Sep 16, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
…and he cites intercepted communications to prove it. Keep in mind also that if this is true, then Obama’s main surrogate for the matter on the Sunday talk shows, UN Ambassador Susan Rice (who said on these shows that the whole thing was NOT a pre-planned Al Qaeda operation but merely a movie protest spun out of control), spent the entire day today either lying through her teeth as it is simply impossible to believe that she went on these shows with no approval of her talking points by the White House, or the White House, hoping they could ultimately hide the truth from everybody, including her, lied to her and said they had no evidence indicating Al Qaeda when in fact they had these intercepted communications…
Bloomberg: Mohammed Yussef Magariaf, the recently elected head of the General National Congress, said in an interview in Benghazi that communications intercepted by the U.S. ahead of the attack linked al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb to another Islamist brigade known as Ansar al-Shariah.
Excerpted from The Guardian: The president of Libya’s parliament, Mohamed al-Magariaf, has said military action is being considered against militants blamed for the killing of the US ambassador Chris Stevens.
Magariaf also confirmed reports from Washington that US officials intercepted communications discussing the planned attack on the UN consulate in Benghazi, which he said linked al-Qaida in the Maghreb to an Islamist brigade, Ansar al-Sharia. “Yes, that happened,” he said.
Magariaf said the intercepts matched other evidence indicating members of the brigade took part in Tuesday’s all-night assault on the compound and an accommodation site. “It seems there is a division within Ansar al-Sharia about this attack, some for participation, some against,” he said. “We are in the process of investigation.”
Such transmissions would be powerful evidence linking al-Sharia to the attack, and Magariaf said Libya had been passed the information by the US government. He confirmed that the intercepted communications discussed the timing of last week’s assault. But he urged the US not to act unilaterally, fearing it would antagonise public opinion.
The al-Sharia brigade remains in its base in Benghazi, and its soldiers are guarding a hospital where medical officials say two wounded militants are being treated. Sharia guards there refused to allow access or comment on the attack.
Magariaf said the attack on the US mission, the fifth on diplomatic targets in Benghazi since April, was part of a wider campaign by militants to destabilise Libya, taking advantage of the disorder of a country still without cohesive government.
“This is a turning point for the country. The confrontation is necessary and inevitable with these elements,” he said. “[It is] either them or Libya being safe and united. Today it is the Americans, tomorrow it is going to be Libyans.”
Magariaf rose to prominence in the 1980s when, having fled to Britain, he led the anti-Gaddafi National Front for the Salvation of Libya. He won a seat in the new parliament in July in an election in which tribal and liberal parties prevailed against the Muslim Brotherhood.
He said he had evidence “foreign countries” were involved in supporting the attack on the consulate but declined to name them. “It’s a deliberate, calculated action by a group working in collaboration with non-Libyan extremists. I would not be surprised if it’s another country, but it’s not Saudi Arabia or Qatar, I’m sure.”
In Benghazi, evidence linking members of the Sharia brigade to the attack is growing. The chief of the city’s supreme security council, Libya’s gendarmerie, said witnesses and mobile phone footage showed members were involved.
This was confirmed by an eyewitness who was among bystanders who turned up to see what began as an anti-US protest on Tuesday night.
The witness, who said he was too frightened to give his name, said he had watched as about a dozen armed men with a black Sharia brigade banner attacked the rear gate of the consulate with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.
“The guys were with beards and Kalashnikovs, they were standing there with the Ansar al-Sharia flag. One hundred per cent this was planned, they attacked from both sides [of the consulate] at once,” he said.
A Libyan intelligence official told the Guardian at the weekend that a group of between 12 and 14 militants were suspected of orchestrating the attack.
Magariaf said he had held weekend meetings with both the army chief of staff, Yusef Mangoush, and what he called “loyal” brigades from the Libya Shield, in effect a parallel army of former rebel formations who distrust the present government, which the new parliament has yet to replace.
He also said he had the support of the new prime minister, Mustafa Abushagur, although a new cabinet has yet to be appointed and it is unclear whether the present administration, led by Abdurrahim al-Keib, which remains in power, has approved military action.
There are fears that while the Sharia brigade, which has an estimated 100 members, can be subdued, other jihadist groups in Libya, notably those which bulldozed Sufi Islamic shrines in Tripoli last month, may react if military action is taken in Benghazi.