Militant Involved in Benghazi Attack Was US 'Ally' During Libyan Revolution

Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu, a former Gitmo detainee for more than five years who The Washington Post reports the Obama administration says was involved in the September 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, was once considered an ally to the current administration during the toppling of Libyan President Colonel Moammar Qaddafi. 

On April 24, 2011, The New York Times reported:

For more than five years, Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu was a prisoner at the Guantánamo Bay prison, judged “a probable member of Al Qaeda” by the analysts there. They concluded in a newly disclosed 2005 assessment that his release would represent a “medium to high risk, as he is likely to pose a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies.”

Today, Mr. Qumu, 51, is a notable figure in the Libyan rebels’ fight to oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, reportedly a leader of a ragtag band of fighters known as the Darnah Brigade for his birthplace, this shabby port town of 100,000 people in northeast Libya. The former enemy and prisoner of the United States is now an ally of sorts, a remarkable turnabout resulting from shifting American policies rather than any obvious change in Mr. Qumu.

He was captured in Pakistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, accused of being a member of the militant Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and sent to Guantánamo — in part because of information provided by Colonel Qaddafi’s government.

“The Libyan Government considers detainee a ‘dangerous man with no qualms about committing terrorist acts,’ ” says the classified 2005 assessment, evidently quoting Libyan intelligence findings, which was obtained by The New York Times. “ ‘He was known as one of the extremist commanders of the Afghan Arabs,’ ” the Libyan information continues, referring to Arab fighters who remained in Afghanistan after the anti-Soviet jihad.

When that Guantánamo assessment was written, the United States was working closely with Colonel Qaddafi’s intelligence service against terrorism. Now, the United States is a leader of the international coalition trying to oust Colonel Qaddafi — and is backing with air power the rebels, including Mr. Qumu.

The classified assessment, the Times reported, claims bin Qumu had a “a non-specific personality disorder”--citing the Libyan government as its source and a history of drug addiction, drug dealing, and accusations of murder and armed assault. In 1993, the document states that bin Qumu escaped from a Libyan prison and fled to Egypt.  He went on to an Afghanistan training camp which was run by by Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.


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