Skip to comments.Former Gitmo detainee and AQ operative took part in Benghazi attack
Posted on 01/08/2014 7:28:54 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Almost sixteen months after the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, we still have held no one accountable — but the roster of terrorists is expanding in familiar directions. The Washington Post reported overnight that Obama administration officials now suspect a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay as being one of the leaders. Abu Sufian bin Qumu has connections to al-Qaeda as well, despite a recent report from the New York Times asserting that AQ had no involvement in the attack:
U.S. officials suspect that a former Guantanamo Bay detainee played a role in the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and are planning to designate the group he leads as a foreign terrorist organization, according to officials familiar with the plans.
Militiamen under the command of Abu Sufian bin Qumu, the leader of Ansar al-Sharia in the Libyan city of Darnah, participated in the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, U.S. officials said.
Witnesses have told American officials that Qumus men were in Benghazi before the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, according to the officials. Its unclear whether they were there as part of a planned attack or out of happenstance. The drive from Darnah to Benghazi takes several hours.
The State Department is expected to tie Qumus group to the Benghazi attack when it designates three branches of Ansar al-Sharia, in Darnah, Benghazi and Tunisia, as foreign terrorist organizations in the coming days.
The Bush administration freed Qumu in 2007 and sent him back to Libya. At the time, the US government was under pressure at home and internationally to close Gitmo and release all of the prisoners detained there. Qumu isn’t the first Gitmo alumnus to return to terrorism, but he may have made himself the most successful at it, at least in relation to terror attacks on Americans.
The Post gives a long description of Qumu’s affiliation with AQ, which started in 1993, and included links to Abu Zubayda, who is still in Gitmo. Qumu got a monthly salary from AQ, discovered in captured files. Thomas Joscelyn has more at the Weekly Standard:
Ben Qumu is one of the original Arab Afghans who traveled to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the 1980s. In the years that followed the end of the anti-Soviet jihad, Ben Qumu followed al Qaeda to the Sudan and then, in the mid-to-late 1990s, back to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was eventually arrested in Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks and transferred to the American detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.
A leaked Joint Task Force Guantánamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment describes Ben Qumu as an associate of Osama bin Laden. JTF-GTMO found that Ben Qumu worked as a driver for a company owned by bin Laden in the Sudan, fought alongside al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and maintained ties to several other well-known al Qaeda leaders. Ben Qumus alias was found on the laptop of an al Qaeda operative responsible for overseeing the finances for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The information on the laptop indicated that Ben Qumu was an al Qaeda member receiving family support.
Fast forward to the present:
An August 2012 report published by the Library of Congress in conjunction with the Defense Department, titled Al Qaeda in Libya: a Profile, identified Ben Qumu as the possible new face of al Qaeda in Libya despite his denial of an ongoing al Qaeda role. The report also noted that Ben Qumu and his Ansar al Sharia fighters are believed to be close to the al Qaeda clandestine network in Libya. According to the reports authors, that same network is headed by al Qaeda operatives who report to al Qaedas senior leadership in Pakistan, including Ayman al Zawahiri.
The reporting on Ben Qumus ties to the Benghazi attack directly refutes an account by David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times. Kirkpatrick reported that neither Mr. Qumu nor anyone else in Derna appears to have played a significant role in the attack on the American Mission, officials briefed on the investigation and the intelligence said.
August 2012 was just a month before the Benghazi attack — which, not coincidentally, took place on the eleventh anniversary of AQ’s greatest triumph, the 9/11 attacks. That makes AQ involvement hard to deny, unless one is really, really committed to ignoring it.
Update: David Kirkpatrick’s report flatly stated that the US did not think Qumu took part in the attack. How did he get it so wrong? Patrick Brennan wonders about that, too:
And second, why did the Times report just a week ago that neither Mr. Qumu nor anyone else in Derna appears to have played a significant role in the attack on the American Mission, based on reporting from officials briefed on the investigation and the intelligence, just a week before the U.S. makes it pretty clear they do think Qumu played a role? A few of the possibilities: The Times reporting was stale, and the reporter, David Kirkpatrick, didnt ensure that the bin Qumu story hadnt changed; the officials he spoke to simply didnt know that bin Qumu was now a suspect again, which would seem careless (for him to relate such a denial from officials who didnt know the whole the situation); Kirkpatrick was relaying a narrowly tailored denial that somehow hinged on the word significant (doing, if he understood as much, his readers a big disservice); or maybe even suspicion about bin Qumu has surged back only very recently.
Shouldn’t the suggestion that al-Qaeda didn’t take part in an attack on the anniversary of 9/11 in an area rife with its affiliates have generated a wee bit more journalistic skepticism?
More important WHO IN THE HELL ORDERED THE RELEASE OF HIM? Time to find out who is killing America.
What a coincidence.
The attack in Benghazi is Bush’s fault.
I said in September 2012 right after the attack the idea of the attack was to blame Mitt Romney and the repubs with collaborating with the terrorist and now it seems to lead back to a terrorist freed during bush’s term.
Yep, it’s just a coincidence.
Huh! I thought the NYT just said that it was the video and AQ wasn’t involved? /s
now suspect a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay as being one of the leaders.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I guess that once he saw the video, he became so enraged that he immediately took his new AK and went to the scene of the attack.
Why am i not surprised?
Jihadists gonna jihad. Who gave the Stand Down order that guaranteed the horrific rape and murder of our Ambassador and three heros?
There was tremendous pressure on Bush to close Guantanamo. He released a few prisoners to take some of the pressure off.
I suspect that this guy would NOT have been free to organize terrorist gangs as long as Kaddafi continued in charge. The terrorists were enabled when Obama came to their aid in his illegal war against Libya.
he was released to Libya in 2007
Bush’s fault (really this time)
Ah, so that’s why Benghazi has been swept under the rug and hussein is now claiming AQ had nothing to do with it. Suuuure, let’s close Gitmo and pat them on the head.
Impeachment File for B. Hussein Obama, aka Barry Soetoro, a documented legal citizen of the Sovereign Nation of Indonesia.
I’m sure he didn’t belong to the core of the core AQ!
(Yes, I will add an “/s”, just in case...)
I know he was released during the Bush administration, but why was he released? There are others who are still in Gitmo. Someone, for some reason, decided that this person was no longer a threat.
RE: Im sure he didnt belong to the core of the core AQ!
That reminds me of what Whoopi Goldberg said about Roman Polanski...
“It Wasn’t ‘Rape-Rape”
How long before we hear some of the lib talking heads repeat that (if this story surfaces)?
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that obammer had paid him to do it.
what civil rights group, what US lawyer, what influential group organization or person who had communications with the psycho's family, tribe, clan, government, or whatever
these GITMO nut-jobs are dribbled back out into public circulation based on some review and circumstance, so who worked this one’s case? AND WHAT DID THEY GET FOR IT?
A lot of these radicals come from wealthy families or tribes
Follow the money
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