House intel chair: We knew “something big” was coming before Algerian hostage crisis

posted at 12:01 pm on January 21, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Did the US get caught by surprise by the al-Qaeda attack on an Algerian natural-gas facility? Not entirely, as ABC News reports. While the US government insisted that AQ has been “decimated,” the House Intelligence Committee had been alerted to “lots of threat streams” about pending attacks in the North Africa region. Unfortunately, we didn’t get enough intel to connect the dots, says Rep. Mike Rogers, the committee chair:

The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said that before the deadly Algerian hostage crisis, the U.S. had several reports that “something big” was coming against a Western target — but not the details the government needed to prevent it.

“Just like the Benghazi event, we had lots of threat streams… There are reports coming in from all different types of sources saying, ‘Something big is going to happen,’” Rep. Mike Rogers (R.-Mich.) told ABC News Sunday. “We didn’t know for sure, for certain it would be this particular place under those circumstances, but we knew that they were trying to find a… Western target, which this clearly was.”

Roger’s comments came a day after the Algerian military forced a bloody end to the four-day hostage crisis at a BP joint-venture facility in the Sahara Saturday. Twenty-nine hostage-takers were killed and three arrested in that operation, according to Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal. One of the hostage takers was Canadian, he said.

Sellal also said 37 hostages of many nationalities died in the incident, some executed by the terrorists with shots to the head. U.S. officials said At least one American hostage was among the dead. Several others managed to escape the facility, but the fate of two remains unknown.

Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case:

Two additional Americans were killed in last week’s hostage standoff at a natural gas complex in Algeria, bringing the final U.S. death toll to three, an Obama administration official said Monday.

Seven Americans made it out safely.

The deceased Americans were identified as Victor Lynn Lovelady and Gordon Lee Rowan, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The official had no details on how the Americans died, and their hometowns were not released. The FBI has recovered the bodies of and notified the families.

A report from the London Telegraph makes it clear how the threat evolved into an attack, or at least how the terrorists managed to arm themselves for their mission:

Many of the Islamist terrorists shot their way into the In Amenas compound on Thursday using the AK104 model of Kalashnikov, which was typically used by Libyan rebels in the war against Muammar Gaddafi.

They brought F5 rockets that also surfaced in the Libyan war, said the security source.

The Islamists wore the same type of outfits that Qatar provided to Libyan National Transitional Council rebels by Qatar – yellow flak jackets with brown patches, known as “chocolate chip” camouflage. The garments are copies of ones worn by Americans in the Gulf war.

The terrorists also employed 60mm gun-mortars used by France and Libyan rebels.

That Libyan intervention in 2011 just keeps paying dividends, doesn’t it?  Instead of focusing on terrorist threats and keeping the lid on North Africa, the US and NATO managed to destabilize Libya and provide arms and operational freedom to the very terrorist networks that want to attack Western targets.  And now we don’t have the capability to see those attacks coming, either.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

House intel chair: We knew “something big” was coming before Algerian hostage crisis

He likely refers to Obama’s famous “very big stick” that Biden talked about.

Archivarix on January 21, 2013 at 12:06 PM

…sure!

KOOLAID2 on January 21, 2013 at 12:07 PM

One of the hostage takers was Canadian, he said.

Why would Canada want to attack an Algerian gas plant?

It is a little hokey to call Muslims citizens of any country. They are Muslims, first and last. I’m glad to lose this “citizen”.

BL@KBIRD on January 21, 2013 at 12:14 PM

The tip of the iceberg.

Deano1952 on January 21, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Didn’t Barry just say something about our not having to engage in endless wars to insure our national security?… So… he means to surrender?
-
On a more serious note it does seem that AQ has found a sudden new boldness to act. Oh wait, that is still part the surrender thing I mentioned above. Never mind.
-

RalphyBoy on January 21, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is my congressman. A few months ago, he (along with John McCain and Miss Lucy Graham) was attacking Michele Bachmann and other conservatives concerned about Muslims with connections to Middle Eastern extremist groups who had access to classified infromation.

bw222 on January 21, 2013 at 12:20 PM

In a Presidents second term (and sometimes the first) the issues of the day are not what you think they will be (immigration, debt, guns), they come from something so obvious but unreported.

My guess is foreign policy blunders of this WH and state debt collapse will be the issues consuming this term.

Tater Salad on January 21, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Decimated means killing every tenth man in traditional rather than modern use. Thus when Obama said Al Qaeda was decimated during the election he no doubt meant that we had killed one tenth of it. Too bad the MSM let people think something else./s

KW64 on January 21, 2013 at 12:21 PM

oba-mao’s defeated Al-Qaeda………. God help us and God Save America

ultracon on January 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM

There is a secret war being waged in Africa that they want to keep secret.

It’s not really secret is you pass through any SF blogs, its just not in the MSM so the sheeple don’t know wth we’re up to there. I don’t pretend to know the details, but we have a lot of guys deployed in several several countries and they are shooting…

CorporatePiggy on January 21, 2013 at 12:33 PM

That Libyan intervention in 2011 just keeps paying dividends, doesn’t it? Instead of focusing on terrorist threats and keeping the lid on North Africa, the US and NATO managed to destabilize Libya and provide arms and operational freedom to the very terrorist networks that want to attack Western targets. And now we don’t have the capability to see those attacks coming, either.

Ed Morrisey

.
All that comes to mind, is:

WE came, we saw, he died!

Hillary Clinton
(with the biggest ear-to-ear grin, you’ve ever seen)

listens2glenn on January 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM

These 3AM phone calls aren’t working out too well, are they?

CurtZHP on January 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Sure was a good plan to overthrow Khadaffy and give Al Qaeda more weapons, land, and influence.

Thanks Hillary, Barack, McCain, ad nauseam.

profitsbeard on January 21, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Obama 2.0
al-Qaeda 2.0

They come in pairs.

Electrongod on January 21, 2013 at 12:54 PM

ah but isn’t it consoling to know the American Intel knew something was going to happen somewhere? Wow.

katablog.com on January 21, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Has anyone seen, or heard from, any of the many Americans who survived Benghazi? I believe the number I last saw was that 38 people got out alive. SO… where are they?

thatsafactjack on January 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM

It’s amazing we found Osama..
Must have been all that intelligence that was gathered prior to The Obama Era.

Electrongod on January 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM

So, they can’t see where the next target is, and they still want to confiscate your AR15 and 20 round magazaines. . Great!!

Red Creek on January 21, 2013 at 1:03 PM

These 3AM phone calls aren’t working out too well, are they?

CurtZHP on January 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Lots of voice mail

BallisticBob on January 21, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Intel failure. Or, a lack of resolve from DNI leadership. Precisely the ones moving into CIA leadership. Gawd! Thanks obummer for the needless deaths of Americans again.

jake49 on January 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

We have to be right every time, or they have to be lucky only once. I think that’s the way the explanation goes. Maybe this is another not optimal situation. Did he get to watch the live feed?

Kissmygrits on January 21, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Has anyone seen, or heard from, any of the many Americans who survived Benghazi? I believe the number I last saw was that 38 people got out alive. SO… where are they?

thatsafactjack on January 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM

They’re probably under some kind of gag order, to keep them from telling anyone what happened there.

Ward Cleaver on January 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Obama supplied the guns for this attack. They are the same guns used in Benghazi. They are the guns used by the people who Obama refused to bring to justice after the Benghazi attack. I don’t know how many of the same Benghazi terrorists were involved, but I doubt they hand their guns in like library books for the next terrorist to “check out”.

Buddahpundit on January 21, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Has anyone seen, or heard from, any of the many Americans who survived Benghazi? I believe the number I last saw was that 38 people got out alive. SO… where are they?

thatsafactjack on January 21, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Did they? My inner cynic thinks that 4 dead sounds a lot better than 44…

affenhauer on January 21, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Given the president’s penchant for violent video games (“Game of Drones”?) it’s not surprising that he did not predict the real-world effects of destabilizing real countries on real people.

His emmisary Clinton fueled these uprisings with her (ironic or literal?) homage to Caesar (“We came, we saw, he died” a remarkable official endorsement of governmental assassination, that more than justified any Al Qaeda action since).

As for “decimation”, following the Roman theme for a minute longer, we can all agree that Caesar Obama has in fact destroyed 10 percent of the enemy forces.

The victories keep coming, don’t they? Syria is next. Once again the remote utopian emperor proceeds on the theory that, after a an unfortunate but historically necessary bloodbath, the right people will be in power, doing the right things and agreeing with him on all matters.

virgo on January 21, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Did they? My inner cynic thinks that 4 dead sounds a lot better than 442…

affenhauer on January 21, 2013 at 2:36 PM

deleted the ’2′ and not the ’4′ from ’442′ – I guess it works under 0bamaMath, though…

affenhauer on January 21, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Here we go again! Benghazi-gate 2

TX-96 on January 21, 2013 at 3:24 PM

So, they can’t see where the next target is, and they still want to confiscate your AR15 and 20 round magazaines. . Great!!

Red Creek on January 21, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Well do to the US Intelligence not being able to pin point where and when, they thought they’d get closer to where by ruling out one nation.

katablog.com on January 21, 2013 at 3:38 PM