CNN: Al-Qaeda operatives part of Benghazi attack
posted at 9:21 am on May 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Several Yemeni men belonging to al Qaeda took part in the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi last September, according to several sources who have spoken with CNN.
One senior U.S. law enforcement official told CNN that “three or four members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” or AQAP, took part in the attack.
Another source briefed on the Benghazi investigation said Western intelligence services suspect the men may have been sent by the group specifically to carry out the attack. But it’s not been ruled out that they were already in the city and participated as the opportunity arose. …
If the AQAP members were dispatched to Benghazi, it would be further evidence of a new level of co-operation among jihadist groups throughout the Middle East and North Africa, counterterrorism analysts say.
That might make quite a bit of difference when it comes to the idea of intervening in other civil wars, no? In fact, these particular AQAP agents made their way from eastern Libya after the attack to Mali, where al-Qaeda and its allies nearly succeeded in overthrowing the government and creating an AQ state. Only a French military intervention in Mali stopped the country from falling to the terrorist networks we have been fighting for decades.
And there is also a connection between Benghazi and the terrorist attack and seizure of the natural-gas facility in Algeria this year, too:
Another source briefed on the investigation had previously told CNN that Belmoktar had received a call in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack from someone in or close to the city. Whoever made the call was excited.
“Mabruk, Mabruk!” he repeated, meaning “Congratulations” in Arabic. …
Belmoktar is an Algerian terrorist operative linked to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb who claimed responsibility for the attack on the In Amenas gas facility in southern Algeria in January this year. Some 38 people were killed during a three-day siege there. …
There has never been any confirmation of his death, and one source briefed by Western and regional intelligence officials told CNN that Belmoktar may have started operating in the “desert triangle” straddling the borders of Algeria, Niger and Libya.
Belmoktar is believed to have moved to the region in late 2012 after signs that an international intervention in Mali was growing more likely. Known as ‘the Salvador pass,’ the area is a key transit points for drug traffickers and international criminal groups.
All of this was made possible by the toppling of Moammar Qaddafi by the Obama administration and NATO without making any effort to secure the ground from the Islamist terrorists already known to operate in eastern Libya. Instead, we created a vacuum in which they could seize control, and they did. Now the region serves as a launching pad for terrorist operations throughout northern Africa.
An intervention in Syria would do the same thing in the Middle East. That’s the difference at this point all of this makes.