Mounting Evidence… Pre Planned
Lignet: Langly Intelligence Group Network
September 17, 2012
Mounting evidence will likely force the Obama administration to reverse itself and admit that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 was not spontaneous but was in fact a pre-planned act of terrorism and a major failure of U.S. intelligence. As late as yesterday, the administration was insisting that the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens was not planned in advance, but this ignores what is known from sources on the ground in Libya and from the Libyan government itself.
The anti-American protests began last week, but their origin is disputed.U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said yesterday that the “best information we have today” indicates the attack on the Benghazi consulate that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans was spontaneous and not pre-planned. White House and State Department officials have repeated this claim and blame the attacks entirely on a YouTube video reportedly made by a group of Americans mocking the Prophet Mohammed. Obama officials have also refused to call the attack an act of terrorism. However, there is growing evidence that the controversial video was probably used by radical Islamists to instigate protests that they could exploit to stage the attack on the Benghazi consulate.
The anti-American demonstrations affected 20 counties on September 14 but began to subside the next day. However, demonstrations continued today in Indonesia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.Hundreds of demonstrators in northwest Pakistan angry over the anti-Mohammed video fought with police today and burned a press club, resulting in one fatality. Today’s violence followed thousands holding peaceful protests across Pakistan yesterday and clashes with police as protesters tried to march on the U.S. consulate in Karachi.
There was a day of violent protest today in Kabul, Afghanistan.Hundreds of protesters threw rocks at a U.S. military base in Kabul, burned cars, and chanted anti-American slogans, according to Reuters. No fatalities were reported but some Afghan policemen were injured.
Hundreds of Indonesians fought with police outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, hurling rocks and firebombs and setting tires on fire.Indonesian police used teargas and water cannons against the protesters.
In Beirut, Lebanon today, Hezbollah organized a mass anti-American demonstration. There are reports of increased threats to Americans in the country.
A debate is brewing in Washington over whether the anti-American violence represented spontaneous attacks in response to the anti-Mohammed video or a pre-planned terrorist plot to coincide with the eleventh anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said yesterday on the CBS program “Face the Nation”:
“Based on the best information we have to date … it began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent…. We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has blamed the attacks on the controversial video. White House spokesman Jay Carney also made this point on September 14 when he said the attacks were
“a response not to United States policy, and not obviously the administration or the American people . . . [and were] in response to a video, a film we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting . . . This is not a case of protests directed at the United States at large or at U.S. policy, but in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims.”
There are growing indications that the attacks were in fact a pre-planned terrorist plot.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers has been firm in his position that the attack on the Benghazi consulate looks like it was pre-planned and not spontaneous violence. Rogers said he believes this because of a high degree of command and control, direct and indirect fire, the high level of organization of the attack, and other classified reasons. Rogers has noted that some intelligence analysts disagree with him and believe the attacks were spontaneous and stem from the fact that many Libyans are well armed.
Senator John McCain, who like Congressman Rogers has been briefed on intelligence about the Benghazi consulate attack, told “Face the Nation” yesterday:
“Most people don’t bring rocket-propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration. That was an act of terror, and for anyone to disagree with that fundamental fact I think is really ignoring the facts. Now, how long it was planned and who was involved, but there is no doubt there was extremists and there’s no doubt they were using heavy weapons and they used pretty good tactics–indirect fire, direct fire, and obviously they were successful.”
Rogers and McCain’s position was supported by Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif, who said yesterday that he has “no doubt” the consulate attack was pre-planned and believes al Qaeda was responsible. Megarif said “foreigners” have been entering Libya over the past few months to fight with al Qaeda “from different directions, some of them definitely from Mali and Algeria.”
Libyan authorities claim they have arrested around 50 people over the consulate attack, although some may have only been questioned, and one official said the number was lower, according to CNN. In announcing the arrests, Megarif blamed the consulate attack on a few foreign extremists who entered Libya from Mali and Algeria and preplanned it with local “affiliates an sympathizers,” according to AFP.
There also are conflicting reports that the United States received advance warnings of last week’s anti-U.S. protests and violence. A member of the February 17th Brigade, a pro-government Libyan militia, claims he told U.S. officials about potential violent unrest in Libya three days before the attack on the U.S. consulate, according to the London Daily Mail.
In addition, in a September 10 video, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawari called for attacks on September 11, 2012 to avenge the recent death of his deputy Abu Yahya al-Libi by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region last June. This was the first time that al-Qaeda admitted al-Libi had been killed. Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the al Qaeda movement’s most active franchise, issued a statement late last week claiming that the consulate attack was revenge for the killing of al-Libi.
LIGNET believes a very strong case can be made that the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was a pre-planned act of terrorism to exact revenge for the killing of al-Qaeda official Abu Yahya al-Libi last June. It is significant and probably not a coincidence that that al-Qaeda conceded al-Libi’s death just before the consulate attack.
LIGNET believes radical Islamists used the anti-Mohammed video to drum up anti-America anger to provide cover for the attack on the Benghazi consulate and to encourage attacks on other U.S. embassies. This was probably done through social media and the internet. Islamist operatives and radical clerics also probably played a role in promoting the call for anti-U.S demonstrations last week.
Given prior massive protests against other perceived insults to Islam, such as worldwide demonstrations in 2006 against cartoons mocking Mohammed in a Danish newspaper, al-Qaeda knew the American anti-Mohammed video could be easily used to incite protests. This video did not start violent anti-American protests by itself; it was skillfully used by radical Islamists to inflame Muslims last week to stage violence on the anniversary of 9/11 last week.
Intelligence and law enforcement agencies are studying the Benghazi consulate attack to determine if intelligence agencies failed to provide adequate warnings before the attack and whether the attack was a pre-planned act of terrorism. LIGNET believes the assessments by Congressman Rogers and Senator McCain is the most likely explanation and will probably lead Obama officials to back-track from their assertions that the attacks were spontaneous and not pre-planned acts of terrorism.