ideology as well.)
(10) How many pieces of correspondence between Jamal and Ayman al Zawahiri have been recovered by the Egyptians? The same question goes for any other communications between members of Jamal’s circle (including Jamal) and al Qaeda members, including Ayman al Zawahiri. How many total pieces of correspondence have been recovered?
(11) Has Brennan read the correspondence between Jamal and Zawahiri? What is his impression or analysis of this correspondence?
(12) Will the Obama administration make all of the correspondence available to the Senate Intelligence Committee (and not just summaries of the communications prepared by intelligence analysts)?
These are just some of the questions the Senate Intelligence Committee, journalists, and other interested parties should be asking.
Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.