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September 12, 2012-American Embassy Stormed in Cairo, Attacked in Benghazi- Possibly By Al Qaeda on 9/11 - History

September 12, 2012-American Embassy Stormed in Cairo, Attacked in Benghazi- Possibly By Al Qaeda on 9/11 - History



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September 12, 2012-American Embassy Stormed in Cairo, Attacked in Benghazi- Possibly By Al Qaeda on 9/11

Events in Egypt and Libya took a rather ominous turn yesterday. First there was the attack on the American Embassy in Cairo. That attack was clearly a result of the distribution of a film attacking Islam. It occurred yesterday since yesterday a translation of the film came out in Egypt in Egyptian Arabic. It is believed that some Egyptian Christian Coptic's living outside Egypt did the translation. Watching the video of the screaming protesters is scary, but reflects the larger problem with fundamentalists.

The attack in Libya that resulted in the death of the American Ambassador was not however a reaction to the film. It was will planned and executed. Coming as it did on 9/11 there is a very real possibility it was carried out by Al Qaeda. The film was just a good distraction.

I do not believe the either the United States or the Israeli government has come to grips with what it means to either have countries ruled by fundamentalist or who have large and active fundamentalist minorities. Not to compare, but Israel has not figured out how to deal with its homegrown fundamentalist, whether its the hilltop Youth of the Judea and Samaria or the Mea Shea'rim type. And despite the fact that they have held power in Teheran for over 30 years neither the US nor Israel has ever developed a method to challenge them there.


Islamists kill US ambassador to Libya, 3 other Americans, overrun consulate

Unknown “gunmen” thought to be linked to Islamist militias overran the US Consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in Libya last night, and killed the US ambassador, a consular official, and two security personnel. In Egypt, Islamists and other Egyptians stormed the US embassy in Cairo and raised al Qaeda’s flag over the building. The attacks were in response to a controversial film released on YouTube that depicts the life of the Prophet Mohammed in a negative light.

The assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi began last night after a large group of heavily armed fighters, estimated at 60 to 70 strong, according to Al Jazeera gathered outside and launched rocket-propelled grenades at the building. The fighters outgunned the local Libyan guards, entered the consulate, ransacked it, and set it aflame.

It is still unclear how US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, consular official Sean Smith, and two former SEALs who were members of the security detail who were originally thought to be US Marines, were killed. Reports indicate the security personnel were killed in gunfire, and there have been conflicting reports that Stephens died in an ambush while leaving the building, or died of smoke inhalation. Another unconfirmed report, at The Guardian, said that Stevens’ body may have been dragged in the streets.

An Islamist group called Ansar al Shariah was blamed for the attack, but according to The New York Times, Ansar al Shariah issued a statement denying the attack. However, an anonymous banker who witnessed the events claimed that Ansar al Shariah executed the attack and that the Libyan guards stood by, according to The Libya Herald. Ansar al Shariah attacked the Tunisian Consulate in Benghazi on June 18, and on June 9 the group had called for the implementation of sharia across Libya.

Islamist groups are prevalent in Libya, and have attacked US and British diplomatic personnel, as well as the International Red Cross in the past. A group calling itself the Brigades of the Imprisoned Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, which is named after the Egyptian cleric currently serving a life sentence in a US federal prison for his role in the 1993 bombings at the World Trade center, claimed credit for some of the attacks in Benghazi in June, according to The Washington Post.

Salafists have run wild in Libya, destroying mosques and shrines that are deemed to be un-Islamic. Libya’s interior minister admitted as much at the end of August, when he said his forces were powerless to stop them and a host of other militias. From McClatchy:

“If we deal with this using security we will be forced to use weapons, and these groups have huge amounts of weapons,” Interior Minister Fawzi Abdel Alsaid said in late August, according to McClatchy. “They are large in power and number in Libya. I can’t enter a losing battle to kill people over a grave.”

Libya’s deputy Interior Minister, Wanis al Sharif, placed the blame for last night’s assault on the US Consulate on militias loyal to former President Muammar Gaddafi, and also blamed the US for not with withdrawing its personnel from its diplomatic missions.

“They are to blame simply for not withdrawing their personnel from the premises, despite the fact that there was a similar incident when [al-Qaeda second-in-command and Libyan citizen] Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed. It was necessary that they take precautions. It was their fault that they did not take the necessary precautions,” he said, according toAl Jazeera.

Islamist protesters over US embassy walls in Cairo

Several hours before the storming of the US consulate in Benghazi, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the US embassy in Cairo, Egypt, chanting anti-US slogans in angry reaction to the negative portrayal of Islam in the film on YouTube. Many of the protesters were ultraconservative Salafists, and some were chanting “We are all Osama,” The Associated Press reported.

A number of protesters scaled the embassy walls and entered the compound, taking down the American flag and trying to burn it. They raised the black flag of al Qaeda in its place. Egyptian security guards did not stop the protesters from standing on the embassy walls. The crowd grew from hundreds to thousands by evening, and then began to disperse. A senior Egyptian security official said the protest had been permitted because it was “peaceful,” according to AP.

No casualties were reported among US embassy staff, most of whom who had reportedly vacated the compound in advance of the protest, having been warned.

Mohamed al Zawahiri, a younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, took credit for helping to organize last night’s protest in Cairo, CNN reported. “We called for the peaceful protest joined by different Islamic factions including the Islamic Jihad (and the) Hazem Abu Ismael movement,” he said.

Mohamed al Zawahiri is just one of a number of Islamists and al Qaeda adherents who have been released from jail since the Arab Spring in Egypt. In a recent CNN interview, Mohamed was described as “unrepentant in his beliefs” in al Qaeda’s concept of jihad. See Threat Matrix article, CNN interviews Mohamed al Zawahiri.

Mohamed al Zawahiri also appeared in a recent al Qaeda video in which his brother Ayman al Zawahiri delivers a eulogy for slain al Qaeda commander Abu Yayha. The SITE intelligence group reports that Mohamed is shown in the video in an excerpt from an al-Faroq video of Salafists in Egypt.

Today Egyptian state media, which has recently been reorganized so as to have greater Muslim Brotherhood influence in its administration, gave extensive coverage to the protests.

In the wake of the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed concern that the unrest could spread to other countries, and said the US is working with “partner countries around the world to protect our personnel, our missions, and American citizens worldwide.”

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40 Comments

Wow. Where was the security detail (Marines)? Leaving an Ambassador poorly protected in a cesspool of Islamic extremism is indefensible and quite amateurish as well. As I was saying, we are leaving the middle east to drift to a place that will cost us in the future. Can’t wait for our robust response.

we pay them billions but if you are brought up to hate the west how do you change that mindset?

If my reading is right, the film has not been released nor is it finished. What was put up on utube was a demo trailer dubbed into Egyptian dialect Arabic by an unauthorized third party.
I wish I could remember where the article was I was reading. I believe the author/producer wanted to expand his film into a 200 hour series. If that is true, I have to question whether it will ever get finished.

It seems that the details on this movie are a bit murky. Seems that some of the usual idiots have involved themselves as well.
//www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/world/middleeast/origins-of-provocative-video-shrouded.html

Interestingly the Muslims were attacking the US Embassy in Libya and Egypt over a film that criticised the prophet Muhammed and showing him having sex with a woman and gay tendencies.
The film was released in the summer of 2012 and it’s preview was on YouTube since July. In effect, it has taken 2 months for the Muslim world to react. The reason, is that someone with Arabic language knowledge, dubbed the film in Arabic on YouTube and Arabs who saw this, were shocked and the controversy spread to the Arab media, which ultimately led to demonstrations.
I suspect these demonstrations will spread to other Muslim countries and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more casualties.

Thoughts on this attack as attempt by AQ to out flank Morsi and drive wedge between US and Egypt?
Some gratifying photos over at Libya Al Hurra on facebook of Libyans with signs in English sayint Stevens was a friend of the Libyan people.

Funny how I remember a comment on the LWJ once stating that if we did not intervene in Libya, our enemies would have “crept from the ashes of Benghazi.” //www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2011/04/slain_lifg_commander_led_force.php
How ironic that we saved the very same “people” that killed a US ambassador and other personnel, and then filmed his dead body on camera (yes, he was dragged through the streets. there is pictures of him being manhandled by an angry mob outside the embassy…)
There have been other attacks on western targets in Libya by Salafists, they have just not been paid so much attention as this one. I think we need to accept the fact that our support for the Arab Spring translated into support for ultra-extremist armed Islamist groups, that put on a nice face to us but when we were no longer needed, they turned on us.
So, basically, anybody who warned that this would happen as a result of the Arab Spring, have been proven right today. It’a shame that we have to be vindicated based on the deaths of such fine men serving their country and the world – but when you jump the gun, and throw in your support for people who are *very evidently* Al Qaeda sympathizing extremists, this is the blowback of that support. Many people warned this would happen, and they were all ignored.

Islamist actions like this make it pretty hard to believe in Mohamed al Zawahiri’s peace plan. Didn’t the US help these ingrates eliminate Gaddafi? This is the thanks!

Blaming a Youtube video is BS. This was planned to occur on 9/11. Perhaps Obama bragging about killing Bin Laden had more to do with this.
Another thing, why do we even have Marines at these locations if they cannot defend. I wonder if they even were allowed to have ammo? I bet the MArines wanted to do something, but were ordered to stand down.
“Wind and the Lion”………do it right.

The attacked was obviously planned to coincide with the anniv. of 9/11, despite the pretense otherwise.
This was a massive failure of the US intelligence community, the State Dept and the Obama admin in general.
What will be the response for an act of war on a US consulate and it’s personnel?
Where were the US Marine guards PRIOR to the attack?
It also appears that 2 CIA officers were killed, given the media hasn’t released their names.
Bill, any word on the identity of the other 2 KIA?
This admin is setting a record for the most CIA and State Dept personnel killed during a single term, without a doubt…what a tragedy that could have been prevented.

One day after the memorial to the killed on September 11, 2001, of that tragic day, our front line security hasn’t changed. Why do we always get caught with our pants around knees when the bad guys break in and start shooting everybody in the room….

All, this “movie” is a very amateurish production that was put on by some extremist who duped the actors into thinking they were making a film about ancient Egypt and then overdubbed the offensive slurs against Islam after-the-fact. This is by no means a mainstream film. An obscure youtube video, at best. In fact, I’ve heard that it wouldn’t pass muster for a junior college film class and that it is embarrassingly amateur. The screenshots I’ve seen make the Power Rangers look like first-class film-making. The back story is a very strange one, and getting stranger by the hour. The man behind the film, who goes by the pseudonym “Sam Bacile” seems to have tried to implicate the American Jewish community, Israel and evangelical Christians. Ironically, though reported by some media outlets as an American Jew of Israeli descent, Sam Bacile may, in fact, be an Egyptian Coptic Christian. One of the actresses said that Sam Bacile told her he was Egyptian and spoke Arabic. Something about this is very fishy. But the fact of the matter is that this sloppy youtube video never got any mileage until Egyptians made it viral. How some thugs took that as a pretext to attack the American embassy in Bengazi is one of those confounding features of this so-called religion of peace. Whether it was all an elaborate ruse to create a diversion for a well-planned attack by AQ et al, or whether it was a confluence of crazy coincidence will remain to be seen.
//gawker.com/5942748/it-makes-me-sick-actress-in-muhammed-movie-says-she-was-deceived-had-no-idea-it-was-about-islam

First the Embassy was not undefended marines and Libyans fought the gun men for five hours . Details point to AQ but it could just as likely be Iran trying to take our eyes off them and Syria. Yes there is a war to be fought against radical Muslim interests but we don’t need to fault the Muslim people as a whole. As they should not fault the USA for some anti Mohamed video posted by radicals in the west.

Cheers to Bill and Lisa for catching the AQ flag in Egypt. CNN’s report on the Egypt attack describes it but doesn’t label it, really limiting the effectiveness of the reporting.
What I’d like to know is how a Libyan mob found the safehouse that also came under attack later.

RIP Ambassador Stevens and the other three casualties. It does appear that the security detail was undermanned and fell into a trap. The Middle East parable of the scorpion and the frog comes to mind no good deed goes unpunished.
More disturbing is the long-standing naivete shown by our policy makers. It has been apparent since the Iranian revolution that there is a deadly battle between the Shia and Sunni centers of power. We have intervened on behalf of the Sunnis without understanding that their extremists are just as dangerous, if not more so, to our security and interests as the Iranian-sponsored terrorist. I would in fact argue that Wahabi deep pockets make them even more of a global security threat. These are two sides of the same deadly coin and it is obvious that we must view them this way.
Perhaps the best example might be when we shrewdly supported Saddam against the Iranians and allowed them to battle each other to exhaustion. The mistake that we made there was not to subsequently turn sooner against Saddam instead of allowing him to fester and grow as a threat the same mistake that we made in Afghanistan after the mujaheddin were victorious over the Soviets. We should have eliminated the Bin Ladens and their Pakistani handlers before they grew in strength. Likewise in Libya, we apparently let down our guard thinking that we were the good Samaritans and we didn’t worry enough about the Islamists moving in and taking over. As the communists before them, the Islamists believe in one-man-one-vote-one-election. This scorpion always bites the frog, and the key is to eliminate the scorpion before it inevitably stings.

As sickening as it is, this is possibly the most accurate definition of the word “blowback”, what’s scary is that if Syria falls, we’ll see this to the tenth power…really sorry for the poor staff.

After spending 8 years being raised(expat) in Saudi and Iran(Shah thru revolution), I’ll give you a little tip. If the so called leadership of the Arab spring countries have a rug burn (dark spot on the forehead), they are religious fanatics who believe in the Koran’s passages literally. They are equivalent to David Koresh (Waco) and the Klan, here in the states. Ignorant, but extemely dangerous. We made a decision regarding Egypt to allow the Salafists to obtain power (most organized, but most feared)by thowing Mubarek under the bus, just like Carter did to the Shah of Iran. A simple doctrine would suffice in this specific case with Libya. We need to determine exactly who perpetrated these acts. Then demand that the current Libyian government produce the leadership of the groups, prosecute them, then hand them over to us or execute them. If not, no funding will be given, and other punitive actions will be considered. Give them what we gave to the Nazis, total war without any subsequent Mashall Plan. A few cruise missiles fired into the Sahara will not do the trick.

Very sad about this ambassador. This is the tragic fruit of the Arab Spring and the hateful spirit driving it.

A defenseless consulate in Libya…after threats to avenge recent killings by US drone missiles?
Can you say “USS LIBERTY”?

We’ll get these cowards like we got bin laden. I hope the cowards that attacked the unarmed diplomatic Americans are reading this, because your days are numbered. Let it be known that I as an American do not condemn the Libyan people only the criminals that did this.

I would love to hear more from the authors of this blog, who obviously have more contacts in the area than most of us, whether the other two KIA are truly suspected to be Agency personnel. It feels more and more likely with each passing hour that their positions – not only their names – are not officially released – but is still not necessarily so.

This was not a spontaneous demonstration, not in Benghazi nor in Cairo.
Five hours in contact with assaulters on the consulate in Benghazi, and then overrun and burned, the ambassador killed and dragged through the strets, the attackers knew where the safe house was, and had it under threat as well.
The Cairo mob may have been largely sympathiers, but the Al Qaeda flag tells us that within that mob there may have been an element prepared to carry out an assault if the US response to perimeter breach used deadly force. When the US did not use deadly force, they did not have the pretext for their attack, and stood off, waiting for their orders.
This stuff is very assymetric. our response can be very hard-line, but this will alienate the public. It can be reserved, and will be called “soft”. We pledge millions and billions in aid to Libys and Egypt, but this carries no weight with most of the public, because they do not see a nickel of personal enrichment. The impact of aid is very dilute even within the governments because corruption is endemic, and much is simply stolen by officials who have access to the money.
Whenever the US is presented with a contest of this sort, our enemy reinforces our desire to do something costly and resource-intensive to counter them while all they must do is hide and avoid. This bleeds us down and drains our resources. We do not skillfully portray the cowardice and weakness of the attacks, with a depth of coverage that has any impact on the public either at home or abroad. Our failure to sway the public against the militant islamists is what invites this behavior to continue: It is cheap for them, so if it works, they will definitely keep doing more of the same.
We just lost a US Ambassador. The Libyan public should feel ashamed bordering on dread. It does not take a hair stylist with a Harvard PhD to figure out how to cause those feelings to take root in the Libyan populace, and to cause proportional reactions among the Egyptian public. If the US fails to create that kind of shame and dread for a sustained period of time following these events, then they lost this contest.
Makes me want to vomit in my mouth to hear people rationalize how not to do exactly this.
As Bill, (and many others), has been saying all along: The real failure of the war on terror has been a failure to counter Al Qaeda’s ideology. And that is why the US Ambassador to Libya is dead.

Regarding the Marines – according to a Marine who called into a radio show today who had been on embassy duty in the past. They are there to protect US government records and data. They would only shoot if goons tried to physically enter the embassy, but not if they were climbing the walls or on the grounds. Thus, in the Iran situation, the Marines were busy destroying records, cables, etc. The ambassador likely as not had a private security detail, and he is ultimately in charge.

Wasn’t Benghazi the rebel stronghold? Weren’t these the same ‘rebels’ that CIA supported without ‘boots on the ground’ just a year ago? They are Muslim brotherhood, aren’t they? So, how is the CIA plan for installing Muslim brotherhood regimes and calling it Arab Spring working out? Next stop appears to be Syria, where Assad will be replaced by the ‘rebels’ or Muslim brotherhood.

Food for thought, blast me if you want.
Seems like Iraq is heading nowhere fast, neither is Libya. So was it the right choice to step in and remove both dictators? Yes, genocide was stopped, however, stability was also crushed. Under both Saddam and Ghadafi, no matter how mad they were, they had stability. I think we may have been better off with both. Feel free to blast me.

RIP Ambassador Stevens and the other casualties.
I feel like I have a choice to be sad about something I knew as going to happen or just say I told you so. This time I am going to say I told you so. There should never have been any support for the rebels if any thing we should have helped all the tyrants. At least they would have been somewhat thank full. Mistakes like destroying a inept and useless government are easy. You don’t help people who cant help them selves or this is what happens. I bet the Ambassador regretted every thing he did in the final moments. Look who has to clean it all up now? Lastly to those men sending the Marines come hard or don’t come at all.

Remember, this was a consulate. Marines in force were stationed at the Embassy in Tripoli. The Ambassador has his own Protective team made up of either State Dept personnel or Marines or both. AND the ambassador makes the call even when he is “advised”. It sounds as if he only took his personal protective unit with him made up normally of around 4 Marines. It sounds as if two of these Marines died protecting the ambassador. I am sure the regional security officer (Normally a Marine Officer) advised the ambassador based on any intell he may have had. In the end they cant hold off hundreds of armed thugs. Also unfortunately some Ambassadors jobs are obviously a bit dangerous for this very reason. And especially the Marines tasked with protecting him can be put in really bad tactical situations.

Why not electrify all embassy fences and grates? A good shock would deter most. Up the power at times like this. And then shoot anyone who gets over. These embassies across the Mideast should be just a short flight away for American air power or drones at all times, at least on every 9/11 period.
Embassies and Consulates are U.S. sovereign terrotory, no?
These security lapses are not acceptable.

A sad day for America, with such cowardice from the U.S. Administration.
No amount of public relations “spin” can pull us out of this. m3fd2002 has it exactly right. Pull all the aid from any host country that defiles our embassies and demand justice. All other responses are weak or irrational (if all the Administration can do is to send in drones).

OK, I’m no expert, but I’ve wondered how Zawahir reacts to the ML gaining power through elections while he’s spent ten years in AfPak dodging drones. I think we’ve just seen the response. Outflank Morsi / ML with violent demos, and murder an American who helped save Benghasi.
This is a desperate action of a guy and movement trying to regain some relevancy. The Administration doesn’t play the reaction right Zawahiri might pull it off. Lobbing a cruise missle somewhere into Libya not a good solution IMO. (I’m reading about the warships were sending that way at the moment.)

IED’s, suicide bombers, car bombs, assassinations, criminal activity, Death Squads etc., are now on ‘the Menu.’ AQ & its collaborators appear to have established sustainable presence in and around the Red Sea, Eastern Mediterranean & Tigris/Euphrates watershed. The push from the AfPak Theater into NE Central Africa & parts of the Arabian Peninsula have succeeded. Prior to 9 11 AQ was focused on the Indian sub continent SE & Central Asia. AQ has surfaced as a remarkable adaptable foe. What a mess & whats next?

@Stu.
Here is part of what you said:
“A sad day for America, with such cowardice from the U.S. Administration.”
What “cowardice” are you referring to?

SOFREP.com says instead of two Marines killed it was former Navy SEAL’s Glen Doherty & Ty Woods.
The chief editor of SOFREP (former SEAL Brandon Webb) knew Doherty personally and co-authored a book or two together.
Doherty has also authored an article or two on the site.
//sofrep.com/11401/glen-doherty-and-ty-woods-americas-best-lost-in-libyan-consolate-attack/

Sad to lose a good man. He was not killed but assassinated. I think it is time to send a strong message to Egypt.

They don’t like the Pope either should Dempsey call him.
They want Tours, Madrid, Rome, and Vienna back. are we prepared to give those cities up?

A series of three photos have appeared in various publications, which appear to show Ambassador Stevens being carried by men in civilian clothes, apparently after the attack on the Benghazi consulate. These photos have been characterized by some as Stevens being “paraded or dragged through the streets of Benghazi,” with speculation that Stevens “met the same tortured death as Kaddafi.”
What the photos actually show is Stevens apparently dead (completely limp, half lidded eyes in two photos) being carried as carefully as a limp body can be carried, with care not to cause additional injury, by Libyans trying to help him. His mouth and nasal areas are black with soot consistent with smoke inhalation. He has a small cut and one contusion on his forehead, possibly a head injury above his left ear, but no other visible wounds, and none of the injuries one would expect to find from mob violence. Judging from his later appearance at the Benghazi hospital, I’d guess that these people are trying to take Stevens to medical help.
These photos are also part of the story … a part that urges caution in identifying and bringing the true bad guys to justice … and also a part that says some American press and media are irresponsible dingbats willing to throw gasoline everywhere.

From CNN today, confirming my earlier post: “…. The suite where the body of the ambassador was found was protected by a large door with steel bars …. His body was recovered after looters broke into the room …, numerous media reports have said the ambassador was taken from the consulate to the Benghazi medical center by locals …. He arrived at the hospital, according to the reports, unresponsive and covered in soot from the fire. A doctor was unable to revive him and declared him dead ,…”

As Bill, (and many others), has been saying all along: The real failure of the war on terror has been a failure to counter Al Qaeda’s ideology. And that is why the US Ambassador to Libya is dead.

@converse
in some places on the globe it took close to 100 yrs to counter Communist Ideology & in some places it is still thriving. It is naive to think that after just a few decades AQ ideology can be neutralized let alone eradicated. Its not called The Long War for nothing.

Have we learned anything from 9/11? We send in FBI crime solvers after an act of war, just as we did after the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the 2 US embassy bombings in Africa in 1998 and the USS Cole attack in 2000.
We need to prepare ourselves for another 9/11, if we are going to respond to acts of war with the FBI and law enforcement actions.


Egypt: US Embassy Attacked – President Obama’s Response: State Dept. Apologizes to al Qaeda, then recants, then apologizes again

Could there be a more visible example of the insufferable ineptitude of President Barack Obama. In the same city, Cairo – Egypt, where President Obama delivered his first international “big stage” apology speech, the U.S. Embassy comes under attack. One embassy official killed, the US compound compromised, the Stars and Stripes torn to shreds and the flag of al-Qaeda hoisted in triumphant declaration.

Of course the legacy media call the al-Qaeda flag an “islamic symbol”, instead of just telling the truth. (Coincidently, the same flag hoisted ceremoniously atop the courthouse in Benghazi Libya, once we helped “the rebels”, aka: al-Qaeda, kill Kadaffi).

What does the US State Department do? Why apologize to the radical Islamists of course.

Then the White House retracts the apology…. Then the State Department reiterates the apology the White House just retracted. Go Figure…. well, maybe not, actually just more visible Obambulation.

The White House is disavowing a statement from their own Cairo embassy that apologized for anti-Muslim activity in the United States.

“The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government,” a senior administration official told POLITICO.

So First the State Department apologizes to the Islamists. Then, the White House rebukes the apology. Well, what do you think happens next?

Yep…… WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has confirmed that a State Department officer was killed Tuesday in Libya during an attack on the U.S. consulate.

Clinton said in a statement Tuesday night that she condemned the attack in the strongest terms and has called the Libyan president to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya. She says that some are trying to justify — quote — “this vicious behavior” as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. She says the U.S. deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. (via Washington Post)

So, if Secretary Clinton is now condemning the movie, then why the heck did the Obama administration disavow the initial condemnation from the U.S. embassy in Egypt, which, essentially said the same thing Secretary Clinton just repeated?

Here are the reports of the events, starting with: (Reuters) – Gunmen and security forces clashed at the U.S. consulate office in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday as the armed group protested over a film being produced in the United States, a security official said.

The incident followed a protest in neighboring Egypt where demonstrators scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy, tore down the American flag and burned it during a protest over what they said was a film that insulted Prophet Mohammad.

“There are fierce clashes between the Libyan army and an armed militia outside the U.S. consulate,” Abdel-Monen Al-Hurr, spokesman for Libya’s Supreme Security Committee, said.

“The U.S. consulate’s security guards inside the building fired at the militia as it was trying to enter and attack it.”

He said roads had been closed off and security forces were surrounding the building. He said the clashes were outside the consulate building.

“There is a connection between this attack and the protests that have been happening in Cairo,” Hurr said.

Reuters reporters at the scene said they could hear shooting and one explosion coming from the closed-off area. Rising smoke could also be seen.

A U.S. embassy source said there had been “an attack” on the diplomatic office in Benghazi, but gave no further details. (Reuters Article)

(BBC) — Militiamen in Libya have stormed the US consulate in Benghazi, the country’s second largest city.

Reports say they were protesting against a US-made film that is allegedly insulting to the Prophet Muhammad, and set fire to the building.

The building is said to have burnt down. It is thought nobody was in the consulate at the time.

Earlier, protesters in Egypt breached the wall at the US embassy in Cairo and tore down a flag over the film.

The film that sparked the protest is said to have been produced by US pastor Terry Jones and co-produced by some Egyptian Copt expatriates.

In the Cairo incident, the American flag, which was flying at half mast to mark the 9/11 attacks, was replaced by an Islamist banner. (article)

(Reuters) – An American staff member of the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi has died following fierce clashes at the compound, two Libyan security sources said on Wednesday.

“One American staff member has died and a number have been injured in the clashes,” Abdel-Monem Al-Hurr, spokesman for Libya’s Supreme Security Committee, said, adding that he did not know the exact number of injured.

Armed gunmen attacked the compound on Tuesday evening, clashing with Libyan security forces before the latter withdrew as they came under heavy fire. Reuters reporters on the scene could see looters raiding the compound, walking off with desks, chairs and washing machines. (article)

EL-ARISH, Egypt – U.S. diplomatic compounds came under attack in two Muslim countries on Tuesday, with the walls of the embassy in Cairo breached by protesters and a consulate in Libya under attack by militants.

A group of protesters scaled the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday evening and entered its outer grounds, pulled down an American flag, then tried to burn it outside the embassy walls, according to witnesses. In Benghazi, Libya, the consulate was attacked by militants, and Libyan and American officials were working to secure the compound, a State Department spokeswoman said. […]

Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Egypt had condemned insults to religion, saying in a statement that “we firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi is a member, said that the United States should do a better job of protecting Islam.

“It isn’t a matter of freedom of speech,” said Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Gozlan. “It’s a matter of a holy Islamic symbol.” (article)

Keep in mind, this is the team President Obama “chose” to replace Hosni Mubarak with. And it is not coincidental that only last week Egypt’s President Morsi was warmly greeted by the following fellow:

Egyptian President Morsi holds meetings with Iranian President Ahmadinejad a week ago in Iran.


UK: Pervert Muslim in Egypt’s Paralympic team gropes woman – and is fined by courts

All too common nowadays after the UK and Europe opened it’s doors to Muslim migrants and visitors. In the UK and all across Europe, Muslims dominate sexual crimes and extreme violent crimes. This all correlates with cultural upbringing indoctrinated from the Koran where women have little value, assault and rape against women is basically not a crime and the open range to molest or assault women is freely exercised.

Minister for groping: Egyptian politician in Paralympics delegation fondled woman…then tried to claim immunity

PUBLISHED: 00:59, 12 September 2012 |

Embrahim Khalil, pictured leaving City of London Magistrates, sexually assaulted a tourist

An Egyptian sports minister tried to claim diplomatic immunity after being arrested for groping a tourist while in London with his country’s Paralympic delegation.

Ebrahim Ahmed Khalil, 56, fondled the 21-year-old’s breast as he showed her where to pin a flag badge hours before Sunday’s closing ceremony.

After he was arrested and accused of sexual assault, his embassy tried to claim diplomatic immunity. But the attempt failed and Khalil wept yesterday as he was fined by magistrates.

The case is an embarrassment for the Arab state, whose athletes returned to Cairo on Monday with 15 medals.

The assault took place hours before they joined other Paralympians for Sunday’s closing ceremony at the Olympic Park.

Khalil, the junior minister for sport, targeted the woman outside the luxury Grange St Paul’s hotel in the City, where he had been staying for the Olympics and Paralympics.

The hotel was one of two official ‘Paralympic family hotels’ used by officials during the Games.

His victim was with her mother and ten-year-old brother on their way to the Tate Modern as he stopped them while handing out Egyptian flag badges. Images from three CCTV cameras showed him approaching them and kissing the victim’s mother.

Regina Naughton, prosecuting at City of London Magistrates’ Court, described the kiss as ‘friendly’ but said Khalil’s actions then became sinister.

She said: ‘Mr Khalil approached the complainant, pointed his right index finger, and pressed it on her right breast. She withdraws, her mother says, ‘What is it?’

‘Then he more or less does the same thing again, placing his left hand and arm around her right shoulder and again pressing her breast, she says forcibly. She felt shocked, embarrassed, violated and upset.’

The court heard that his victim did not want to report what happened but her mother insisted.

Khalil was arrested in the hotel and spent two days in custody before appearing in court. He told officers he had been due to attend the Paralympics closing ceremony that evening.

Miss Naughton said: ‘He told police he poked the girl’s breast to tell her where she should put the badge. He said he didn’t really understand what he had done wrong, but wanted to apologise because she was upset with him.’

Competing: Ibrahim Ibrahim of Egypt takes part in the Men’s Javelin at the Olympic Stadium during the London Paralympic Games

Hearing: City of London Magistrates’ Court was told the assault took place hours before the Egyptian team joined other Paralympians for Sunday’s closing ceremony

Earlier, magistrates were asked to delay the hearing. Miss Naughton said: ‘The issue is whether or not he has diplomatic immunity. I say, on the information I have, that he doesn’t.

Khalil, who listened to proceedings through an interpreter and was dressed in a jumper from police stores, admitted a single count of sexual assault.

Sam Corcoran, defending, said the father of three had ‘an absolutely exemplary record and this is the first time he has been in any kind of trouble’. She added: ‘He has asked me if I would convey his sincere remorse. He is so very desperately sorry.’

Magistrate Sarah Graham said the court accepted his apology ‘on the basis that it is a one-off error of judgment’ and ordered him to pay a £160 fine, £100 costs, £100 compensation to the woman, and a £15 victim surcharge. Embassy officials will pay on his behalf.


Timeline [ edit | edit source ]

September 2012 [ edit | edit source ]

The New York Times reported: "American and European officials said that while many details about the attack remained unclear, the assailants seemed organized, well trained and heavily armed, and they appeared to have at least some level of advance planning." The article also noted that a senior Obama administration official told reporters that “it was clearly a complex attack,” but provided no details. Β]

CBS News reported that Wanis al-Sharef (also spelled al-Sharif), a Libyan Interior Ministry official in Benghazi, said that an angry mob had gathered outside the consulate to protest a U.S.-made film that ridicules Islam's Prophet Muhammad. According to al-Sharef, the mob stormed the consulate after the U.S. troops who responded fired rounds into the air to try and disperse the crowd. Γ]

CBS News later reported that U.S. officials said the attack was not an out-of-control demonstration as first suspected, but a well-executed assault. From the wording of the report it is unclear whether the protesters were a group distinct from the attackers or were the attackers themselves. Δ]

The Guardian published a video interview of a local Libyan on the consulate compound right after the attack, who presumed and empathized that the attack was in response to the anti-Islamic film. Ε]

The Washington Post reported that U.S. officials and Middle East analysts said that the attack "may have been planned by extremists and inspired by al-Qaeda." Ζ]

In a press release, the Qulliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank based in London, stated that the "military assault" was not related to the film but was to "avenge the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, al-Qaeda’s second in command killed a few months ago." Η]

BBC reported that Libya's deputy ambassador to London, Ahmad Jibril, named Ansar al-Sharia, also known as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the perpetrators. They also said a Libyan reporter told them that the attack was executed by as many as 80 militiamen "armed with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and 14.5 mm anti-aircraft machine guns." ⎖] ⎗]

Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif of the Libyan government told a news conference in Benghazi that it was likely that the perpetrators had been Gaddafi loyalists, suggesting the attack could have been intended as a revenge for the extradition of Abdullah al-Senoussi (Gaddafi's former intelligence chief) from Mauritania the previous month. ⎘]

The FBI opened an investigation into the deaths a team was sent to investigate, with another team for security. ⎙] The FBI officials were set to arrive by September 21 in Benghazi to work with Libyan officials. ⎚]

In a briefing to congressional staffers, State Department Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy said that the attack appeared planned because it was so extensive and because of the "proliferation" of small and medium weapons. ⎛]

CNN reported that the attackers were part of an Al Qaeda spinoff group. They spoke with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who said the killings were possibly linked to the terrorist group blamed for the 9/11 hijackings. According to Sen. Feinstein, “The weapons were somewhat sophisticated, and they blew a big hole in the building and started a big fire.” ⎜]

The Senate Armed Services Committee was briefed by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta about the response to the situation in Libya. Afterwards, Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) was quoted as saying, "I think it was a planned, premeditated attack." He added that he did not know the group responsible for the attack. ⎝]

SITE Intelligence Group released a report that said al-Qaeda claimed that the attack was in revenge for the killing of the network's number two Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi. ⎞]

Talking points prepared by the CIA, stated “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.” ⎟]

In an interview with NPR in Benghazi, President Mohammed el-Megarif said that foreigners infiltrated Libya over the past few months, planned the attack, and used Libyans to carry it out. ⎠] According to el-Megarif: "The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous. We firmly believe that this was a precalculated, preplanned attack that was carried out specifically to attack the U.S. Consulate." He said the attackers used the protesters outside the consulate as a cover, and there is evidence showing that elements of Ansar al-Sharia, an extremist group in eastern Benghazi, were used by foreign citizens with ties to al-Qaida to attack the consulate. ⎡]

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice appeared on several Sunday morning talk shows and stated, “Putting together the best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of-- of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. What we think then transpired in Benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons which unfortunately are readily available in post revolutionary Libya. And it escalated into a much more violent episode.” ⎢] ⎣]

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, voiced suspicion that the attack was planned in advance and not prompted by the furor over the film. He noted that "[m]ost people don't bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons to demonstrations. That was an act of terror." ⎤]

Fox News reported that an "intelligence source on the ground in Libya" said "there was no demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi" before the attack. ⎥] The source was quoted as saying, "There was no protest and the attacks were not spontaneous." The source also said that the attack "was planned and had nothing to do with the movie." The source said the assault came with no warning at about 9:35 p.m. local time and included fire from more than two locations. The information for the time and for multiple directions of the attack corroborates an eyewitness report. ⎦]

Representative Mike Rogers (R) Michigan, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in an interview with Real Clear Politics that there were reports that the Consulate sustained "indirect fire, artillery type fire from mortars. They had direct unit action. It was coordinated in a way that was very unusual. They repulsed a quick reaction force that came to the facility. " ⎧]

The director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olson, appeared before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. During the hearing Olsen said that the Americans killed in Libya died “in the course of a terrorist attack.” ⎨] But he said that "the facts that we have now indicate that this was an opportunistic attack," one in which heavily armed militants took advantage of an ongoing demonstration at the Consulate.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) disagreed with Olsen’s statement that the attack did not appear pre-planned. She said, "Based on the briefings I have had, I’ve come to the opposite conclusion. I just don’t think that people come to protests equipped with RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] and other heavy weapons. And the reports of complicity—and they are many—with Libyan guards who were assigned to guard the consulate also suggest to me that this was premeditated." Olsen told committee members that the U.S. is "looking at indications" that some attackers had connections to al-Qaeda or its North African affiliate, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Fox News reported intelligence sources that the attack was tied to Al Qaeda via the involvement of Abu Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee. ⎩] ⎪] However, a US national security official tells Mother Jones that "that report is wrong, there's no intelligence suggesting that he was leading the attack on the consulate that evening." ⎫]

Reuters reported that U.S. authorities are investigating the prospect of collusion between the militants who launched the attack on the consulate and locally hired Libyan personnel guarding the facility. ⎬] This corroborates earlier statements by U.S. government officials who stated there were multiple accounts of collusion between the attackers and the Libyan security guards. ⎨]

Secretary Clinton announced the formation of a panel to investigate the attack, ⎭] which is separate from the FBI investigation.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney for the first time called the event "a terrorist attack." In the same report CNN noted conflicting reports that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens "believed he was on an al Qaeda hit list." ⎮]

U.S. officials said that the heavily armed extremists who laid siege to the consulate used "military-style tactics" in what appeared to be a "sophisticated operation". Intelligence reports indicated that 50 or more people, many of them masked, took part in the attack and used gun trucks and precise mortar fire. ⎯] Intelligence reports also indicated that the attackers set up a perimeter to control access in and out of the compound.

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) sent a letter to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice seeking clarification on statements she made on the five Sunday talk shows on September 16 that the September 11 attack in Benghazi was the result of a “spontaneous reaction.” The senators wrote that the evidence clearly showed the attack was planned and coordinated. ⎱] Ms. Rice wrote in her reply letter, "I relied solely and squarely on the information the intelligence community provided to me . This information represented the intelligence community's best, current assessment as of the date of my television appearances." The four senators replied in a statement: "Elements of the intelligence community apparently told the administration within hours of the attack that militants connected with al Qaeda were involved, yet Ambassador Rice claims her comments five days later reflected the ‘best' and ‘current' assessment of the intelligence community. Either the Obama administration is misleading Congress and the American people, or it is blaming the entire failure on the intelligence community." ⎲]

The Daily Beast reported that three separate U.S. intelligence officials knew within 24 hours of the attack that it was "planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya." ⎳]

Libyan president Mohamed Magariefd, in an interview with NBC News, said that there were no protestors at the site before the attack and that the anti-Islam film had "nothing to do with" the attack. ⎴] "Reaction should have been, if it was genuine, should have been six months earlier. So it was postponed until the 11th of September," he said. "They chose this date, 11th of September to carry a certain message."

Eight Republican Representatives on the House Armed Services Committee sent a letter to President Obama asking him to provide answers to questions in a classified format. ⎵] Their letter reads in part: "While we appreciate your willingness to provide the House of Representatives with an interagency briefing last week, many of the members’ questions were left unanswered. To that end, we are seeking additional information regarding the intelligence leading up to the attack, the security posture of our embassy, the role former Guantanamo Bay detainees may have played, as well as the way forward in Libya and, indeed, the region."

A statement released by the Director of Public Affairs for the Director of National Intelligence, Shawn Turner, on the intelligence related to the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, read in part: ⎶] "As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists. It remains unclear if any group or person exercised overall command and control of the attack, and if extremist group leaders directed their members to participate. However, we do assess that some of those involved were linked to groups affiliated with, or sympathetic to al-Qa'ida. We continue to make progress, but there remain many unanswered questions. As more information becomes available our analysis will continue to evolve and we will obtain a more complete understanding of the circumstances surrounding the terrorist attack."

October 2012 [ edit | edit source ]

In a letter to Secretary of State Clinton, Darrell Issa (R-CA, chairman of the Committee) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT, chairman of the subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations) write that "the attack that claimed the Ambassador's life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012. It was clearly never, as Administration officials once insisted, the result of a popular protest." ⎷] The letter goes on to state that the mission in Benghazi was denied increased security they repeatedly requested. Subpoenaed witnesses set to testify before the committee on October 10 are Charlene Lamb, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, U.S. Department of State Eric Nordstrom, Regional Security Officer, U.S. Department of State and Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, Utah National Guard, U.S. Army. ⎸] According to Lt. Col. Wood, his 16-member team and a six-member State Department elite force called a Mobile Security Deployment team left Libya in August, one month before the assault on the diplomatic mission. Wood says that's despite the fact that U.S. officials in Libya wanted security increased, not decreased. ⎹]

The Washington Post reported that the FBI investigation team was in Tripoli and had not reached Benghazi yet. ⎺]

The State Department announced an Accountability Review Board "to examine the facts and circumstances of the attacks." ⎻]

The Washington Post reported that the FBI team arrived in Benghazi and left after about 12 hours. ⎼]

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is conducting its own investigation of the attack. ⎹] In doing so, the House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena to LTC Andy Wood. ⎽]

In an evening briefing to reporters, the State Department said it never concluded that the consulate attack in Libya stemmed from protests over the video. ⎾] ⎿]

Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Bob Corker (R-TN) met with Libyan officials in Tripoli, and said that investigators are examining video from security cameras at the primary Benghazi compound to help them reconstruct what happened in the attack and identify attack participants. ⏀]

Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) sent letters to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director David Petraeus, and John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, asking them to respond to "specific questions regarding the shifting official explanations" about the attack. ⏁]

The four witnesses called to testify at the October 10, 2012 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (l to r) were Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, Utah National Guard, U.S. Army Eric Nordstrom, Regional Security Officer, U.S. Department of State Charlene Lamb, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, U.S. Department of State and Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management, U.S. Department of State. An image of the U.S. compound can be seen behind Ms. Lamb.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held its hearing, "The Security Failures of Benghazi." ⎸] In addition to the three witnesses originally named, a fourth witness testified: Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management, U.S. Department of State.

  • In sworn testimony, Mr. Kennedy said, ". if any administration official, including any career official, were on television on Sunday, September 16th, they would have said what Ambassador Rice said. The information she had at that point from the intelligence community is the same that I had at that point." ⏂] However, in a briefing to congressional staffers on September 13, Mr. Kennedy said that the attack appeared planned. ⎛]
  • During testimony State Department witnesses acknowledged that it rejected appeals for more security at its diplomatic posts in Libya in the months before the attack. ⏃] The "annex" and "safe house" in the second diplomatic compound was inadvertently revealed to be a U.S. intelligence post. ⏄]⏅]⏆]
  • Charlene Lamb, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Programs, said in her prepared testimony that she had a firm grasp on what happened in Benghazi, starting moments after the assault began. ”When the attack began, a Diplomatic Security agent working in the tactical operations center immediately . alerted the annex U.S. quick reaction security team stationed nearby . and the Diplomatic Security Command Center in Washington. From that point on, I could follow what was happening in almost real-time.” ⏇]
  • During testimony Representative Issa described the existence of video tape of the attack taken from consulate security cameras the tape was not available to committee members at the time of the hearing.

U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs announced its plan to conduct a bipartisan investigation. Part of their investigation will seek to determine "why the Administration’s initial public assessments of this attack were subsequently proven inaccurate." ⏈]

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), speaking on CBS' Face the Nation, said that "[t]he intelligence community on the ground in Libya has told Senator Corker and myself that within twenty-four hours, they communicated up to Washington that this was a terrorist attack." ⏉]

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton assumed responsibility for the Benghazi attack, saying that she is in charge of her 60,000-plus staff all over the world and "the president and the vice president wouldn't be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They're the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision." ⏊] Republican Senator John McCain praised her "laudable gesture, especially when the White House is trying to avoid any responsibility whatsoever" but insisted that either there were drastic failures in the national security operation in not keeping the president aware of ongoing threats, or Obama himself knew of the threats and needed to take responsibility for the shortcomings. ⏋]

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the two Libyan militiamen guarding the consulate denied aiding the attackers. The compound was "lazily quiet" in the hours before the assault, they said. Around 9:30 p.m., the guards heard cries of "Allahu akbar!"—"God is great"—three times from outside the walls, then a voice called out in Arabic "You infidels!" and the attackers raced inside. ⏌]

The New York Times reported that witnesses of the attack knowledgeable of the circumstances were very convinced that it was carried out by a group of local Islamic militants in response to the video. According to local militia leaders familiar with the militant group, it was capable of carrying out the attack on short notice with only a few hour's planning. ⏍]

Libyan officials report that the founder of Libya's Islamist militia Ansar al-Sharia was at the compound during the attack, but that he remains free a week after those allegations were disclosed to Libyan political leaders and U.S. investigators. ⏎] The militia commander, identified as Ahmed Abu Khattalah, is a former political prisoner whose fighters were also blamed for assassinating a senior military officer after he defected to the opposition during last year's revolution against Moammar Kadafi. ⏏]

Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs made its first request for documents and briefings into the circumstances surrounding the attack. In separate letters to Secretary Hillary Clinton, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the committee requested a classified briefing for members of the committee. The briefing is to address threat assessments before the attack, security needs, requests for security, description and chronology of the attack, and what the Obama administration knew about the attack in the immediate aftermath and "whether any initial public statements issued by members of the Administration in the days following the attack were inaccurate and, if so, why." ⏐]

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, questioned the security at the compound and the initial intelligence surrounding the attack. Feinstein was quoted in an interview: "I think what happened was the director of national intelligence, which we call the DNI, who is a very good individual, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Gen. Jim Clapper, put out some speaking points on the initial intelligence assessment. I think that was possibly a mistake." ⏑]

Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and National Security Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz sent a 10-page letter to President Obama, ⏒] accompanied by 166 pages of unclassified documents ⏓] and photos. ⏔] The committee stated that the "letter requests that the White House respond to questions about its role in the controversial decision to have the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya pursue a course of ‘normalization’ that was intended to help create the perception of success in Libya and contrast it to U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan." ⏕]

Representative Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to President Obama requesting him to release Intelligence Community (1) reporting that led Obama Administration officials to initially characterize the assault as a “spontaneous reaction” to a film and (2) data and intelligence that led the Administration to change its characterization from a “spontaneous reaction” to a “terrorist attack.” ⏖]

Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) renewed their request from 10 days ago that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director David Petraeus and John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, answer questions regarding "the shifting official explanations surrounding" the attack. The senators wrote, “Our questions should not be hard to answer, and the American people have a right to learn what our intelligence communities knew about the events of September 11, 2012, and when they knew it.” ⏗]

U.S. officials told The Associated Press that the CIA station chief in Libya compiled intelligence reports within 24 hours of the attack that indicated there was evidence it was carried out by militants, using the pretext of demonstrations against U.S. facilities in Egypt against the film to cover their intent. The report from the station chief was written late Wednesday, Sept. 12, and reached intelligence agencies in Washington the next day. It was not clear how widely the information was circulated. ⏘]

The Washington Post reported that talking points prepared by the CIA on Sept. 15 stated: “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.” ⎟]

CBS News reported Congress members have asked why military assistance was not sent. General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta "looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies." An unmanned Predator drone was sent to Benghazi, and the drone observed the final hours of the attack. The Pentagon said it moved a team of special operators from central Europe to Naval Air Station Sigonella other nearby military forces available were fighter jets and AC-130 gunships. Gary Berntsen stated, "They made zero adjustments in this. They stood and they watched and our people died." ⏙]

The New York Times reported that Ms. Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, "has said that the judgments she offered on the five talk shows on Sept. 16 came from talking points prepared by the C.I.A., which reckoned that the attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans had resulted from a spontaneous mob that was angry about an anti-Islamic video that had set off protests elsewhere. That assessment, described to Ms. Rice in briefings the day before her television appearances, was based on intercepted communications, informants’ tips and Libyan press reports, officials said." ⏚]

Media reports indicate that the State Department's Operations Center sent a "Sensitive but unclassified" email at 4:05 p.m. Washington time (10:05 p.m. Benghazi time) on September 11 titled "U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack" to the White House Situation Room and other U.S. security units and two hours later sent an email titled "Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack." ⏛] ⏜] The first email reads in part: "approximately 20 armed people fired shots explosions have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four COM (Chief of Mission/embassy) personnel are in the compound safe haven." ⏝] Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton cautioned that those emails are "not in and of itself evidence" that the administration had definitively assessed the assault as a terrorist attack from the beginning. ⏞] A Tunisian man who was arrested in Turkey earlier this month with reported links to the Benghazi attack has been returned to Tunisia and is facing terrorism charges. ⏟] ⏠]

It is reported that both Reuters and Fox News obtained copies of an email sent about 2 hours after the attack in which the White House, Pentagon, and other agencies are told that the Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia had "claimed responsibility." ⏡]

A suspected Al-Qaeda member who was believed to have been involved in the Consulate attack was shot dead by Egyptian police, after they received a tip that he was staying in an apartment in Madinat Nasr. Egyptian police also arrested a seven-member cell in Cairo, five of whom are Libyans and the other two Egyptians. ⏢]

Fox News reported that military back-up was denied by the CIA chain of command, and the annex was instructed twice to "stand down". Woods, and two others, ignored those instructions and evacuated the consulate. Upon returning to the annex, and after beginning to taking fire, the annex requested fire support as they had a laser targeted on the mortar team that was attacking them. A CIA spokeswoman, Jennifer Youngblood, denied the claims. ⏤]

The Associated Press published a timeline of the comments by the administration and Libyan officials regarding the Benghazi attack, ⏥] as well as Libyan witnesses account. ⏦] The AP article noted that a witness said he militants before the attack gathering around 20 youths from nearby to chant against the anti-Islam film. The article reports that American officials suggest it was a planned militant assault and that the attackers may have used the film controversy as a cover for the attack.

Fox News reported that a cable marked "SECRET" and addressed to the Office of the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton summarized an "emergency meeting" convened by the U.S. Mission in Benghazi on August 15, 2012. In the meeting the State Department's regional security officer "expressed concerns with the ability to defend Post in the event of a coordinated attack due to limited manpower, security measures, weapons capabilities, host nation support, and the overall size of the compound." According to Fox News, "The details in the cable seemed to foreshadow the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. compound, which was a coordinated, commando-style assault using direct and indirect fire. Al Qaeda in North Africa and Ansar al-Sharia, both mentioned in the cable, have since been implicated in the consulate attack." ⏨]

November 2012 [ edit | edit source ]

CBS News reported that during the attack the Obama administration did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource: the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG). A high-ranking government official was quoted: "The CSG is the one group that's supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies. They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon." ⏩] The article goes on to state that counterterrorism sources and internal emails reviewed by CBS News expressed frustration that key responders were ready to deploy but were not called upon to help in the attack.

Documents found by reporters for the American magazine Foreign Policy on Oct. 26 amid the wreckage of the U.S. consulate indicate there was concern about security at the compound. One letter dated Sept. 11 and addressed to Mohamed Obeidi, the head of the Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs' office in Benghazi, reads in part: "Finally, early this morning at 0643, September 11, 2012, one of our diligent guards made a troubling report. Near our main gate, a member of the police force was seen in the upper level of a building across from our compound. It is reported that this person was photographing the inside of the U.S. special mission and furthermore that this person was part of the police unit sent to protect the mission." ⏪] The article states that this accords with a message written by Smith, the IT officer who was killed in the assault, on a gaming forum on Sept. 11. "Assuming we don't die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police' that guard the compound taking pictures," he wrote hours before the assault.

Washington Post published a detailed CIA timeline of the attack described by a senior intelligence official. ⏫]

Senior U.S. intelligence officials acknowledged that Woods and Doherty were contracted by the Central Intelligence Agency, not the State Department as originally publicly identified. ⏭]

Fox News reported that U.S. military intelligence informed senior commanders as early as 7 p.m. ET (that is, less than 4 hours after the attack began) that Ansar al-Sharia carried out the attack. The intelligence was relayed with no caveats, according to a source familiar with the intelligence. ⏮]

The Pentagon said that two U.S. service members volunteered to join the CIA team that travelled from Tripoli to Benghazi on the rescue mission. ⏯]

Fox News reported that the Blue Mountain Security manager (who was in charge of the local force hired to guard the consulate perimeter) made calls on both two-way radios and cell phones to colleagues in Benghazi warning of problems at least an hour earlier than the attack. Allegedly, those calls were to local security contractors, who say that the annex was also notified much earlier than 9:40 p.m., when the attack started. U.S. military intelligence also said that armed militias were gathering up to 3 hours before the attack. 𖏝]

Paula Broadwell gave a talk on October 26 at the University of Denver in which she revealed that the CIA annex was used to imprison Libyan militia members. 𖏡] In the same speech, Broadwell speculated that this may have been the motivation behind the attack on the consulate. 𖏢] A Fox News Source confirmed to them that the CIA Annex was used as a detention center for not just militia members, but for prisoners from all parts of Northern Africa and the Middle East. The CIA has denied these allegations. 𖏣]

Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified in closed hearings to both congressional intelligence committees. Speaking with reporters after the hearing, Representative Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said that Petraeus testified that he knew that the attack was a terrorist attack linked to al-Qaeda affiliates and not sparked by a protest over an anti-Islam video, as White House officials and President Obama had said for days afterwards. 𖏦] "The original talking points put out by the CIA were different from what was later put out," King said. "Petraeus says his initial assessment was from the start it was a terrorist attack." King said a CIA analyst specifically told lawmakers that the al-Qaeda affiliates line "was taken out." 𖏧]

Other House members in attendance at the hearing said that Petraeus made clear that the modifications of the original talking points were not done for political reasons. Petraeus "was adamant there was no politicization of the process, no White House interference or political agenda," said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). "He completely debunked that idea." Regarding Ambassador Susan Rice's comments during television interviews after the attack, Schiff went on to say that the, according to Petraeus, the comments "reflected the best intelligence at the time that could be released publicly". "There was an interagency process to draft it, not a political process," Schiff said. "They came up with the best assessment without compromising classified information or source or methods. So changes were made to protect classified information." 𖏨] According to Petraeus's statements during the hearing, administration officials were concerned that, by publicly disclosing the involvement of Al Qaeda affiliates and sympathizers in the attack, those groups would be tipped off that US government agencies were aware of their involvement. 𖏩]

The Washington Post reported that, since the attack, the CIA and other intelligence analysts have settled on a hybrid view of the attack, suggesting that the Cairo protest sparked militants in Libya, who quickly mobilized the assault on U.S. facilities in Benghazi. 𖏪] Details about possible al-Qaeda links were not in initial talking points used by both Petraeus and UN Ambassador Susan Rice because they were preliminary and based on classified sources, intelligence officials said.

CBS News reported that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) cut specific references to "al Qaeda" and "terrorism" from the unclassified talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice on the attack, with the agreement of the CIA and FBI. 𖏫]

In a White House press briefing to reporters, Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters: "There was no protest outside the Benghazi facility. To this day, it is the assessment of this administration and of our intelligence community and certainly the assessment of your colleagues and the press who have interviewed participants on the ground in the assault on our facilities in Benghazi that they acted at least in part in response to what they saw happening in Cairo and took advantage of that situation." 𖏬]


Libya Attack Brings Challenges for U.S.

Police officers threw stones and tear gas during clashes in Cairo.

Credit. Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

Police officers threw stones and tear gas during clashes in Cairo.

Credit. Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

A protester’s eyes were doused with milk after tear gas was fired in Cairo.

Credit. Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Obama.

Credit. Paul J. Richards/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

CAIRO — Islamist militants armed with antiaircraft weapons and rocket-propelled grenades stormed a lightly defended United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, late Tuesday, killing the American ambassador and three members of his staff and raising questions about the radicalization of countries swept up in the Arab Spring.

The ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, was missing almost immediately after the start of an intense, four-hour firefight for control of the mission, and his body was not located until Wednesday morning at dawn, when he was found dead at a Benghazi hospital, American and Libyan officials said. It was the first time since 1979 that an American ambassador had died in a violent assault.

American and European officials said that while many details about the attack remained unclear, the assailants seemed organized, well trained and heavily armed, and they appeared to have at least some level of advance planning. But the officials cautioned that it was too soon to tell whether the attack was related to the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Fighters involved in the assault, which was spearheaded by an Islamist brigade formed during last year’s uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, said in interviews during the battle that they were moved to attack the mission by anger over a 14-minute, American-made video that depicted the Prophet Muhammad, Islam’s founder, as a villainous, homosexual and child-molesting buffoon. Their attack followed by just a few hours the storming of the compound surrounding the United States Embassy in Cairo by an unarmed mob protesting the same video. On Wednesday, new crowds of protesters gathered outside the United States Embassies in Tunis and Cairo.

The wave of unrest set off by the video, posted online in the United States two months ago and dubbed into Arabic for the first time eight days ago, has further underscored the instability of the countries that cast off their longtime dictators in the Arab Spring revolts. It also cast doubt on the adequacy of security preparations at American diplomatic outposts in the volatile region.

Benghazi, awash in guns, has recently witnessed a string of assassinations as well as attacks on international missions, including a bomb said to be planted by another Islamist group that exploded near the United States mission there as recently as June. But a Libyan politician who had breakfast with Mr. Stevens at the mission the morning before he was killed described security, mainly four video cameras and as few as four Libyan guards, as sorely inadequate for an American ambassador in such a tumultuous environment. “This country is still in transition, and everybody knows the extremists are out there,” said Fathi Baja, the Libyan politician.

Obama Vows Justice

President Obama condemned the killings, promised to bring the assailants to justice and ordered tighter security at all American diplomatic installations. The administration also sent 50 Marines to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to help with security at the American Embassy there, ordered all nonemergency personnel to leave Libya and warned Americans not to travel there. A senior defense official said that the Pentagon sent two warships toward the Libyan coast as a precaution.

“These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity,” Mr. Obama said in a televised statement from the White House Rose Garden with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “Make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”

In Tripoli, Libyan leaders also vowed to track down the attackers and stressed their unity with Washington.

Yussef Magariaf, president of the newly elected Libyan National Congress, offered “an apology to the United States and the Arab people, if not the whole world, for what happened.” He pledged new measures to ensure the security of foreign diplomats and companies. “We together with the United States government are on the same side, standing in a united front in the face of these murderous outlaws.”

Obama administration officials and regional officials scrambled to sort out conflicting reports about the attack and the motivation of the attackers. A senior Obama administration officials told reporters during a conference call that “it was clearly a complex attack,” but offered no details.

Col. Wolfgang Pusztai, who until early August was Austria’s defense attaché to Libya and visited the country every month, said in an e-mail that he believed the attack was “deliberately planned and executed” by about a core group of 30 to 40 assailants who were “well trained and organized.” But he said the reports from some terrorism experts that the attack may be linked to the recent death in drone strikes of senior Qaeda leaders, including Abu Yahya al-Libi, were unsupported.

A translated version of the video that set off the uprising arrived first in Egypt before reaching the rest of the Islamic world. Its author, whose identity is now a mystery, devoted the video’s prologue to caricatured depictions of Egyptian Muslims abusing Egyptian Coptic Christians while Egyptian police officers stood by. It was publicized last week by an American Coptic Christian activist, Morris Sadek, well known here for his scathing attacks on Islam.

Mr. Sadek promoted the video in tandem with a declaration by Terry Jones — a Florida pastor best known for burning the Koran and promoting what he called “International Judge Muhammad Day” on Sept. 11.

The video began attracting attention in the Egyptian news media, including the broadcast of offensive scenes on Egyptian television last week. At that point, American diplomats in Cairo informed the State Department of the festering outrage in the days before the Sept. 11 anniversary, said a person briefed on their concerns. But officials in Washington declined to address or disavow the video, this person said.

By late afternoon Tuesday, hundreds had gathered in mostly peaceful protest outside the United States Embassy here, overseen by a large contingent of Egyptian security forces. But around 6 p.m., after the end of the workday and television news coverage of the event, the crowd began to swell, including a group of rowdy young soccer fans.

Gaining Entrance

Then, around 6:30 p.m., a small group of protesters — one official briefed on the events put it around 20 — brought a ladder to the wall of the compound and quickly scaled it, gaining entrance to the ground. Embassy officials asked the Egyptian government to remove the infiltrators without using weapons or force, to avoid inflaming the situation, this official said. (An embassy official said that contrary to reports on Tuesday, no one fired weapons in the air.) But it took the Egyptian security officers five hours to remove the intruders, leaving them ample time to run around the grounds, deface American flags, and hoist the black flag favored by Islamic ultraconservatives and labeled with Islam’s most basic expression of faith, “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his prophet.”

It is unclear if television images of Islamist protesters may have inspired the attack in Benghazi, which had been a hotbed of opposition to Colonel Qaddafi and remains unruly since the Libyan uprising resulted in his death. But Tuesday night, a group of armed assailants mixed with unarmed demonstrators gathered at the small compound that housed a temporary American diplomatic mission there.

The ambassador, Mr. Stevens, was visiting the city Tuesday from the United States Embassy compound in Tripoli to attend the planned opening of an American cultural center, and was staying at the mission. It is not clear if the assailants knew that the ambassador was at the mission.

Interviewed at the scene on Tuesday night, many attackers and those who backed them said they were determined to defend their faith from the video’s insults. Some recalled an earlier episode when protesters in Benghazi had burned down the Italian consulate after an Italian minister had worn a T-shirt emblazoned with cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Ten people were reportedly killed in clashes with Colonel Qaddafi’s police force.

That assault was led by a brigade of Islamist fighters known as Ansar al-Sharia, or the Supporters of Islamic Law. Brigade members emphasized at the time that they were not acting alone. On Wednesday, perhaps apprehensive over Mr. Stevens’s death, the brigade said in a statement that its supporters “were not officially involved or were not ordered to be involved” in the attack.

At the same time, the brigade praised those who protested as “the best of the best” of the Libyan people and supported their response to the video “in the strongest possible terms.”

Conflicting Accounts

There were conflicting accounts of how Mr. Stevens had died. One witness to the mayhem around the compound on Tuesday said militants chased him to a safe house and lobbed grenades at the location, where he was later found unconscious, apparently from smoke inhalation, and could not be revived by rescuers who took him to a hospital.

An unidentified Libyan official in Benghazi told Reuters that Mr. Stevens and three staff members were killed in Benghazi “when gunmen fired rockets at them.” The Libyan official said the ambassador was being driven from the mission building to a safer location when gunmen opened fire, Reuters said.

Five American ambassadors had been killed by terrorists before Tuesday’s attack, according to the State Department. The most recent was Adolph Dubs, killed after being kidnapped in Afghanistan in 1979. The others were John Gordon Mein, in Guatemala in 1968 Cleo A. Noel Jr., in Sudan in 1973 Rodger P. Davies, in Cyprus in 1974 and Francis E. Meloy Jr., in Lebanon in 1976.

Witnesses and State Department officials said that the attack began almost immediately after the protesters and the brigade arrived around 10 p.m. Witnesses said the brigade started the attack by firing a rocket-propelled grenade at the gate of the mission’s main building. American officials said that by 10:15 the attackers had gained entrance to the main building.

A second wave of assailants arrived soon after and swarmed into the compound, witnesses said.

“They expected that there would be more American commandos in there. They went in with guns blazing, with R.P.G.’s,” said Mohamed Ali, a relative of the landlord who rents the building to the American mission and who watched the battle.

Libya’s deputy interior minister, Wanis al-Sharif, made somewhat contradictory and defensive-sounding statements about the attack.

He acknowledged that he had ordered the withdrawal of security forces from the scene in the early stages of the protest on Wednesday night. He said his initial instinct was to avoid inflaming the situation by risking a confrontation with people angry about the video.

He also said he had underestimated the aggression of the protesters. But he criticized the small number of guards inside the mission for shooting back in self-defense, saying their response probably further provoked the attackers.

The small number of Libyans guarding the facility, estimated at only six, did not hold out long against the attackers, who had substantial firepower, the interior minister and State Department officials said. Defending the facility would have been a “suicide mission,” Mr. Sharif said.

Mr. Sharif also faulted the Americans at the mission for failing to heed what he said was the Libyan government’s advice to pull its personnel or beef up its security, especially in light of the recent violence in the city and the likelihood that the video would provoke protests. “What is weird is that they refrained from this procedure, depending instead on the simple protection that they had,” he said. “What happened later is beyond our control, and they are responsible for part of what happened.”

When the attack began, only Mr. Stevens, an aide named Sean Smith and a State Department security officer were inside the main building. As the building filled with smoke, security officers recovered Mr. Smith’s body but were driven out again by the firefight, senior administration officials said. Mr. Stevens, however, could not be found and was lost for the rest of the night.

It took another hour — until 11:20 — before American and Libyan forces recaptured the main building and evacuated the entire staff to an annex nearly a mile away. The militants followed and the fighting continued there until 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, when Libyan security reinforcements arrived and managed to gain control of both compounds.

A freelance photographer took pictures of Libyans apparently carrying Mr. Stevens’s ash-covered body out of the scene that were distributed worldwide by Agence France-Presse. A doctor who treated him at the Benghazi hospital told The Associated Press that Libyans had brought him in but were unaware of his identity. The doctor said that he tried for 90 minutes to revive Mr. Stevens but that he died of asphyxiation, The A.P. reported.

A senior administration official said it was not clear how or when Mr. Stevens was taken to the hospital — or by whom. “We frankly don’t know how he got from where Americans last saw him,” the official said.

On Wednesday night, residents of both Tripoli and Benghazi staged demonstrations to condemn the attack and express their sorrow at the loss of Mr. Stevens. Stationed in Benghazi during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi, Mr. Stevens, who was fluent in Arabic and French, had become a local hero for his support to the Libyan rebels during their time of greatest need. Benghazi residents circulated photographs online of Mr. Stevens frequenting local restaurants, relishing local dishes, and strolling city streets, apparently without a security detail.

On Wednesday, some friends of Mr. Stevens suggested that his faith in his bond with the people of Benghazi may have blinded him to the dangers there. “Everybody liked him,” said Mr. Baja, who ate breakfast with Mr. Stevens on Tuesday. “He is a good man, a friendly man, he knows lots of the sheiks in town and a lot of the intellectuals have spent some good times with him.”


Australia: Did Australia create a film about Mohammed? Muslims attack and beat police

“Obama, Obama, we love Osama” and “Sharia will dominate the world” were some of the friendly signs Muslims in Australia displayed today.

The Muslim excuse for violence is getting thinner and thinner. Wasn’t their violence blamed on a U.S. made film? Then what does Australia got to do with it? Muslims are rioting in Australia, spitting on police and hitting them.

In July 2012 Nasser Al-Bahri, former bodyguard of Osama Bin Laden, warned that there would be large scale attacks against the West in “near future”. The plotting and planning continues, and the masses are made to become more aggressive and angry.

Hopefully these worldwide riots are a wake-up call for the West to realize what they are doing with their immigration policies and weaknesses. They need to plan to begin removing Muslim migrants, and stop all further immigration of more Muslims to the west.


U.S. officials: Attack on consulate in Libya may have been planned

U.S. officials and Middle East analysts said Wednesday that an attack that killed four Americans at a U.S. Consulate in eastern Libya may have been planned by extremists and inspired by al-Qaeda.

The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans were killed Tuesday in an assault on the consulate in the city of Benghazi. President Obama strongly condemned the attack and pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice, vowing that “justice will be done.”

The attack followed a violent protest at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo over a low-budget anti-Muslim film made in the United States, and it initially appeared that the assault on the Benghazi consulate was another spontaneous response. But senior U.S. officials and Middle East analysts raised questions Wednesday about the motivation for the Benghazi attack, noting that it involved the use of a rocket-propelled grenade and followed an al-Qaeda call to avenge the death of a senior Libyan member of the terrorist network.

Libyan officials and a witness said the attackers took advantage of a protest over the film to launch their assault.

Stevens, 52, and the others appear to have been killed inside the temporary consulate, possibly by a rocket-propelled grenade, according to officials briefed on the assault.

On Wednesday, administration officials described a fast-moving assault on the Benghazi compound, which quickly overwhelmed Libyan guards and U.S. security forces, and separated the Americans from the ambassador they were supposed to protect. U.S. personnel lost touch with Stevens just minutes into the attack, about 10 p.m. Benghazi time. They didn’t see him again until his body was returned to U.S. custody, sometime around dawn.

“Frankly, we are not clear on the circumstances between the time he got separated from the group inside the burning building, to the time we were notified he was in Benghazi hospital,” a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity told reporters. “We were not able to see him until his body was returned to us at the airport.”

Stevens, based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, happened to be visiting the U.S. outpost in Benghazi at the time of the attack. Officials said he was one of perhaps 25 or 30 people inside the U.S. consulate compound and its annex at 10 p.m. local time (4 p.m. Washington time), when unidentified gunmen began firing from outside.

Within 15 minutes, the officials said, the gunmen had entered the compound, and set its main building on fire. Three people were inside: Stevens, Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer, and a Department of State security officer. As the building filled with dark smoke, the three became separated.

The security officer escaped, then went back inside with another officer. They found Smith dead inside, and pulled his body out. But they could not find Stevens, before being driven out of the building by smoke and gunfire.

Thirty minutes later, U.S. security officers tried again to enter the burning building. They withdrew, and eventually sheltered with all remaining personnel in an annex building. There, the personnel were under seige for two hours, taking fire that killed two more Americans and wounded three others.

The attack did not end until about 8:30 p.m. Washington time, when Libyan security forces helped drive away the attackers. Administration officials said they still were not sure Wednesday who the attackers were, or if the Benghazi attack was related to protests over an anti-Islamic movie at the U.S. embassy in Cairo the same day.

Map of U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya (Gene Thorp/Image source: Digital Globe via Google Earth)

At some point during the attack, officials said, Stevens was taken out of the building where he was last seen. But they did not know how he got out, if Stevens was dead or alive when he left the compound, or whether he was taken to a hospital.

The Associated Press reported that Stevens arrived at a Benghazi hospital about 7 p.m. Eastern, and was pronounced dead later. Doctors said he died of asphyxiation, due to smoke inhalation. U.S. officials said that would have to be confirmed with an autopsy.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said there is strong evidence that the attack was planned.

“This was a well-armed, well-coordinated event,” Rogers said in an interview on MSNBC. “It had both indirect and direct fire, and it had military maneuvers that were all part of this very organized attack.” Rogers referred to weapons that aimed directly at a target and those, such as rockets and mortars, that are fired without a direct line of sight.

According to Firas Abdelhakim, a Libyan television journalist who said he witnessed part of the attack, a group of several dozen armed men mounted the assault.

Abdelhakim said he was about three miles from consulate when he saw 20 to 30 cars driving toward the consulate shortly before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

When he reached the consulate, he said, he saw about 50 armed men gathering who were not carrying banners or chanting slogans. When asked who they were, they described themselves variously as “Muslims defending the Prophet” and “a group of Muslim youth” who were “defending Islam,” Abdelhakim said.

He said he saw Libyan security forces — the February 17 Battalion — guarding the consulate, a walled-off villa compound with several buildings, a swimming pool and one security watchtower on an unpaved side street in a prosperous residential district of Benghazi.

The assault on the consulate started sometime between 10:30 and 11 p.m., and the two groups traded fire, Abdelhakim said.

Benghazi residents said the compound had never previously had a major security presence around it.

Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif said the security force was outgunned by the attackers, who joined a demonstration of “hundreds” of people outside the consulate. He said the original demonstration, which began as early as noon and escalated during the evening, was apparently called to protest the offensive film.

Sharif said armed men “infiltrated” the protest, but that the Libyan government did not believe they were Islamist militants. Instead, he said, authorities suspect they were loyalists of slain former strongman Moammar Gaddafi who were out to upend the country’s fragile political situation.

“We are going through a war with people from the old regime who are trying to destabilize security,” Sharif said. He also said the Libyan government believes that the first shot came from within the consulate compound, enraging the crowd. And he complained that the consulate should have extracted its employees earlier in the day and taken them to hotels or another secure location for safety.

Sharif said the consulate was completely burned and looted. “The most we expected was taking down the American flag and burning it,” he said. “We didn’t expect what happened to take place.”

The Defense Department has dispatched two Marine antiterrorism security teams to Libya to reinforce security there, a senior Marine official said. In a statement issued by the White House early Wednesday, Obama said he had directed an increase in security at U.S. diplomatic posts around the world.

(Find the latest updates on The Post’s live blog.)

The FBI said in a statement that it has opened an investigation into the deaths of the four Americans and the attack on the consulate. It said investigators would work closely with the State Department and “the appropriate government partners” in Libya.

“The FBI will not speculate on the facts and circumstances surrounding the attacks,” the statement said.

A U.S. military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said all four of the dead were State Department civilians. About a half dozen Americans were wounded in the attack, and it was not immediately clear if any of them were military. No U.S. Marines were posted at the consulate as part of its security detail, the official said.

The attack was the latest in a series of violent assaults in Benghazi over the last several months — many, but not all, directed against U.S. interests there.

Tuesday’s assault was the second on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. On June 5, a bomb exploded outside the gates of the compound in the first targeting of an American facility since the fall of Gaddafi last year.

The following day in Benghazi, two British bodyguards were injured in an attack on a convoy carrying the British ambassador to Libya. Last month, unknown assailants attacked a compound of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Libyan port city of Misurata. No one was injured in that attack.

A group allied with al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for several recent assaults in Benghazi. But there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Tuesday’s attack.

Obama said Wednesday morning that the United States “condemns in the strongest possible terms this outrageous and shocking attack” and is working with the Libyan government to secure U.S. diplomats and bring the attackers to justice.

Appearing with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the White House Rose Garden, Obama said: “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.”

He said many Libyans have already joined that stand, and he vowed, “This attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.” He stressed that Libyan security personnel had “fought back against the attackers alongside Americans” and that other Libyans carried Stevens’s body to the hospital and helped U.S. diplomats find safety.

Obama added: “We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

Obama spoke as some Middle East analysts suggested that the attack in Benghazi might have been launched as revenge for the death of a top al-Qaeda militant who was killed by an American drone strike in Pakistan in June.

Mathieu Guidere, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Toulouse in France and an expert on Islamist radicals, said information from militant Web sites suggested that Libyan extremists seized on the film to rally people around an attack on the consulate. He said the attack appeared to be motivated by a recent call by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda leader, to avenge the killing of Hassan Mohammed Qaed, better known as Abu Yahya al-Libi, a Libyan-born cleric who was a key aide to Osama bin Laden.

Quillam, a respected British think-tank that monitors extremist groups, said its sources in Libya and elsewhere in the region described the attack as a well-planned assault that occurred in two waves and was organized by a group of about 20 militants. The first wave involved driving the Americans from the consulate, and the second was a coordinated attack using a rocket-propelled grenade after they were taken to another location.

“These are acts committed by uncontrollable jihadist groups,” said Noman Benotam, the president of Quillam.

Zawahiri, an Egyptian who took over as al-Qaeda leader after bin Laden was killed in a U.S. raid on his Pakistani hideout in May, issued a 42-minute video Monday acknowledging Libi’s death and calling on Muslims, particularly fellow Libyans, to seek vengeance for the killing.

“With the martyrdom of Sheikh Hassan Mohammed Qaed, may God have mercy on him, people will flock even more to his writings and his call, God willing,” Zawahiri said in the video. “His blood urges you and incites you to fight and kill the crusaders.”

Stevens, a longtime Middle East hand in the State Department, was named ambassador to Libya in May. He had worked in Libya for a number of years, both before and after the fall of Gaddafi.

In an interview with The Washington Post in June, Stevens said Libya’s emerging democracy faces a threat from small, violent Islamist groups that reject elections.

“These are, for the most part, new groups that are emerging after the revolution, and the Libyans themselves don’t know who they are,” Stevens said. “Some of these groups are probably forming out of the militias that grew out of the revolution, and they have access to arms, so that is troubling.”

On the recent series of violent incidents in Libya, Stevens said, “When people cross the line, it’s also a function of a lack of strong state and police to enforce the law.”

Obama called Stevens a “courageous and exemplary representative” of the U.S. government, who “selflessly served our country and the Libyan people.”

“His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice,” Obama said.

Clinton said she had called Libyan President Mohamed Yusuf al-Magariaf “to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya.”

The attack in Benghazi followed protests in neighboring Egypt, where a group of protesters scaled the wall of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday evening and entered its outer grounds, pulled down an American flag, then tried to burn it outside the embassy walls, according to witnesses. On Wednesday morning, a sit-in by several dozen protesters continued outside the Cairo embassy.

The attack on the embassy in Cairo was apparently prompted by outrage over an independent, anti-Muslim film made in the United States. It illustrated a deep vein of anti-American sentiment, even though the United States supported Arab Spring revolutions and was instrumental in providing financial and diplomatic support for their newly-democratic governments.

After his Rose Garden remarks, Obama headed to the State Department with Clinton to address a closed session of the diplomatic workforce. A White House official said Obama held the meeting “to express his solidarity with our diplomats stationed around the world.” The official said Obama wanted to “give thanks for the service and sacrifices that our civilians make, and pay tribute to those who were lost.”

Clinton identified Smith as a Foreign Service information management officer for 10 years who was on a temporary assignment in Libya. She said Smith, an Air Force veteran, left a wife and two children. The names of the other two people killed were being withheld pending notification of their families, Clinton said.

Before appearing at the White House with Obama, Clinton called those who attacked the Benghazi consulate a “small and savage group,” praised the response by the Libyan government and people to the violence and said the assault would not deter the United States from helping Libya become free and stable.

“This is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world,” Clinton said in a solemn speech at the State Department. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of violence.”

“Today many Americans are asking — indeed I asked myself — how could this happen,” she said. “How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and, at times, how confounding, the world can be. But we must be clear-eyed even in our grief. This was an attack by a small and savage group, not by the people or government of Libya.”

Clinton said Libyans had helped to repel the attackers and lead other Americans to safety, and she said Libya’s president has pledged to pursue those responsible.

Stressing that “a free and stable Libya” is in the U.S. interest, Clinton said, “We will not turn our back on that. Nor will we rest until those responsible for these attacks are found and brought to justice.”

She said some people have sought to justify the violence as “a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” She added: “There is no justification for this. Violence like this is no way to honor religion or faith, and as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace.”

Both the Egyptian and Libyan governments condemned the violence outside the American diplomatic compounds. But local security officials in both countries appeared slow to provide protection for the American diplomatic installations and have issued no firm statements explaining the violence.

In a news conference in Tripoli Wednesday, Libya’s prime minister and parliamentary speaker apologized for the assault and extended sympathy for the deaths to the United States and families of the victims.

While they provided no details, they offered two alternative theories regarding the perpetrators, saying at one point that Gaddafi loyalists were responsible but later saying that it involved “extremists” and was related to Tuesday’s anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.

The film that appeared to have sparked the protest in Cairo is called “The Innocence of Muslims.” It calls the prophet Muhammad a fraud and shows him having sex. A controversial Cairo television host, Sheikh Khaled Abdallah, aired clips from the video on an Islamic-focused television station on Saturday, and the same video clips were posted online on Monday.

A man who identified himself as Sam Bacile said he made the film. Bacile had gone into hiding on Tuesday, but remained defiant in his condemnations of Islam, the Associated Press reported.

Bacile described himself to several news organizations as an Israeli-born Jew who works as a real estate developer in California. The Washington Post included that identification, citing the AP interview. But Steve Klein, an associate of Bacile, told the Atlantic that Bacile was in fact a pseudonym. Bacile is not listed in any directories or incorporations or real estate deeds and is not licensed in California as a real estate broker.

The crisis quickly spilled over into the U.S. presidential campaign, as Mitt Romney issued a brief statement saying he was “outraged” by the assaults. Romney then said, “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn the attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

Obama’s reelection campaign quickly responded in kind, saying, “We are shocked that, at a time when the United States of America is confronting the tragic death of one of our diplomatic officers in Libya, Governor Romney would choose the launch of a political attack.”

Romney, speaking to reporters on the campaign trail Wednesday, stood by his criticism.

Stevens was the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1988, when Arnold Raphel was killed in a mysterious airplane crash in Pakistan along with Pakistani president Zia ul-Haq.

Birnbaum reported from Cairo. Sari Horwitz, Douglas Frantz , Tara Bahrampour, Craig M. Whitlock and David A. Fahrenthold in Washington, Edward Cody in Paris, HaithamTabei in Cairo, and Ingy Hassieb in El-Arish, Egypt, contributed to this report.


Libya Consulate Hit With Two Attacks That Lasted Nearly Five Hours

A U.S. official says more attacks in the region are possible.

Libya Attackers Kill US Ambassador: Investigation

Sept. 12, 2012— -- The assault on the American consulate in Libya consisted of two separate attacks that forced the Americans from the consulate and then besieged them in a second building in a gunbattle that lasted four and half hours, according to a detailed timeline from a senior administration official.

The bloody offensive by extremists killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. In addition, three more U.S. personnel were wounded.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the Libyan militants a "small and savage group," and she praised Stevens, who began working in Libya during the revolt against Moammar Gadhafi.

"He risked his life to stop a tyrant and gave his life trying to build a better Libya," she said.

The gunfire erupted around 10 p.m. Tuesday while 25-30 personnel were in the compound which consisted of several buildings and was guarded by a Libyan security force. Libyan Deputy Interior Minister of the Eastern Region Wanis al-Sharif told a news conference today that about 20 gun-wielding attackers fire automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.

By 10:15 p.m., the attackers had stormed the grounds and begun firing on the main building. The U.S. official said that Stevens, 52 Sean Smith, a foreign service information management officer and a regional security officer were in the main building, which by then had been set ablaze.

By 10:45 p.m., the trio had become separated by thick smoke as they tried to get out of the building. The regional security officer made it out of the building and U.S. security personnel tried to rescue Stevens and Smith. Smith, however, had died of smoke inhalation. His body was pulled from the building.

The searchers were unable to find Stevens before heavy gunfire forced them to retreat to a mission annex building, which was a distance away from the main building.

It took two attempts before American security officials were able to regain control of the consulate at 11:20 p.m., and they evacuated the staff from all of the buildings to the annex.

However, by midnight the U.S. official said today, a second assault began as the annex started taking fire. Libya's al-Sharif said today that a separate group was involved in that firefight. It lasted for more than two hours. Two more personnel were killed in that battle and two were wounded.

By 2:30 a.m., nearly five hours after the assault had begun, Libyan security forces helped to regain control of the site.

The State Department said that some time between 10:15 p.m. and 11:20 p.m., Stevens left the main building and went to the hospital. Clinton said he was taken there by Libyans.

Stevens was not seen by his colleagues until his body was brought later that evening to the Benghazi airport, where all U.S. personnel taken for a flight to Tripoli.

The U.S. official said that all U.S. staff had now been sent to Europe and the wounded are being treated in Germany.

The two other Americans also died during the incident but had not yet been publicly identified, officials said. U.S. officials are still making next of kin notifications.

The attack on the consulate in Benghazi came shortly after protesters in Cairo, Egypt, scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy and tore down the American flag in an angry demonstration against a movie about the life of the Prophet Muhammad, depicting the founder of Islam as a fraud and a womanizer.

Egypt's embassy, along with embassies located in Armenia, Burundi, Kuwait, Sudan, Tunisia and Zambia all issued warnings on Wednesday advising Americans to be particularly vigilant.

Clinton suggested that the movie played a role in the Benghazi attack as well, saying they were "working to determine motivations," but added, "Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior, along with the protest that took place at our embassy in Cairo yesterday, as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet."

The secretary of state said she asked herself "how could this happen in a country we helped liberate and in a city we helped to save from destruction." But she added that the people who attacked the consulate were a "small and savage group."

President Obama said in a statement, "I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers."

"I have directed my administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe," the president continued.

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden this morning, Obama said, "We will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done."

Later today Obama issued a statement that as a mark of respect for the memory of Stevens, Smith and the American personnel killed in the attack, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff until sunset on September 16.

Officials have confirmed that 50 marines in the Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) are now headed to the embassy in Tripoli from the U.S. Naval Base in Rota, Spain.

A defense official says the bodies have been recovered, though there is still no word on when they might be transported out of the country. All other U.S. personnel at the consulate in Benghazi now have been taken out of the city.

The group suspected of carrying out the consulate attack is called Ansar al Sharia, according to Libyan sources. But the group, which is close to al Qaeda in ideology and is based in east Libya, has denied responsibility for the attack.

Libyan President Mohammed Yussef Magariaf promised to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in the country, condemned the assault on the embassy and pledged his government's full cooperation, Clinton said.

Mohammed el-Megarif, Libya's interim president, apologized to the U.S. on Wednesday for the attack that killed Stevens and vowed to bring the culprits to justice.

Stevens, who was a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and served two tours of duty in Libya, began his term of appointment on May 22, and he was in Libya during the uprising that deposed Qaddafi, serving as the American representative to the transitional national council.

A senior U.S. official told ABC News the State Department is on alert throughout the region and fears there could be more attacks to come.

In Cairo, protesters enraged by the movie scaled the embassy walls and took down the flag from a pole in the courtyard. After trying unsuccessfully to burn it, they ripped it apart and replaced it with a black flag bearing Arabic writing.

The movie was made by Israeli producer Sam Bacile, according to a statement released Wednesday from Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, and has been promoted by controversial pastor Terry Jones, the Florida preacher whose Koran burning in March 2010 led to the deadly violence in Afghanistan.

Jones said Tuesday in a statement that the movie was titled "Innocence of Muslims" and was intended not to attack Muslims but to show the "destructive ideology of Islam."

"The movie further reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad," he said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a statement condemning the movie and called it an "insult" to Islam.

"Desecration is not a part of the freedom of expression, but a criminal act that has now badly affected the righteous sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims all over the globe," Karzai said.

ABC News' Martha Raddatz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


The Two 9/11s

We Americans look back to the attacks of September 11 th , 2001 with sadness, remembering the innocent lives taken on that day. But we also look back on that day with a sense of national pride. Countless ordinary people emerged as heroes to meet the challenges set before us by a small group of Islamic terrorists that were hell-bent on destroying our nation's morale and economy. But contrary to their ambitions, a firmer, more resilient America was forged on that day.

Part of this can be attributed to George W. Bush, who gave Americans a powerful, direct message on September 12 th , 2001. "Freedom and democracy are under attack," he said, and he made the promise that "America will use our resources to conquer this enemy. We will rally the world. We will be patient. We will be focused. We will be steadfast in our determination. This battle will take time and resolve. But make no mistake about it: we will win."

On September 11 th , 2012, this enemy attacked America again. Islamist insurgents stormed the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, murdering four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Protesting crowds in Cairo scaled the US Embassy walls and tore down the American flag, replacing it briefly with a flag of their own.

This time, unlike 2001, their identity is less hidden by the shadows. We know this enemy well. We know that a "black Islamist flag," potentially an al Qaeda flag, flew over the US Embassy in Cairo on the day of the attacks. And we know that the likeliest suspect in the Libya attack is a "pro-al Qaeda group" like the one that hoisted an al Qaeda flag over a Benghazi courthouse last October.

But unlike his predecessor, who responded to an attack against America with vigorous and determined words, Barack Obama has responded with tepid regurgitations about moral relativism among religions, and ambiguity about the perpetrators of the crime and its aftermath.

On September 12 th , 2012, a somber Barack Obama took the podium to address the American people. Despite my opposition to his politics, I wanted to be inspired. On this one thing, I hoped we could agree, and he would stand and be the leader our country desperately needs in this hour.

But within the first two minutes of his address, the president offered the Islamic world a disclaimer, saying that "we reject all efforts to denigrate the beliefs of others," but "there is absolutely no justification for this kind of senseless violence." Here, he effectively gave a partial condemnation of the American filmmakers whose anti-Islamic film caused Islamists to react violently (and calculatedly, given the symbolism of the date) to protect the "dignity" of Prophet, as one Libyan mosque leader put it. This is the same silly line of thought has been used by an MSNBC panel to call for the prosecution the filmmakers for their disrespectful portrayal of Muhammad.

But this relativism, as portrayed by the media and our president, is a farce. If Christians had reacted in 1987 by murdering people when an artist proudly displayed an effigy of Jesus Christ in a bowl of his own urine (in blatant disregard to His "dignity"), there would rightfully be no calls to prosecute the artist. There would instead be staunch defense of the right to free expression and condemnation of the religionists responsible for the violence. So why has the president chosen such wishy-washy and divisive terms to condemn the religionists responsible for the murders in Benghazi?

More questions ensued as Obama's speech progressed. Why does he refuse to even acknowledge that the attackers are religionists, or more specifically, Islamists -- or even more specifically and correctly, Islamic terrorists? He refused to identify the enemy beyond a vague assumption that they are a small, radical group. Rather, he takes the moment to assuage American concerns about Libya, claiming that "the attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya," going so far as saying that concerned Libyans carried Ambassador Stevens to the hospital, "where he later died."

Ambassador Stevens died at the hospital? Prior to his speech, Americans had seen these pictures of Stevens' corpse being carried in the streets. Did the "good" Libyans rob his corpse from the hospital morgue and take it to the streets? Was the president simply mistaken, and did he mean to say they carried his corpse to the hospital? Is this a lie? And most importantly, why is it even being addressed in this setting, if not meant to whitewash American impressions of Libya in the wake of an attack made by Libyans, against Americans, and on American soil?

Rather than lay down a gauntlet to our enemies that have committed an act of war, Obama seemed to be defending his administration's support of the Libyan uprising. His opponents have been vocal about the shrouded and potentially nefarious elements that could seize influence in the vacuum left by Gaddafi's regime in Libya. These attacks prove that those elements are indeed a significant threat, and this speech seemed directed at downplaying that threat. At a time when we needed the president to tell the world that aggression against America will not be tolerated for any reason, he chose to give another lecture about religious tolerance and how a few rotten Islamist apples won't spoil the barrel.

We mourn for the four Americans murdered in this heinous attack, and for the attack on our sovereignty. But with that sadness, there is no pride beyond the memory of the pride felt eleven years ago-- a pride that was solidified by a leader with the resolve to identify our enemy, look him in the eye, and tell him that he is targeted for his crimes. Barack Obama is not that leader, and I have never been so ashamed to call someone my nation's representative as I now feel about him in his response to these attacks.

If September 11 th and 12 th , 2001, were two days in which Americans can be proud of how our resolve was strengthened, September 11 th and 12 th ,2012 are two days in which we should all be ashamed of how that resolve has crumbled.

William Sullivan blogs at politicalpalaverblog.blogspot.com and can be followed on Twitter.

We Americans look back to the attacks of September 11 th , 2001 with sadness, remembering the innocent lives taken on that day. But we also look back on that day with a sense of national pride. Countless ordinary people emerged as heroes to meet the challenges set before us by a small group of Islamic terrorists that were hell-bent on destroying our nation's morale and economy. But contrary to their ambitions, a firmer, more resilient America was forged on that day.

Part of this can be attributed to George W. Bush, who gave Americans a powerful, direct message on September 12 th , 2001. "Freedom and democracy are under attack," he said, and he made the promise that "America will use our resources to conquer this enemy. We will rally the world. We will be patient. We will be focused. We will be steadfast in our determination. This battle will take time and resolve. But make no mistake about it: we will win."

On September 11 th , 2012, this enemy attacked America again. Islamist insurgents stormed the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, murdering four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Protesting crowds in Cairo scaled the US Embassy walls and tore down the American flag, replacing it briefly with a flag of their own.

This time, unlike 2001, their identity is less hidden by the shadows. We know this enemy well. We know that a "black Islamist flag," potentially an al Qaeda flag, flew over the US Embassy in Cairo on the day of the attacks. And we know that the likeliest suspect in the Libya attack is a "pro-al Qaeda group" like the one that hoisted an al Qaeda flag over a Benghazi courthouse last October.

But unlike his predecessor, who responded to an attack against America with vigorous and determined words, Barack Obama has responded with tepid regurgitations about moral relativism among religions, and ambiguity about the perpetrators of the crime and its aftermath.

On September 12 th , 2012, a somber Barack Obama took the podium to address the American people. Despite my opposition to his politics, I wanted to be inspired. On this one thing, I hoped we could agree, and he would stand and be the leader our country desperately needs in this hour.

But within the first two minutes of his address, the president offered the Islamic world a disclaimer, saying that "we reject all efforts to denigrate the beliefs of others," but "there is absolutely no justification for this kind of senseless violence." Here, he effectively gave a partial condemnation of the American filmmakers whose anti-Islamic film caused Islamists to react violently (and calculatedly, given the symbolism of the date) to protect the "dignity" of Prophet, as one Libyan mosque leader put it. This is the same silly line of thought has been used by an MSNBC panel to call for the prosecution the filmmakers for their disrespectful portrayal of Muhammad.

But this relativism, as portrayed by the media and our president, is a farce. If Christians had reacted in 1987 by murdering people when an artist proudly displayed an effigy of Jesus Christ in a bowl of his own urine (in blatant disregard to His "dignity"), there would rightfully be no calls to prosecute the artist. There would instead be staunch defense of the right to free expression and condemnation of the religionists responsible for the violence. So why has the president chosen such wishy-washy and divisive terms to condemn the religionists responsible for the murders in Benghazi?

More questions ensued as Obama's speech progressed. Why does he refuse to even acknowledge that the attackers are religionists, or more specifically, Islamists -- or even more specifically and correctly, Islamic terrorists? He refused to identify the enemy beyond a vague assumption that they are a small, radical group. Rather, he takes the moment to assuage American concerns about Libya, claiming that "the attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya," going so far as saying that concerned Libyans carried Ambassador Stevens to the hospital, "where he later died."

Ambassador Stevens died at the hospital? Prior to his speech, Americans had seen these pictures of Stevens' corpse being carried in the streets. Did the "good" Libyans rob his corpse from the hospital morgue and take it to the streets? Was the president simply mistaken, and did he mean to say they carried his corpse to the hospital? Is this a lie? And most importantly, why is it even being addressed in this setting, if not meant to whitewash American impressions of Libya in the wake of an attack made by Libyans, against Americans, and on American soil?

Rather than lay down a gauntlet to our enemies that have committed an act of war, Obama seemed to be defending his administration's support of the Libyan uprising. His opponents have been vocal about the shrouded and potentially nefarious elements that could seize influence in the vacuum left by Gaddafi's regime in Libya. These attacks prove that those elements are indeed a significant threat, and this speech seemed directed at downplaying that threat. At a time when we needed the president to tell the world that aggression against America will not be tolerated for any reason, he chose to give another lecture about religious tolerance and how a few rotten Islamist apples won't spoil the barrel.

We mourn for the four Americans murdered in this heinous attack, and for the attack on our sovereignty. But with that sadness, there is no pride beyond the memory of the pride felt eleven years ago-- a pride that was solidified by a leader with the resolve to identify our enemy, look him in the eye, and tell him that he is targeted for his crimes. Barack Obama is not that leader, and I have never been so ashamed to call someone my nation's representative as I now feel about him in his response to these attacks.

If September 11 th and 12 th , 2001, were two days in which Americans can be proud of how our resolve was strengthened, September 11 th and 12 th ,2012 are two days in which we should all be ashamed of how that resolve has crumbled.


September 12, 2012-American Embassy Stormed in Cairo, Attacked in Benghazi- Possibly By Al Qaeda on 9/11 - History

If you say “September 11” most people automatically think of the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. What they probably don’t even remember happened on September 11, were the attacks on the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

Once the Libyan Revolution began in February 2011, the CIA began placing assets in the region, attempting to make contacts within the region. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, whose name and image would soon become synonymous with the Benghazi attacks, was the first liaison between the United States and the rebels. The task before the American intelligence community at that time was securing arms in the country, most notably shoulder-fired missiles, taken from the Libyan military.

Eastern Libya and Benghazi were the primary focal points of intelligence-gathering in the country. But there was something else at work here: The CIA was using the country as a base to funnel weapons to anti-Assad forces in Syria, as well as their alleged diplomatic mission.

Early Rumblings of Disorder in Benghazi

Trouble started in April 2012. This was when two former security guards of the consulate threw an IED over the fence. No casualties were reported, but another bomb was thrown at a convoy just four days later. Soon after, in May, the office of the International Red Cross in Benghazi was attacked and the local al-Qaeda affiliate claimed responsibility. On August 6, the Red Cross suspended operations in Libya.

This was all part of a troubling escalation of violence in the region. The British Ambassador Dominic Asquith was the victim of an assassination attempt on June 10, 2012. As a result of this and of rocket attacks on convoys, the British withdrew their entire consular staff from Libya in late June of that year.

American military and consular personnel on the scene were increasingly troubled by the situation and communicated their concerns to top brass through official channels. Two security guards in the consulate noticed a Libyan police officer (or at least someone dressed as one) taking pictures of the building, which raised alarms. Indeed, consular officials had been requesting additional security as far back as March.

On June 6, 2012, a large hole was blown in the wall of the consulate gate. It was estimated that 40 men could go through the hole in the wall. In July, the State Department informed officials on the ground that the existing security contract would not be renewed. On August 2, Ambassador Stephens requested additional security detail. The State Department responded by completely removing his security detail three days later. Three days after this, his security detail had left Libya entirely. On August 16, the regional security officer warned then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the security situation in Libya was “dire.”

The Day of the Attack on Benghazi: The Cover-Up Begins

The September 11, 2012 attack was actually two attacks by two separate militias. The first was the attack on the diplomatic mission, the second was a mortar attack on the CIA annex. But the attacks themselves were effectively watched in real time by the White House, thanks to security drones in the region. By 5:10pm ET, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta were watching real-time footage via a drone deployed to the area.

Half an hour later, the State Department officially refused to deploy the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST). FEST exists specifically for rapid response to terrorist attacks around the world and have special training with regard to defending American embassies. Within three hours, an Islamic group in the region had claimed responsibility for the attack. Approximately six hours after the first shots were fired, two former Navy SEALs who constituted the only serious defense forces for the consulate were killed by enemy fire. The surveillance drone had been watching them fight on their own for over two hours.

At 10:30 that night, Hillary Clinton nebulously blamed “inflammatory material on the Internet” for the attack. The notion that the attack was motivated by Innocence of Muslims was absurd: On the day before the attack, the leader of al-Qaeda in the region called for vengeance due to the death of his secretary. Three days after the attack, Stephens’ personal diary was found unsecured, along with all the other sensitive intelligence information in the compound.

For days, the film was blamed despite the White House having full knowledge that it was a terrorist attack. Indeed, on September 14, Barack Obama promised the father of one of the slain Navy SEALs not that he would bring to justice those who planned the attack, but the man who made the movie.

On September 20, 2012, the White House spent $70,000 on apology videos for the film. One day later, ten days after the attack, Clinton admitted to the public what she had known for over a week: That this was a coordinated terrorist attack. However, on the 25th, President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations once again blaming the video, giving what is perhaps one of the more memorable quotes of his presidency: “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”

On September 27, 2012, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was arrested in Los Angeles for parole violations, all of which were related to his production of the film and served a year in jail. He was later sentenced to death in absentia by the Egyptian government.

Barack Obama did not attend his daily intelligence briefing for six consecutive days prior to the attacks, instead campaigning for re-election against Mitt Romney.

Susan Rice, then acting as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, made the rounds on no fewer than five major Sunday morning talk shows, a process known as “the Full Ginsburg.” On these shows, she was armed with a set of talking points from the CIA. These talking points included the false assertion that these were spontaneous protests inspired by similar protests against the American Embassy in Cairo, with no connection to institutional terrorism.

The Rice appearances and the talking points she was provided with further confirm a general pattern: The Obama Administration was fundamentally incapable of acknowledging who the real enemy was. And when things went wrong, the focus was not on setting them right to protect Americans in the future, but on protecting the image of the Obama Administration – most notably the President and the Secretary of State. Hence the blame was shifted from Islamic terrorist groups onto a YouTube video.


Watch the video: Sept. 12, 2001 Television - NBC 7-8. (August 2022).