Islamic mobs that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Egypt and the U.S. consulate in Libya on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, murdering the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, said they were doing so because they were enraged by an obscure, Internet movie that mocked Muhammed.
But a closer examination of the evidence indicates al-Qaeda orchestrated these attacks, and the movie was just a bogus excuse used to trigger the widespread violence. Even worse, it seems al-Qaeda telegraphed these attacks, and the Obama administration still got caught flat-footed, unaware of the terror group’s strength in the region, missing key signals and clues that were out in the open.
One day before September 11, al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri posted a 42-minute video on Jihadist forums urging Libyans to attack Americans to avenge the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, the terror organization’s second-in-command, whom U.S. drones killed in June of 2012 in Pakistan.
In the video, al-Zawahri said al-Libi’s “blood is calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the Crusaders,” leading up to a date heralded and celebrated by radical Islamists.
Another version of the video was actually posted on YouTube on September 9 and yet, President Barack Obama, who has not attended an intelligence briefing since September 5, and his administration did not beef up security at the embassy and consulate on September 11. There were no Marines present to protect Americans abroad, as the Islamic mobs overwhelmed what little security presence there was.
According to CNN, the Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades, an al-Qaeda affiliate, is suspected to be behind the attacks. The group surfaced in May and has taken credit for attacks on the International Red Cross offices in Benghazi, against the conovy of the British ambassador in Benghazi, and detonating explosives outside the U.S. consulate in Libya.
Noman Benotman, who was once a leading member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, told CNN that an attack on the scale of one that resulted in the death of Ambassador Stevens “would likely have required participation.”
Benotman said he had “warned of the likelihood of renewed attacks against” U.S. interests in Libya, and other Libyans have said senior radical Islamic leaders had been operating and organizing in Libya and al-Zawahiri dispatched officials to create an al-Qaeda foothold in Libya.
Libyan security sources told CNN that “20 to 30 hardcore jihadist fighters” in Libya had the potential to cause great concern.
This is not the first time that radical Islamic terrorists have used unfavorable portrayals of Mohammed in western popular culture as an excuse to systematically organize acts of terror.
In February of 2006, mobs of angry Islamic radicals protested across the Arab world, bombing western embassies, killing hundreds and injuring more in international days of outrage. Al-Qaeda ultimately would claim responsibility for much of the violence and said it was revenge for the cartoons depicting Mohammed published in a Danish newspaper. Those cartoons, though, had originally been published on September 30, 2005, months before the violence. Furthermore, in October of 2005, the same cartoons were published in Egyptian newspapers without any protests from Al-Qaeda.
Though Obama often insinuates that his killing of Osama bin Laden crippled al-Qaeda and makes him supremely qualified to be Commander-in-Chief, Obama actually strengthened al-Qaeda when he destabilized Libya by sending troops to kill Muammar Gaddafi. He has emboldened the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt — also radical Islamists — with his moral equivocation.
There are many questions that need to be asked of the Obama administration, even more so after the U.S. Embassy in Egypt released an infuriatingly puzzling statement yesterday. It read, in part, “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.” The White House later apologized for the initial apology.
Questions about whether the Obama administration was aware of al-Zawahri’s video need to be asked. So do questions about whether the president, who has missed over half of his intelligence briefings, was aware of al-Qaeda’s growing strength in Libya and if his administration did not anticipate and fully prepare for the potential attacks on U.S. interests in the region on September 11.
But when Obama issued a statement at the White House on Wednesday, he did not take any questions from the press — even though he called into a Florida radio show earlier this week and took questions from a a DJ nicknamed “Pimp with the Limp” — and the mainstream press has not held Obama to account for avoiding some of these hard questions that directly call into question Obama’s fitness to be the country’s Commander-in-Chief.