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The New York Times Whitewashes Benghazi

11:01 AM, Dec 29, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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While the State Department’s designation does not mention the Jamal network’s participation in the Benghazi attack, the UN’s designation does. The UN noted that both Jamal and members of his network are “[r]eported to be involved in the attack on the United States Mission in Benghazi, Libya, on 11 Sep. 2012.”

Jamal was arrested in November 2012 by Egyptian authorities and identified as a leader of the so-called Nasr City cell, which has multiple ties to al Qaeda.     

Jamal is not the only key suspect omitted by Kirkpatrick. Another suspect is Faraj al-Shibli, a Libyan who, according to U.S. intelligence officials contacted by THE WEEKLY STANDARD, served as Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard during the 1990s. According to these same officials, al-Shibli is suspected of bringing materials from the Benghazi compound to senior al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan. Al-Shibli was detained in Pakistan and then Libya. Al Shibli did not immediately admit his involvement in the Benghazi attacks and was subsequently released. But U.S. officials continue to believe he played a role.

There are still other al Qaeda-linked suspects who do not receive any attention from Kirkpatrick. But the Jamal network’s part in the Benghazi story is enough alone to undermine the Times reporter’s claims.

In his Times piece and during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Kirkpatrick claims that the Benghazi attackers were purely “local” actors.

This is simply not true – as evidenced by the Jamal network’s involvement and other pieces of evidence.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies

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