On and around September 11, 2012, al Qaeda attacked multiple American assets around the world. The attack that has received the most attention is the deadly attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. But the U.S. consulate in Libya was not the only diplomatic facility assaulted by al Qaeda-affiliated groups in September. Terrorists with ties to al Qaeda’s senior leaders, including al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, were involved in at least three other U.S. embassy sieges in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, and possibly elsewhere.
Statements released by two top Democrats on Capitol Hill yesterday wrongly stated that 5 Americans were killed in the terror attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11. In fact, 4 Americans were killed in that attack: Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen A.
At Foreign Policy’s The Cable, Josh Rogin provides an update on reports connecting a former Guantanamo detainee named Sufyan Ben Qumu to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Rep. Adam Smith, the Democrats’ ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, said today that there is “no evidence” that Qumu was “directly involved.” After a classified briefing on September 21, Smith labeled Qumu a “person of interest” in the consulate attack.
A central tenet of President Obama’s foreign policy platform is that al Qaeda is “on the path to defeat.” The death of Osama bin Laden, drone strikes in northern Pakistan and elsewhere, the Arab Spring, and Obama’s more conciliatory approach to the Muslim world have all supposedly come together to sound the death knell for al Qaeda.
CBS reports this morning that witnesses are saying "that there was never an anti-American protest outside of the consulate [in Benghazi, Libya]. Instead, they say, it came under planned attack. That is in direct contradiction to the administration's account of the incident."
"What's clear," the CBS reporter concludes, "is that the public won't get a detailed account of what happened until after the election."
FOX News reported Wednesday night that a former Guantanamo detainee named Sufyan ben Qumu has been tied to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans. While the details of Qumu’s alleged involvement remain to be confirmed, it isn’t surprising that his name has surfaced in intelligence circles.
The Obama administration has conceded that the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Libya on September 11 was, in fact, an act of terrorism. And intelligence officials suspect that al Qaeda’s affiliate, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), orchestrated the raid.
On September 11, seemingly spontaneous protests erupted in Libya and Egypt over the online trailer for an anti-Islam video that almost no one in the West had heard of. The protests quickly became violent, ending in the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his fellow Americans in Benghazi. Demonstrations against The Innocence of Muslims then spread throughout the world, even as the Obama administration repeatedly denounced the film.
The investigation into the exact circumstances that brought us the twin attacks on U.S. diplomats in Egypt and Libya remains ongoing. Much remains uncertain. But a few new press accounts provide clues that are worth noting. And those clues point to a possible motive for the anti-American rallies and violence that has little to do with an offensive anti-Islam film.
Yesterday, on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, an Egyptian mob stormed the U.S. embassy in Cairo, pulled down the American flag and burned it. In its place, they raised a black banner inscribed with the shehada ("There is no God but Allah, Mohamed is the messenger of Allah"), a pennant typically associated with al Qaeda.