U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT NAMES GROUPS BEHIND BENGHAZI STRIKES

Fox News on January 10, 2014, reported that the State Department for the first time blamed specific groups and militants for the 2012 Benghazi attack, designating them as terrorists — a move that further undermines initial claims the attack was spontaneous.

The department announced that it was labeling Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah as terror organizations, in part over their role in the Benghazi attack. It applied the same label to Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, over a separate attack on Americans in Tunis.

The State Department also labeled as terrorists Sufian bin Qumu, head of the Darnah branch and a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, and Ahmed Abu Khattalah, head of the Benghazi branch.

According to bin Qumu’s Guantanamo file, he has historic ties to the Al Qaeda network, including training at one point at “Usama bin Laden’s Torkham camp.”
The State Department, in its announcement , specifically discussed allegations against the Ansar al-Sharia branches.

“Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi and Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah have been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets, frequent assassinations, and attempted assassinations of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya, and the September 11, 2012 attacks against the U.S. Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya,” the department said. “Members of both organizations continue to pose a threat to U.S. interests in Libya.”

Shortly after the attack, administration officials indicated it was related to protests over an anti-Islam film that were raging elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East, describing it as spontaneous. They have since backed off that explanation, though have not ruled out the film as having played some role. Many lawmakers, though, have claimed the film was not a factor and the attack was planned by terrorists.

The department cited Khattalah and bin Qumu over their leadership roles in the al-Sharia organizations. Khattalah, though, told Fox News in October 2012 that while he was at the U.S. consulate that night, he was not responsible for the attack. He claimed he was helping Libyan security workers defending the compound.

The new terror designation bars anyone from providing or trying to provide “material support or resources” to those organizations and individuals, and freezes any assets they have in the U.S. The State Department announced that it has also updated its Rewards for Justice website to include a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone involved in the Benghazi attack.

The department had faced criticism for not including that reward on the website, though officials claimed reward offers had nevertheless been made.

Four Americans died in the 2012 attack, and so far nobody has been brought to justice in connection with the killings.

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One Response to “U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT NAMES GROUPS BEHIND BENGHAZI STRIKES”

  1. jonolan Says:

    No. They found someone to blame. The groups behind the Benghazi attack are the Obama Regime and the Democrats in office.

    Trust me; I long for the day when all of them and their families are put in Gitmo or some other camp where they belong.

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