Intercepts showed AQ terrorists celebrating success hours after Benghazi attack

posted at 8:41 am on September 28, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, Fox News reported that the Obama administration designated the sacking of the American consulate in Benghazi as an act of terrorism within 24 hours — and several days before they finally gave up arguing that it wasn’t.  The decision to do so didn’t just come from a need to free up additional funds to respond to the attack, which killed four Americans including the first US Ambassador to be murdered in the line of duty since 1979.  According to Eli Lake at The Daily Beast, US intel intercepted a number of communications within the local branch of al-Qaeda congratulating each other for the successful mission in Benghazi:

In the hours following the 9/11 anniversary attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, U.S. intelligence agencies monitored communications from jihadists affiliated with the group that led the attack and members of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb(AQIM), the group’s North African affiliate.

In the communications, members of Ansar al-Sharia (AAS) bragged about their successful attack against the American consulate and the U.S. ambassador, according to three U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast anonymously because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

At this stage there is no consensus inside the U.S. intelligence community that AQIM planned the attack, but the communications are more evidence that the attack was no spontaneous reaction to an Internet video, as the Obama administration had said for the first nine days after the attack.

The intercepts are important for another reason, Lake reports.  The communications show that AAS acts in a subordinate fashion to AQIM, taking orders and reporting upward.  AAS has been a known terrorist group for some time, but like a number of these networks, have risen to prominence after NATO’s removal of Moammar Qaddafi.  At some point, the US and other Western powers might have seen AAS as a counterweight to AQIM, but Lake’s reporting suggests that any PR to that effect would be a fantasy.

Lake extends his reporting on the pre-attack intel, which makes this subterfuge pretty clear:

 Elements of the U.S. intelligence community were well aware of the threat Al Qaeda posed in eastern Libya before the 9/11 anniversary. In August, the Library of Congress at the direction of a U.S. government research organization that focuses on counterterrorism concluded that Al Qaeda was well on its way to resurgence inside post-Muammar Gaddafi Libya. The unclassified report commissioned by the Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office’s Irregular Warfare Support Program said Al Qaeda’s senior leadership “in Pakistan dispatched trusted senior operatives as emissaries and leaders who could supervise building a network. Al-Qaeda has established a core network in Libya, but it remains clandestine and refrains from using the al-Qaeda name.”

The report also describes Ansar al-Sharia as being led by a former detainee from the Guantánamo Bay prison, Sufian Ben Qhumu. It says the group has “increasingly embodied al-Qaeda’s presence in Libya, as indicated by its active social-media propaganda, extremist discourse, and hatred of the West, especially the United States.”

The pieces keep materializing in a steady drip-drip-drip after the nine days of denial from the White House.  They got caught flat-footed on the anniversary of 9/11 in the one part of the world where an American diplomatic mission would be most vulnerable — and they’ve been trying to deny it ever since.

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Kirsten Powers: The media may be complicit in another terrorist attack on America

Flora Duh on September 28, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Come on over to the Dark Side, Kirsten.

You don’t fit the Female Lib Gym Teacher Demo anyway :)

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on September 28, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Have much work to do on my last day of vacation.

But chins up Conservatives and send Mitt some more money.

I just did. And pledge to do so every month until the election.

Romney/Ryan 2012

hawkdriver on September 28, 2012 at 10:10 AM

So basically Obama might as well show up with duct tape over his mouth. I wish Team Romney hadn’t tipped their hand though.

BettyRuth on September 28, 2012 at 10:02 AM

There is a reason he ‘tipped his hand’ BettyRuth. Like an evil teacher who says ‘here is what you need to study for the test’, and then throw s in some surprises. Works especially well when you don’t have a good grasp of the facts at hand.

Mitsouko on September 28, 2012 at 10:24 AM

The Rest of the Story should not be allowed to die.

When the consulate in Benghazi came under attack, at least 37 U.S./Libyan diplomatic personnel managed to escape in the dark of night to a supposedly secret “safe house,” a second location where, according to most reports, they wondered what had happened to their missing ambassador and awaited rescue. U.S. and Libyan authorities were aware of their plight (as was al-Qaeda, but read on).

A plan was made and the Libyans dispatched a brigade known as the Libyan Shield under Captain Fathi al-Obeidi to meet an 8-man squad of Marines, hastily dispatched from Tripoli, at the Benghazi airport. Together they proceeded to the secret location where they immediately came under a planned and waiting mortar attack. One Marine was thrown off a rooftop by mortar fire, two others wounded. Two of the 37 diplomatic personnel were killed and others wounded as the Marines and Libyan Shield Brigade attempted to load the diplomats onto too few trucks while under fire (they were prepared to evacuate only 10 people, not 3 times that number), and call in other brigades with more trucks. As the sun rose, they were able to disengage from the attackers (almost certainly al-Qaeda) and convoy everyone back to Benghazi airport, where transports waited to take off with– not everyone, but the “first group of Americans.”

This story was reported by Reuters Middle East stringer Hadeel Al Shalchi (female, Canadian, based in Tripoli, Libya), and– from the first-hand details provided in the story– is almost certainly the eye-witness account of Captain al-Obeidi. She corroborates his story with that of a Libyan official, Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif:

“A team of commandos arrived by air and went to a farm which we thought was a secret location. Once they got there, they came under heavy fire from heavy machineguns, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles, which resulted in the death of two others.”

He estimated that a dozen or more Americans were hurt.

This is a real story. Journalist Hadeel Al Shalchi is a real journalist, who has reported for Reuters from Egypt during the Arab Spring uprising, and from Syria from the onset of its civil war. And yet, after this story was reported, September 12, nothing more was told. Its as if the Marines and the 37 evacuated diplomatic personnel flew off from Benghazi airport and straight into the Bermuda Triangle. Ms. Shalchi has since returned to Canada for a break (her last tweet was the depressed turn-out of Michigan-area Muslim voters for Obama this year). She’s in no position to follow up on this story anyway. Only the Marines know what happened to the Marines, only the State Department knows what it did with the 37 evacuees.

So… media… anyone… what did happen to them?

de rigueur on September 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM

canopfor on September 28, 2012 at 9:35 AM
canopfor on September 28, 2012 at 9:58 AM
canopfor on September 28, 2012 at 10:06 AM

You are indispensable. See if you can find out. (see above 10:25 AM).

de rigueur on September 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I hope people realize by now, that while Romney could do more, it doesnt matter who our candidate is. The media, will continue to cover up for a liberal, especially Obama. While at the same time, they would attack any candidate we could have.

And I really hate having to “whine” about the media, but when they control the narrative, when they are the ones who decide what the majority of the public hears and what they dont hear, I cant help but complain about it.

There is no way, no how, that Obama would even have a chance if the media reported fairly. This Libya story alone would doom Obama, but in reality, he wouldve been doomed before hand. Yet the media is actually spinning that the economy is really, really getting better now. Though in actuality, we are at risk of another recession.

Note how the media also was quiet on how Obama did not create one net job for 3 years or so. Then suddenly, the media decides it was newsworthy yesterday to promote that Obama finally created net jobs.

It is really tough to win an election, when you have to not only go against the candidate, but the people who control the narrative. I guarantee, most people in this country know nothing about the lies/cover up regarding Libya, yet they know about Romney’s 47% comment.

bucsox79 on September 28, 2012 at 10:29 AM


anybody catch the F..$%^&*()_)(*&^%$%^&*()_(*&^%$%^&*
images of Bi Bi,that were frozen taken,out of context!

What a Sick Lefty World!

Shock Photos of Netanyahu at U.N. from AP, Reuters
2:45 PM, Sep 27, 2012

Two shocking photos coming off the wire of Benjamin Netanyahu addressing the United Nations moments ago.

The first is from the Associated Press:

canopfor on September 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM

canopfor on September 28, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Well, the good news is it is looking like it was Al-Q and not Islam/Muslims. The backlash fear of Americas magnificent Muslims will be lessened and they can focus completely on curbing free speech. They are having a Festerval in Dearborn today to end the hate of free speech as a matter of fact.

[email protected] on September 28, 2012 at 10:30 AM

CNN began reporting this as a confirmed terrorist attack within hours. 2 of their reporters said they even knew of the AQ threats for several days in advance.

Fox and HotAir followed the film meme, and continue to.

Thanks to CNN for following this.

faraway on September 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM

canopfor on September 28, 2012 at 10:06 AM

You are indispensable. See if you can find out. (see above 10:25 AM).

de rigueur on September 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM

de riguer:

His/her twitter below,I’ll do a searchy on the State Dept,
on that!:)

Hadeel Al-Shalchi

Middle East Correspondent for @reuters. Based in Tripoli, #Libya. RTs not endorsements. مراسلة رويترز في #ليبيا.

Libya and Egypt

canopfor on September 28, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Al Zawahiri released a video on September 10th confirming the death of Al Qaeda’s #2 and Libyan, Abu Yahya al-Libi. He called for revenge generally and for Libyans specifically to enact revenge. Of course the attacks on the embassy had already been planned, and the release of the video on Sept 10 before the next day’s attacks, asking for such attacks, is great supporting evidence.

Al Zawahiri’s brother was at the Egyptian embassy “protest” where people were paid to “express their outrage”, according to CNN. The whole thing was designed to look like Al Qaeda has the power to prompt Muslims in general to leap into action. That was Osama’s dream. But the attacks were pre-planned with only a few people involved. The video was probably used as a pre-text and as a way to incite more people.

I’m disturbed that more news outlets do not cite Al Zawahiri’s Sept. 10th video calling for Libyans attack as evidence of Al Qaeda’s involvement in the death of our ambassador.

FreeManOtis on September 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM

The pieces keep materializing in a steady drip-drip-drip after the nine days of denial from the White House.

Hello? MSM? Hello? Bueller? Bueller?

GarandFan on September 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Well,the whole version,isn’t popping up,so,its a shorter

Years of warning about embassy security preceded Libya attack

State Department acknowledged as recently as February it lacked funding for some security improvements

UPDATED 11:50 AM EDT, September 12, 2012

The way U.S. embassies and consulates protect their staffs in volatile locations has raised several red flags in Congress, among watchdogs and even an outside commission in recent years.

The concerns came into sharp focus with the death in Libya of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, as well as an attack Tuesday on the U.S. embassy in Cairo.

While the State Department has responded to some of the criticisms leveled by congressional oversight bodies and its own internal watchdog, its Diplomatic Security (DS) office recently acknowledged it lacked the funding for some recommended improvements, such as security training, and was instead looking for workarounds.

“We cannot sufficiently meet the additional training recommendations outlined in the Secretary’s QDDR (quadrennial review). Therefore, DS is aggressively pursuing on-line alternatives, e.g., distance learning of FACT lessons minus the hard skills (i.e., weapons familiarization and driver’s training) to increase training capabilities,” the department candidly acknowledged in a

February performance evaluation report.

In response to Stevens’s death at the hands of an angry mob outside the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that he has “directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world.” U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said some 50 Marines are being sent to Libya to reinforce security at U.S. diplomatic facilities.

“There is no higher priority than protecting our men and women wherever they serve,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Her department identified embassy and personnel security as one of its major management challenges in its 2012 budget and priorities report.

One of the biggest concerns raised in recent years has been the quality and capabilities of private security contractors hired to protect embassy staffs.

The congressionally chartered Commission on Wartime Contracting issued a

strong warning in 2009,

saying the State Department’s reliance on lowest-priced contractors was jeopardizing security.
(A lot More….)

canopfor on September 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Meanwhile…………..back at the Syrian Goons Ranch…….

Syrians moved some chemical weapons to improve security, main chemical weapons sites remain in place, US defense secretary says – @Reuters

25 mins ago by editor

canopfor on September 28, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Just saw a Rasmussen new poll.Who do you trust more on the economy.Romney 51% Obama 44% Swing state tracking poll 51% disprove of Obama handling of the economy.Yet we are told by the media that Obama is over 50% everywhere and this Benghazi thing means nothing and we won,t even cover it. Call me crazy Something is going on out there i can,t put my finger on it but i feel it in my gut.Just maybe a lot more of the American people are not as stupid as the media thinks they are.

logman1 on September 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

2 US law enforcement officials say that for security reasons FBI agents are staying away from Benghazi, Libya – @AP

6 mins ago from by editor

canopfor on September 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I’m disturbed that more news outlets do not cite Al Zawahiri’s Sept. 10th video calling for Libyans attack as evidence of Al Qaeda’s involvement in the death of our ambassador.

FreeManOtis on September 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Wouldn’t it be ironic if instead of the “Innocence of Muslims” video being the catalyst in the attack against our consulate in Benghazi, it turned out to be the video released the day before by the the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman Al’ Zawahiri, inciting the Libyan’s to take revenge on the US for the death of Al Qaeda’s number 2, who was also a Libyan.

But that can not be admitted, since we have supposedly broken Al Qaeda by killing Osama Bin Laden as well as many of Al Qaeda’s top leadership via drone attack. Hence,we could not possibly have been attacked by Al Qaeda.

Therefore the video released the day before, on September 10, by Zawahiri had nothing to do with the coordinated attack on our consulate on the anniversary of 9/11, even if the attack was carried out by Ansar Al’ Sharia, one of Al Qaeda’s offshoots, after they had been ordered to attack the US interests in Libya the day before by the head of Al Qaeda, their putative leader.

Nothing to see here folks, just move along…

ariel on September 28, 2012 at 2:27 PM

My solution to the middle east:

Open up our base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to all shopper for all their needs except NBC and Long Range attack weapons. Sell to all costumers with special discounts to those with Middle East affiliations.

Set back and wait 5 years. The will kill each other off, because that’s what the do best.

jpcpt03 on October 1, 2012 at 10:10 AM