- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 8, 2014

U.S. officials believe that former Guantanamo Bay detainee Abu Sufian bin Qumu, who was released in 2007 and sent to Libya, played a role in the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The U.S. government plans to designate the group he leads, Ansar al-Sharia, as a terrorist organization, The Washington Post reported.

Qumu’s followers were reported by eyewitnesses to have been at the scene of the attack on the consulate which killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, according to The Post.

The move comes only weeks after the New York Times ran an investigative report that concluded that there was no evidence the attack was linked with al Qaeda operatives, although Qumu’s ties to the terrorist organization were what landed him in Guantanamo Bay in the first place.

In 1993, Qumu was allegedly trained at one of Osama bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan and later worked for one of bin Laden’s companies as a driver, according to a leaked Joint Task Force Guantánamo (JTF-GTMO) threat assessment.

Qumu allegedly has a “long-term association with Islamic extremist jihad and members of al Qaeda and other extremist groups,” according to the leaked military files. His alias was said to be “found on a list of probable al Qaeda personnel receiving monthly stipends.”

SEE ALSO: Intel community: NY Times wrong, al Qaeda links in Benghazi are clear

“The situation on Sept. 11 in Benghazi was a complicated one,” a senior administration official told The Post. “We will never be able to know what motivated everyone involved in this attack, and one of the things the investigation is looking at right now is the level of planning that may have gone into it.”

The Libyan government released Qumu from custody in 2008.

The FBI declined to comment Tuesday, The Post reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide