Green Room

AP on Benghazi attack: 150 gunmen involved, arrived in Ansar al-Sharia trucks

posted at 7:24 pm on October 27, 2012 by

The highest estimate I’d seen before this of the number of attackers was 40. Read this piece and think about not only how many people were involved but how organized and deliberate they were, particularly in setting up roadblocks before making their move. Then think about Chris Stevens and the skeleton crew of unarmed Libyan guards that State left him with trying to repel something of this magnitude. This explains why a Spectre gunship might have been needed: There were a lot of jihadis swarming the consulate that night.

The AP spoke to five Libyan witnesses. No one saw any protest about the movie before the attack, but one of them did see Ansar al-Sharia using the movie as a bit of attack theater:

Khaled al-Haddar, a lawyer who passed by the scene as he headed to his nearby home, said he saw the fighters gathering a few youths from among passers-by and urged them to chant against the film.

“I am certain they had planned to do something like this, I don’t know if it was hours or days, but it was definitely planned,” said al-Haddar. “From the way they set up the checkpoints and gathered people, it was very professional.”

The guard said he saw no protesters.

Proof that they were upset over the movie after all, or theatrics designed to bolster a pretext? Ask a terror expert:

Yasser el-Sirri, a former Egyptian militant who runs the Islamic Observation Center in London closely tracking jihadi groups, said the attack “had nothing to do with the film but it was a coincidence that served the (militants’) purpose.”

He believes the ambassador was the target and the attackers may have been inspired by an al-Qaida call to avenge the death of a top Libyan jihadist on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001. But he offered no firm evidence that was the motive.

They wanted to kill Stevens but figured that killing him as revenge for the U.S. strike on AQ capo Abu Yahya al-Libi wouldn’t earn them much sympathy from the locals. So they set up a narrative which they figured would play better with the public, i.e. they killed an American to avenge an insult to Islam by another American. That’s probably why they recruited the bystanders to chant; it was their cover story, to try to win popular support. Didn’t work out for them, but they sure were thinking ahead.

Recently in the Green Room:

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

Allah, did you notice this?

On the day of the attack and the next day, The Associated Press referred to it as a mob attack, based on Libyan officials’ comment that there was a significant unarmed protest at the time. In reporting the following days, AP referred to it as an “armed attack” and detailed its organized nature.

The past week, the AP has gathered accounts from five witnesses, including one of the embassy guards and several people living next door to the consulate compound who were present when the militants first moved in. Most spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals for talking about the attack.

Sounds to me like the AP knows they can no longer keep the lid on this powder keg so they’re trying to do a little CYA.

Flora Duh on October 27, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Damn that movie producer!

The Count on October 27, 2012 at 7:44 PM

The story here isn’t that Stevens and 3 others were killed in a non-optimum way.

One story is Obama’s incompetence and State Dept protocols created a situation where Steven’s couldn’t be saved, and that is likely replicated around the world.

But don’t stop there. The REAL Story is Obama felt no need to secure an embassy after an attack. It didn’t matter who was killed or how many over-ran the place. Obama failed to defend US Soil from all enemies, foreign or domestic, for weeks. A US Ambassador’s diary laying on the ground for days after an attack. Unconscionable!

The weakness was heard loud and clear around the world, and to say I am disgusted with the President’s incapacitation to act, bordering on Manchurian, would be a disservice to the honor of those who gave their lives for something far bigger than the ignoramus who couldn’t save them.

HopeHeFails on October 27, 2012 at 7:44 PM

AP on Benghazi attack: 150 gunmen involved, arrived in Ansar al-Sharia trucks.

Spontaneous unplanned protest gone bad.

This is why they need tougher gun control laws in Benghazi. This wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t bring their AK-47s, RPGs, and mortars with them.

farsighted on October 27, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Pretext. That trailer was up for months. If they were so enraged, they wouldn’t have waited until 9/11.

Blake on October 27, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Sounds like a bit of cheer leading to me. They had it all planned out and they wanted to get their boys good and angry so they told them about how the Americans were mocking Mohammed.

Which still doesn’t excuse the White House’s lack of action that night or reaction afterward.

DeathtotheSwiss on October 27, 2012 at 8:30 PM

The story here isn’t that Stevens and 3 others were killed in a non-optimum way. One story is Obama’s incompetence and State Dept protocols created a situation where Steven’s couldn’t be saved, and that is likely replicated around the world.HopeHeFails on October 27, 2012 at 7:44 PM

That’s the real angle here. All that crap about “why couldn’t they have responded faster, since they were only 500 miles away?” smells like a red herring to me.

The real question is: “Why were they 500 miles away in the first place?”

This was a civil-war-torn country; one of the most dangerous and unstable places on earth. If America is going to have a consulate someplace like that, it should have had a much-larger-than-average Marine contingent RIGHT THERE to defend it.

This massacre involved more than just protecting the idiotic and insane “al-Qaida died with Osama” rhetoric. Barack Hussein Obama was still trying to paint the “Arab Spring” Weatherman II riots as a peaceful and democratic paradise. And if that meant leaving Americans defenseless, Barack Hussein Obama had no problem with it.

logis on October 27, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Now mind, you, the expert, has a history, that extends fairly recently, so consider he is mostly telling you the truth;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yassir_al-Sirri

narciso on October 27, 2012 at 8:43 PM

o/t

NumbersMuncher ‏@NumbersMuncher

Now THAT is an endorsement. RT @jeffzeleny Des Moines Register endorses Mitt Romney, the first Republican presidential candidate since Nixon

Resist We Much on October 27, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Would not put it past them in ALQ/AAS/Muslim Brotherhood made some phone calls to have the protest in Cairo was the diversionary attack that was made to take the eye off Benghazi and give cover for
the video blame for Benghazi as well. All the others where copies of this one just like Occupy (Denver) was copies of OWS. Just what was the Occupy Oakland really having to do with OWS other than like minds and could not get to NYC.

They did not think that they would be able to breach the wall and actually get in the Cairo embassy and then the people in the mob raise the ALQ flag. That part was radicals in the mob working without orders. Killing Stevens as revenge for a bad gun deal was the main objective of all the 9-11-12 attacks in all the embassies everywhere. They miss the part that even the people in caves and AK-47 older than them, still have smart phones where they saw “the video” 5 months ago to use.

tjexcite on October 27, 2012 at 9:05 PM

The latest rumor making the rounds is that Barack Obama replaced General Carter Ham at Africom after the general made a move to help the US security officials at the Benghazi consulate and annex. Ham was replaced by Gen. David Rodriquez on October 18. Tiger Droppings reported:
The information I heard today was that General [Carter] Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.

General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2951223/posts

I am so glad that more and more info is coming out and hopefully we’ll know the truth.

bluefox on October 27, 2012 at 9:10 PM

I read that A.P. report but don’t believe it. This is hindsight reporting, too little too late. Also, too many “ifs” and speculation and it supports this Administration’s version. We already know they had Real Time feeds and info. So, no I don’t buy the A.P. report.

bluefox on October 27, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Well they operate by different time tables, they saw our preemptive apology before the Zawahiri protest, as a go signal, it leaves out the presence of bin Qumu, who had ‘street cred’ from his time at Gitmo, his leadership of Ansar Al Shariah is overt.

narciso on October 27, 2012 at 9:30 PM

it supports this Administration’s version. We already know they had Real Time feeds and info. So, no I don’t buy the A.P. report.

bluefox on October 27, 2012 at 9:27 PM

I noticed that as well. This is all I saw about Obama:

The Obama administration has sent out muddled messages whether it was a planned attack or a mob protest that got out of control. A day after the attack, President Barack Obama referred to “acts of terror.” He told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in an interview aired the following Sunday that he believed those involved “were looking to target Americans from the start.”

It’s absolutely slanted to make it seem as if Obama always considered it a likely terrorist attack with no reporting at all of Susan Rice, Hillary and Obama all lying.

It is so infuriating. They are no more interested in exposing the truth than Obama is.

All I can think of is those brave SEALs who held off those terrorists and how great they were against such odds. All I can think of is that help was denied.

People need to be impeached, indicted and/or imprisoned. The media who have tried to cover this up are culpable and guilty, with Candy Crowley leading the way.

This has been beyond foul. Since I fully expect many of the guilty to escape unpunished, I hope that there will be plenty of authors ready to dig out the truth on all involved and expose in detail all of these despicable people/

INC on October 27, 2012 at 9:38 PM

That’s not a sarc mark at the end of my last sentence. It was supposed to be a period and I hit the wrong key.

INC on October 27, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Ok, don’t blast me, but this is another scenario I’ve read and still have questions about: It wasn’t the intent that Stevens was to be killed, but that he was to be kidnapped and later exchanged for the blind sheik.

Is that outside the realm of possibility?

mimi1220 on October 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Ok, don’t blast me, but this is another scenario I’ve read and still have questions about: It wasn’t the intent that Stevens was to be killed, but that he was to be kidnapped and later exchanged for the blind sheik.

Is that outside the realm of possibility?

mimi1220 on October 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM

This theory has been around for a few weeks, but is starting to gain some legs now. Despite its inherent unlikeliness, it does provide possible answers for a few nagging questions: i.e. why was Stevens alone, why was he there at all, and why wasn’t military assistance sent in.

And it does not preclude the underlying theory that this is all about trying to cover up weapons-smuggling to what turned out to be the wrong people.

Plus, it sort of works to explain why the whole affair has a really dirty “drug (or whatever) deal gone bad” smell to it.

bofh on October 27, 2012 at 10:51 PM

I’ve heard that story, and more likely the reverse is true, the Salafist elements, who were training militants and running weapons
to Syria, were opposed to the Jibril and Magarief factions,

http://scottoncapecod.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/navy-seals-always/

narciso on October 27, 2012 at 10:58 PM

The kidnap theory has the classic conspiracy theory elements. What rings true is the simple notion that this President’s own personal anti-colonialism fascination had him jumping all over the opportunity to apologize to Africans for a blasphemous imperialist western video. The intelligence officer who brought up the video got to have a “Jack Ryan” moment with POTUS. So that angle gets played up in an attempt to gain accolades with POTUS.

An Objectivist on October 27, 2012 at 11:47 PM

No, they had already apologized before the protest, which was aimed at freeing Sheik Rahman, the Stevens thing was what they thought as a HVT, in retaliation for Abu Yahya, Zawahiri said as much.

narciso on October 27, 2012 at 11:57 PM

The other part of the story Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty killed 60 of the insurgents.

Dasher on October 28, 2012 at 12:04 AM

If just a couple of our superb soldiers could fight off this heathen horde, imagine what we could have done with just a little increased security….

Sherman1864 on October 28, 2012 at 12:38 AM

If just a couple of our superb soldiers could fight off this heathen horde, imagine what we could have done with just a little increased security….

Sherman1864 on October 28, 2012 at 12:38 AM

Sickening is it not? We have some of the BEST TRAINED personnel in the world that could do this day and night… yet, we have a CIC that has other priorities over American lives.

Said it before and will say it again these guys deserve the MOH. I do not think that they can get them because they were technically civilians, but they were former military right? So why not. Extreme acts of valor on their parts.

Then you got the POtUS giving a weak half assed apology to the parents of those dead, no meaning in the voice and no eye contact. You then have Biden saying loudly that your son has balls the size of cue balls when the bodies are being unloaded.

watertown on October 28, 2012 at 1:28 AM

All I can think of is those brave SEALs who held off those terrorists and how great they were against such odds.

INC on October 27, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Me too. And it makes me ill to think that they were essentially abandoned by their country (well, by those of questionable character calling the shots–who unfortunately represent the country).

butterflies and puppies on October 28, 2012 at 2:04 AM

Wow. That is a lot of vans for a movie club. And so angry. And that was only the trailer! Can you imagine that?

pat on October 28, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Most of the reports treat the attack on the attack on the CIA Annex (where Woods and Doherty were killed) as an aside to the attack on the consulate. The CIA Annex, where Woods and Doherty were stationed, was two kilometers (more than a mile) away. I cite this as evidence of a complex attack involving two installations. Was the CIA Annex the real target and was the Consulate a diversion? If so, what was in the Annex that was so important to the jihadis? Why was the Annex more defensible than then Consulate?

BigAlSouth on October 28, 2012 at 6:03 AM

If you want to hold a ‘protest’ you do it in broad day light with lots of signs, chanting, waving of fists in the air and as much press as you can get… you don’t do it in the dead of night carrying AK’s, RPGs and mortars. That latter stuff is just known as a ‘premeditated attack to kill’, not a protest.

It was never, ever about a video… although it sure makes a handy precedent to put someone in jail for insulting Islam for Odipstick. UNPRECEDENTED! Yup, yet again…

ajacksonian on October 28, 2012 at 9:23 AM

It’s infuriating. It makes me physically ill to think that this is going to be ignored (with the exception of a few). Perhaps a “Chic-Fil-A” styled protest for answers? I don’t know how it would be done…but y’all are the smartest people I “know”!! Any ideas?

hoosierma on October 28, 2012 at 9:50 AM

I cite this as evidence of a complex attack involving two installations.

BigAlSouth on October 28, 2012 at 6:03 AM

Attacking two locations at about the same time is an Al Qaeda signature.

farsighted on October 28, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Me too. And it makes me ill to think that they were essentially abandoned by their country (well, by those of questionable character calling the shots–who unfortunately represent the country).

butterflies and puppies on October 28, 2012 at 2:04 AM

They were certainly abandoned by their country. Their country elected Barack Obama President. The result was inevitable.

The best that can be said of America’s lack of basic decency in our selection of our Commander in Chief is that we got seduced. If we reelect Obama, there is no excuse.

fadetogray on October 28, 2012 at 10:45 AM