Last night, President Obama defiantly declared that "al Qaeda is on its heels." The president made this claim at a fundraiser at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California.
"Now, four years ago, I made a few commitments to you. I told you I’d end the war in Iraq, and I did. I said I’d end the war in Afghanistan, and we are," said Obama. "I said we’d refocus on the people who actually attacked us on 9/11 -- and today, al Qaeda is on its heels and Osama bin Laden is no more."
The extraordinary thing about Obama's claim is that it was made less than a month after al Qaeda carried out a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed the American ambassador to that country, as well as three other Americans. That attack coincided with the same day--9/11--of al Qaeda's most successful attack again America, which happened 11 years earlier in New York City.
More over, in the same month, al Qaeda carried out at least 3 other successful attacks against American embassies abroad.
"[T]he U.S. consulate in Libya was not the only diplomatic facility assaulted by al Qaeda-affiliated groups in September," Thomas Joscelyn reported. "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."
In Yemen, for instance, Joscelyn noted, "The U.S. embassy in Sanaa was stormed after Sheikh Abdul Majeed al Zindani called for protests, according to the New York Times. Zindani is a known al Qaeda supporter. In 2004, the U.S. Treasury Department added Zindani to its list of designated terrorist supporters, calling him an Osama bin Laden 'loyalist.' Zindani 'has a long history of working with bin Laden, notably serving as one of his spiritual leaders,' Treasury explained. Zindani 'has been able to influence and support many terrorist causes, including actively recruiting for al Qaeda training camps” and “played a key role in the purchase of weapons on behalf of al Qaeda and other terrorists.'"
And similiary, al Qaeda attacked the American embassy in Tunisia. "The assault on the U.S. embassy in Tunis was orchestrated by a notorious al Qaeda terrorist named Seifallah ben Hassine, aka Abu Iyad al Tunisi. The embassy staff had already been evacuated, but Hassine’s mob ransacked American property, including cars and a school."
At last night's fundraiser, President Obama did not mention these attacks. But he did, for what seems only to be explained by political expediency, declare that "al Qaeda is on its heels."