Skip to comments.Consulate Attack Preplanned, Libya's President Says
Posted on 09/16/2012 2:43:27 PM PDT by NoLibZone
Libya's president says he believes al-Qaida is behind a deadly attack in eastern Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. staffers.
In an exclusive interview with NPR in Benghazi, President Mohammed el-Megarif says foreigners infiltrated Libya over the past few months, planned the attack and used Libyans to carry it out.
Wearing the traditional long white robe of men in Libya, Megarif is visibly exhausted when we speak to him at his home in Benghazi. As he describes the ambush on the U.S. consulate that killed Stevens and three other Americans, his eyes water and he drops his head.
"Our friend and friend of all Libyans and all residents of Benghazi and we feel very, very, very," deep sadness, he says.
A steady stream of people files in and out of the soft-spoken president's home. This eastern Libyan city was the birthplace of the revolt against late dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Now it is a neglected place, with few security forces on the street and a flood of heavy weaponry.
Megarif says that over the past few months, foreigners took advantage of the security vacuum and flowed into the country from Mali and Algeria.
I ask if this attack was over an anti-Muslim film that sparked violent protests across the Muslim world. He shakes his head.
"The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous," he says. "We firmly believe that this was a precalculated, preplanned attack that was carried out specifically to attack the U.S. Consulate."
The attackers used the protesters outside the consulate as a cover, he says.
"The intention was there from the beginning, for it to take this ugly barbaric, criminal form," he says.
Megarif claims evidence shows that some elements of Ansar al-Sharia, an extremist group in eastern Benghazi, were used as tools by foreign citizens with ties to al-Qaida to attack the consulate and threaten Libya's stability.
Ansar al-Sharia rejects the democratic process in Libya, and does not recognize the new Libyan government. Only God's law rules, it says. Still, U.S. officials have cast doubt on the theory, saying they see no links between the assault and al-Qaida at large. The spokesman for the U.S. president said Friday there was no evidence the attack was preplanned. Ansar al-Sharia has denied any involvement in the attack.
The ambush earlier this week gets at a deeper security problem in Libya: The government has no control over the heavy weaponry that proliferated during the days of the rebellion. There is no functioning justice system, and Megarif says extremist elements have infiltrated the security apparatus.
"We are working on an emergency plan and exceptional measures to close those holes," he says.
He seems disappointed that an FBI investigative team chose not to come to Libya. The team's trip was reportedly postponed because of the security situation. He hopes the group is still on its way, with more advanced tools to investigate.
This is both a domestic and diplomatic crisis for Megarif. The U.S. is a major backer of the new Libyan authority. Stevens was sent as an envoy to Benghazi during the rebellion before becoming ambassador to the new Libya.
"We hope that this act, as tragic and sad as it was, will not have an effect on this strong relationship, which will only grow stronger in the future," he says.
But finding and bringing the perpetrators to justice remains a challenge. He says about 10 people are in custody but didn't specify if they are Libyan or foreign.
"I think that the atmosphere surrounding Libyans, with the exception of this small group, is a sense of disgust towards this incident," he says. "Their spirit shows that they are ready to cooperate with the authorities to put an end to this danger that infiltrated the country."
The toll of this crisis is evident on Megarif's face as we speak. He is in damage-control mode and expresses deep sadness and apologizes to the American people.
"What is helping ease our grief is what we saw from both the president and the secretary of state: the understanding of the exceptional circumstances that Libya is going through and that this act does not represent the Libyan people nor what they are longing for in the future," he says.
Libyans, he says, should no longer feel they are at the mercy of these armed groups. But the reality is that until the government here exerts control, they are.
When asked if this attack was over an anti-Muslim film that sparked violent protests across the Muslim world. The Libyan President shakes his head.
"The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous," he says.
and yet that pos 0dumbo and his minions including the media will continue to spout the lie that it was ‘ the video”
how many supports will continue to believe it?
I wonder how Carney will respond to questions about this.
Jay Carney and the media palace guards prefer a different story.
So Hillary, Obama, and Rice are all lying!
This is being reported by NPR? Well, knock me over with a feather.
“He seems disappointed that an FBI investigative team chose not to come to Libya. The team’s trip was reportedly postponed because of the security situation. He hopes the group is still on its way, with more advanced tools to investigate. “
“the Obama administration last week launched an investigation into whether terrorist groups had exploited outrage over an anti-Muslim video to trigger an attack long in the works.
But Ambassador Susan Rice said evidence gathered so far shows no indication of a premeditated or coordinated strike.”
“we have an open FBI investigation on the death of these four Americans, we are not going to be in a position to talk at all about what the U.S. government may or may not be learning about how any of this this happened — not who they were, not how it happened, not what happened to Ambassador Stevens, not any of it — until the Justice Department is ready to talk about the investigation that’s its got,”
“So I’m going to send to the FBI for those kinds of questions and they’re probably not going to talk to you about it,” she said.
“But I have to respect the fact that this is now a crime scene.”
I'm sure this guy received a good talking to by our state dept and will have his story straight the next time he's asked.
Lying? heck no, they will just confess to not having “all” the facts yet but still hold to the notion of the video having some relevance.
Another interesting point is this — who has the greater access to information - Obama or the Libya government? We can’t even send our FBI agents over there to investigate because of security concerns. so what is the basis for Obama’s information?
That's because the raghead mob in Cairo was shouting "we are all Osamas, Obama!"
About once a day, they have a RAOJ, then they return to the meme: protest over film turned violent. Our news channels should be renamed PRAVDA USA.
This has been going on for years and gets worse with each passing year. Perhaps the RAOJ only happens to give them plausible deniability - Biased? Who us? Not so we reported the preplanned attack.
Or the alternative: Well, if you know about it, we must have reported it.
If this guy is so very wrong about Libya why does Obama support him?
That can’t possibly be true. Obumbum, Hitlery, Rice, and Carney all said that it was spontaneous as a result of a pathetic video. They wouldn’t lie to the sheeple, would they?
Preposterous is a good word for the 0bowdown administration.
That was my same thought. People on the left listen to NPR
if any at all.
What could the Libya President possibly know about what goes on in his own country?
He needs to listen to some smart people who actually know what goes on in Libya.
People like Jay Carney, Hillary and Obama.
Hillary is not going to like that!
It was a planned al-qaeda attack but the stupid racist commie Obama wants to say it was just because crazy savage Libyans want to kill Americans for no reason.