Video: Benghazi suspect freed from Egyptian prison after Mubarak fall

posted at 11:21 am on October 2, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

How’s that Arab Spring working out for us?  So far, our embassies are on fire, our Benghazi consulate sacked, and an American ambassador has been murdered — the first time in 33 years that has happened.  These events are not unconnected, as the Wall Street Journal and Fox News report.  The leading suspect, according to US intelligence sources, has become a well-known member of Islamic Jihad and a disciple of al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who had been safely behind bars in Egypt until the US insisted that Hosni Mubarak had to surrender power immediately:

Fighters linked to one freed militant, Muhammad Jamal Abu Ahmad, took part in the Sept. 11 attack on U.S. diplomatic outposts in Libya that killed four Americans, U.S. officials believe based on initial reports. Intelligence reports suggest that some of the attackers trained at camps he established in the Libyan Desert, a former U.S. official said. …

Mr. Ahmad, although believed to be one of the most potent of the new militant operatives emerging from the chaos of the Arab Spring, isn’t the only one, according to Western officials. They say others are also trying to exploit weaknesses in newly established governments and develop a capacity for strikes that could go well beyond recent violent protests in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere. …

On returning to Egypt in the 1990s, a former U.S. official said, Mr. Ahmad became head of the operational wing of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which was then headed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, a physician who is now the chief of al Qaeda. Associates of Mr. Ahmad agree he was part of Egyptian Islamic Jihad but say he wasn’t among its leaders.On returning to Egypt in the 1990s, a former U.S. official said, Mr. Ahmad became head of the operational wing of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which was then headed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, a physician who is now the chief of al Qaeda. Associates of Mr. Ahmad agree he was part of Egyptian Islamic Jihad but say he wasn’t among its leaders. …

Freed last year, Mr. Ahmad is building his own terror group, say Western officials, who call it the Jamal Network. They say he appears to be trying to tap former fellow inmates such as Murjan Salim, a man who, like Mr. Ahmad, has ties to al Qaeda’s Dr. Zawahiri. Former associates of Mr. Ahmad said Mr. Salim is directing aspiring jihadis to Mr. Ahmad’s camps in Libya.

Ahmad was still in prison because he refused to accept the cease-fire and reconciliation offered by Mubarak in 1997.  Instead, Ahmad remained in prison, preaching jihad and attempting to convert fellow inmates to terrorism.  All he needed was a chance to get out — and the overthrow of Mubarak and the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood finally allowed that to happen.

Fox News reports that Congress has become increasingly unhappy over the lack of information they have received on this rise of Islamist terror networks in North Africa, and now they want Hillary Clinton to testify before Congress on how the US has gotten blindsided by it:


The bigger question is this: how many more Ahmads have we released through our haste to push a key US ally under the bus? We’re probably never going to truly know the answer to that question, but we almost certainly haven’t seen the last of them.


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Arab Spring has been sprung.

ConservativeLA on October 2, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Paint a target on him. Period.

listens2glenn on October 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Obama’s catch and release policy…

Bush catches them, Obama releases them.

faraway on October 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM

The FBI is standing by 400 mi. away awaiting verification if its the same dude /

hillsoftx on October 2, 2012 at 11:27 AM

I don’t mind terrorists being released . . . . . as long as they’re dead.

listens2glenn on October 2, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Well, why would savages want to keep savages in jail?

Akzed on October 2, 2012 at 11:30 AM

I’d love to see Hillary grilled by Congress- no doubt she and Bill would figure out a way to throw Barry under the bus. awesome.

BettyRuth on October 2, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Smart.Power!

search4truth on October 2, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Just say’in, a few more “waterboards” and Steven’s would probably still be alive…is the trade off of the killing of Ambassador Stevens and his brave guards, worth a few dozen waterboard treatments?

You and I know the answer…and we know the answer of this administration…waterboarding is worst than the killing of our soldiers and Ambassadors.

Pathetic wimps…Obama and Hillary, the blood of these men are on your hands…may God have mercy on your souls…no mercy here.

right2bright on October 2, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Shocking…

Dopenstrange on October 2, 2012 at 11:34 AM

worst-worse

right2bright on October 2, 2012 at 11:34 AM

This, uh, uh, diplomatic stuff, uh, and, uh, foreign policy, uh, stuff, uh, is, uh, uh, above my, uh, pay grade.

- The Commie

OhEssYouCowboys on October 2, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I suggest we carpet-bomb Libya until all people that look like that guy are dead. If there are innocents, I’m sure Allah will sort them out.

Archivarix on October 2, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I am sure this was covered in some daily security briefing…better check your iPad, I think you missed something pretty important…

right2bright on October 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Just so much catastrophic, bad news…and yet, the public at large doesn’t know, and the race is CLOSE! Just unbelievable. Obama’s foreign policy bore such poison fruit so fast, and if he’s reelected, it will be much more of the same…why aren’t the Republicans SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER??

ellifint on October 2, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Obama’s Arab Spring = Al Queda Parole Summer

portlandon on October 2, 2012 at 11:40 AM

“Uhhhhhh…did I mention uhhhhhhhSama bin Laden is uhhhhh dead?”

-Baraka Obama

CycloneCDB on October 2, 2012 at 11:41 AM

God help us if the O administration gets re-elected. Murders of Americans will increase and the Rule of Law will disappear. O and company have broken so many laws that have resulted in the murders of Americans and foreigners (Mexicans and who knows how many others) that anything we try to do in the future will be questioned at best and possibly ignored in total. If Romney/Ryan win, they will need to put incredibly wise, history-aware, trust-worthy people in place. For sure, the current administration seems to be ignorant of these necessary talents.

MN J on October 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

This is what Obama meant by ‘Spring’?

faraway on October 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Q U I C K…!!!
give Egypt more money!

KOOLAID2 on October 2, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I am sure this was covered in some daily security briefing…better check your iPad, I think you missed something pretty important…

right2bright on October 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Isn’t Obummer still using a BlackBerry?

Bitter Clinger on October 2, 2012 at 11:44 AM

just the Egyptians over turning Jim crow
-braindead black professor

tom daschle concerned on October 2, 2012 at 11:44 AM

So, not only is Obozo’s policies have led to not one, but two Vietnam’s about to take place on his watch in Iraq and Afganistan, but he has also overseen the resergence of Islamic Terrorism at the same time. Wake up America! Before it’s too late. The 600lb Panda Bear in the room is the Chinese who have seen this weakness and will likely test Obambie if he is re-elected. If that goes down it won’t be guys wearing dishtowels on their head in a far off land. That will hit right at home.

Rockshine on October 2, 2012 at 11:46 AM

The sad thing is that I don’t think the American people care. They just think it’s more of those crazy folks in the Mid East and that’s what we get for being there.

Cindy Munford on October 2, 2012 at 11:46 AM

I can’t picture there being any deep investigation into this whole affair, no matter who wins the election. The Pubs, even if they win both houses of Congress, likely won’t want to touch it.

The MSM will say it’s old news; or Republican revenge for being ‘unable’ to get Clinton; or wonder why anyone would want to put the country through it. Plus, every dismal jobs or economic report will generate stories critical of Congress and Mitt if he wins.

I see Obama and everyone else involved walking away not only scot-free but with their hefty pensions and perks intact.

Liam on October 2, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Romney needs to hit that this guy can’t handle anything: economy, jobs, Obamacare, foreign policy, Federal Reserve, and a giant list.

Oil Can on October 2, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Obama has swiftly undone and is going in the opposite direction of the previous admin in regards to terrorists to the detriment of us all.

Obama will be once again protected by the DLSM…

There is no end in sight.

Scrumpy on October 2, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Osama bin Laden is dead, and Ayman al-Zawahiri is alive.

SmartPower!

Christien on October 2, 2012 at 11:49 AM

So, if the suspect is a disciple of Zawahiri, does that mean Zawahiri and the deceased al-Libi were disciples of Qaddafi? Maybe Terp Mole can sort out who was cuddling whom.

Christien on October 2, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Hillary better throw Zero under the buss before he does it to her. You all see that coming, don’tcha?

dogsoldier on October 2, 2012 at 11:54 AM

buss should read bus.

dogsoldier on October 2, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Our President continues to be a daily clear and present danger to the safety of this country and its citizens.

Midas on October 2, 2012 at 12:07 PM

But that guy looks like such a nice guy. He obviously just got out of bed with his pajamas on.

Here’s a thought: Ron Paul for Secretary of State!

kirkill on October 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM

That picture…

/shudder

Kraken on October 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM

BUSHDIDIT

Good Lt on October 2, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Isn’t Obummer still using a BlackBerry?

Bitter Clinger on October 2, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Supposedly his security briefings are downloaded on an iPad that he reads in great detail, between the 8th and 9th hole…

right2bright on October 2, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Mr. Ahmad co-producer of the video…

right2bright on October 2, 2012 at 12:58 PM

White House denied
Obama lied
People died

SparkPlug on October 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Well, you can’t build an Islamic Caliphate without breaking a few eggs. And Muhammad Jamal Abu Ahmad was not the only Islamic Jihad member released after the fall of the Mubarak regime. An article I wrote for Flopping Aces back in 2011 is seeming more and more prescient. From Al’ Qaeda and the Islamic Caliphate:

“Since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, many of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad prisoners have been released, including Ayman Al Zawahiri’s own brother, who has been imprisoned for the past ten years, supposedly in order to gain intelligence about Al Qaeda’s number two. Should any sort of elections occur, the Muslim Brotherhood, with its attendant military wing, the Islamic Jihad, is well positioned to influence, if not control, a new government…Al’ Qaeda and the Islamic Caliphate March 27, 2011

To read the rest of the article see: http://floppingaces.net/2011/03/27/al-qaeda-and-the-islamic-caliphate-reader-post/

ariel on October 2, 2012 at 12:59 PM

May Egypt and Libya destroy Obama and Hillary. It w/b the ultimate irony and Schadenfreude.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

White House denied
Obama lied
People died

SparkPlug on October 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

No, no, no — that was Bush. This is, ummmm, well, uhhh…this is different…

Dopenstrange on October 2, 2012 at 1:17 PM

There’s a gepgraphic element to the increased danger. North Africa is a kelluva lot closer in both distance and transport links to the US. Jumping from Egypt to Libya to Tunisia opens an easy doorway to either France or Italy and thence to the US.Half the people in Tunisia and Libya speak either French or Italian and have no difficulty passing as such. (The family that owns one of Arthur Ave’s (Bronx) best Italian eateries came here fom Tunis)
While the gateway from Saudi through Germany is now constantly surveilled as are the movements from West Africa, a new open door across the Med’s narrows by people able to easily pass as locals is very troubling.

xkaydet65 on October 2, 2012 at 1:54 PM

on how the US has gotten blindsided by it:

The US was not blindsided on it.

The Intelligence Agencies are not perfect but it highly likely that they have warned about the release of very high profile jihadis from Gitomo to North Africa to Arabia and beyond.

These releases were deliberate for the most part.

Think on that for a moment. And yes, Bush did it too – largely at the behest of Condi’s State Dept…

CorporatePiggy on October 2, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Benghazi was Obama/Hillary’s 3:00a.m. call.

It turns out that Hillary was as stupid as Obama, contrary to her 2008 claims.

Schadenfreude on October 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM