Sunday, September 23, 2012

Libya Attack - Al Qaeda?

As more information comes available via leaks from US intelligence personnel disgusted with the White House spin, the attack on the Benghazi Consulate becomes a bit more clear -- though much more complex -- and contradictory to what the Obama White House has offered for explanations.

Initially, the White House declared the attack to be a "spontaneous reaction" to the infamous Pastor Jones YouTube video. The revised version now designates it a "terrorist attack."

We learned recently that the video, produced in California by persons unknown [the Coptic Christian producer story is BS], and placed on the internet by Pastor Jones, had been on the Internet for nearly a year; oddly, it was translated into Arabic shortly before the Benghazi attack, and promoted heavily in the Middle East -- particularly Libya and Egypt, shortly before the attack on the Benghazi Consulate.  The thread to this promotion seems to lead to Washington.

The contents of Ambassador Stevens' diary, released by CNN, indicate a highly visible and imminent threat which the Obama Administration ignored.  Stevens specifies the threat components, and even kept his movements in the country secret, returning covertly to Benghazi from Europe; oddly, the attackers were fully aware of his movements, reflecting a major security gap in the US Embassy/State Department.

The Secretary of State has condemned that release calling it "an invasion of privacy" and an FBI investigation team has been sent to Libya to report on "the facts" ["just the facts, ma'am"].  We suspect they will collect all incriminating evidence and files and return them to Washington for safe-keeping -- or controlled destruction.

There is speculation by some that the Benghazi attack may lead back to the White House, which might explain why the Administration has attempted to obfuscate the background of this attack.

Fawzi Bokatif       [Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori]
Reportedly, COMINT intercepts between a Libyan politician, Fawzi Bukatef [who has ties to Al Qaeda] and the February 17 Brigade [the Libyan Militia providing security to the Consulate] reveal Bukatef requesting the detail "stand down for an impending attack". 

The attackers arrived as part of an "impromptu protest" against the Consulate - ostensibly in response to Pastor Jones' video, but witnesses reported that the attackers retrieved automatic weapons and RPGs stored near the Consulate to initiate the attack -- indicating the attack had been planned some time in advance - well before the Jones' video had been translated into Arabic and promoted in the Middle East.

Dodge this!

We suspect Mr Bukatef was provided the location and details of the Consulate's Safe House, which came under direct and precision mortar attack once the Consulate staff had moved there.

The Marines and SEALs defending the Safe House apparently were unexpectedly much more fierce than the attackers had anticipated, and the diplomatic staff survived with minimum casualties.

Mr Bukatef is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood [MB] -- now in power in Cairo and led by President Mohammed Morsi.  

President Obama's scheduled meeting this week with Morsi, to which he had invited members of the Muslim Brotherhood, was cancelled this morning. 

Mr Obama had supported Morsi's displacement of Mr Mubarek, with his 2009 "New Beginnings" speech "which reversed President Bush's opposition to Islamists’ demands for theocratic governments in Egypt and other Muslim-majority states."

How closely is US ME policy tied to Muslim Brotherhood?

In July, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's motorcade was attacked by mobs protesting US support of Egypt's President Morsi; they object to Morsi's MB linkage. 

The protests were also directed at Clinton as her primary advisor [Huma Abedin] has family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to Al Jazeera, Huma's mother, Salhea Abedin is tied to the MB -- is part of a clandestine organization known as the "Muslim Sisterhood" -- which consists of wives and daughters of senior MB leadership.  

Huma's brother, Hassan Abedin, is linked to Al-Qaeda through Omar Naseef and Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi.

Ansar al-Sharia               [Intelligencer]

But, back to Libya.  Last week, the New York Times reported that witnesses identified the Ansar al Sharia [Supporter of Islamic Law] rebel fighter brigade as the element which led the attack on the Benghazi Consulate; pickup trucks with the Ansar al Sharia logo on them were clearly part of the attack element. 

"A few months ago, its leader boasted publicly that its fighters could 'flatten a foreign consulate'."  Its strength is listed as only between 50 and 200 personnel -- but heavily armed from raids on Qaddafi's military warehouses. 

To demonstrate their strength, they kidnapped Brigadier Hamed Belkhair, commander of the official Benghazi garrison, from in front of his house, but released him after six hours - by throwing him from a van into a traffic circle/round-about.  Belkair had earlier announced that he would neutralize all the independent Libyan militias, to include the Ansar al Sharia.

Hani al-Mansouri                       [NYT]

The morning after the attack on the Benghazi Consulate, an Ansar al-Sharia spokesman, Hani al-Mansouri, in an interview with a local television station, saluted the assault comparing it to "... a similar mob attack on the Italian consulate in Benghazi in 2006 after an Italian minister wore a T-shirt mocking the Prophet Mohammed." He later denied his group's participation in the attack.  The attacks were very similar.

Mohammed al-Zahawi  [BBC]

Last June, following minor/unsuccessful attacks on Western diplomatic offices, Mohammed Ali al-Zahawi, commander of Ansar al-Sharia, denied his militia had participated in any of those attacks, but stated to a Washington Post reporter that had his troops attacked the US Consulate [in June] "... we would have flattened it."

So, we now have a variety of players in this incident with ties to both al Qaeda and to the Muslim Brotherhood -- which appears to have had a major role in the Arab Spring uprising, and which has seized control in Cairo [albeit through a "democratic" process] -- and which seems to be linked to the attack on the Benghazi Consulate, and which has ties to the US State Department, and to the White House.

There has been speculation that there may even have been linkage between the White House and the Muslim Brotherhood to orchestrate the attack on the Benghazi Consulate as a means for Mr Obama to demonstrate a dynamic military response, and to prove his military leadership as the US election nears.

But, gosh, that speculation is too far-fetched -- right?
Something dreamed up by the "vast, Right Wing Conspiracy"?
The reach of the Muslim Brotherhood