Unnamed sources tell Fox News that the CIA Annex in Benghazi held three Libyan militia members for days and that retrieving these detainees may have been a motive for the September 11th attack on the nearby US consulate.
The new reporting builds on details previously published by Fox’s Jennifer Griffin and information apparently leaked by ex-intelligence officer Paula Broadwell last month. Speaking on Fox News Monday, Griffin indicated new sources suggest the CIA annex may have been a detention site for local militia forces and even for some prisoners from other parts of Africa.
We originally reported on October 26th based on conversations with sources in touch with those who were at the annex that night, that the CIA contractors had captured three Libyan prisoners who they handed over to the Libyan authorities when they fled Benghazi. Now we never knew who those prisoners were; we didn’t know what ended up happening to them but we have now learned that those three prisoners had been held for a few days at the annex and more than just Libyan militia members were held there. There may have been prisoners from other African countries maybe even the Middle East. They were interrogated allegedly by CIA contractors.
The CIA denies this saying the CIA has not had detention authority since January 2009. That’s when the President signed executive order 13491. The CIA claims any suggestion that the agency is still in the detention business is “uninformed and baseless.”
The previous report Griffin refers to mentioned three captured Libyans, “According to a source on the ground at the time of the attack, the teaminside the CIA annex had captured three Libyan attackers and was forcedto hand them over to the Libyans.” At the time, it was possible to read this as a reference to Libyans who had been involved in the attack on the consulate that night. But Griffin’s new reporting makes clear this was not the case.
Paula Broadwell, now known to be ex-CIA chief Petraeus’ mistress, apparently leaked classified information on the same topic to an audience at the University of Denver the same day as the Fox News report. Broadwell was asked during a Q & A to comment on Gen. Petraeus response to the situation in Benghazi. She replied, in part “Now, I don’t know if a lot of you have heard this but the CIA annex had actually taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner, and they think that the attack on the consulate was an attempt to get these prisoners back. That’s still being vetted.”