- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
Libya’s terror truth: It’s a haven for Islamist militia
Islamist militia linked to Sept. 11 Benghazi attack operates freely in city
The Ansar al Sharia Brigade, the Islamist terror group linked to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, continues to operate freely in that Libyan city, according to U.S. military officials.
The group remains active in the Mediterranean port city, operating patrols and checkpoints, and earlier this year reached an agreement with other Islamist groups allowing it to operate openly, said military officials familiar with intelligence reports from North Africa.
The group “continues to spread its ideology in the Benghazi area, particularly targeting youth,” said one official, who noted that the lack of central government security was the key reason the militia has not been suppressed.
The officials disclosed details of the group’s activities on condition of anonymity.
Ansar al Sharia also is using Facebook to publicize its activities, including charitable work in poor areas, and is constructing some buildings. It also claimed to be operating a medical clinic in Benghazi. Other activities include repairing schools and holding conferences for local youth.
According to the officials, the group successfully exploited the weakness of security authorities in Benghazi and Libya in general to boost its presence. The group is attempting to reinvent itself as a humanitarian and charitable organization after the Sept. 11 attack.
A series of terrorist attacks in Benghazi on the night of Sept. 11 killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and government employees Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty. The U.S. Special Mission was destroyed and later abandoned during the attack, which featured mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and assault rifles.
President Barack Obama said the day after the attack that the United States would pursue the attackers. “Make no mistake, justice will be done,” he said.
However, at least one of the suspects in the attack was detained in Tunisia and released before the suspect could be captured or questioned by U.S. investigators.
According to news reports from the region, Ansar al Sharia leader and former Guantanamo Bay prison detainee Sufian Ben Qumu was the target of an assassination attempt on April 14 and was wounded in the shootout with unidentified gunmen.
State Department officials are scheduled to testify on the administration’s handling of the attack during a congressional hearing set for Wednesday.
According to an interim report by the House Republican Conference made public last month: “The attackers were members of extremist groups, including the Libya-based Ansar al-Sharia (AAS) and al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).”
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- American missing in Iran was CIA operative who went rogue
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow