Tonight, Bret Baier of Fox News reported that intelligence sources believe that the mastermind of the al Qaeda attack on our Libyan consulate is one Sufyan Ben Qumu. Qumu was a tank driver in the Libyan army; he was a drug addict and spent time in prison. From there, he fled to Egypt, then went to Afghanistan and joined up with Osama Bin Laden. He later joined the Taliban, and was captured in Pakistan, then turned over to the United States. Qumu was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2007 to the Qaddafi-led Libyan government, on the condition that Libya and the US could reach a “satisfactory agreement … that allows access to detainee and/or access to exploited intelligence.” In 2008, as the Qaddafi government made nice with the Libyan rebels, Qumu was released.
That’s where the story gets even more interesting. The Obama administration promptly labeled Qumu an “ally of sorts,” according to the New York Times – that despite the fact that as of 2005, he was known as a “medium to high risk … likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies.” What made him an ally? According to the Times, that status change was due to the Obama administration’s “remarkable turnabout resulting from shifting American policies rather than any obvious change in Mr. Qumu.” As a leader of the Libyan rebels, head of the Darnah Brigade, Qumu received support from NATO. And unnamed Western observers, according to the Times, felt that Qumu wasn’t a real threat: “We’re more worried about Al Qaeda infiltration from outside than the indigenous ones … Most of them have a local agenda so they don’t present as much as a threat to the West.”
This is the Obama perspective of the Islamist Spring in a nutshell: the administration preferred not to see with whom it was allying, instead hoping against hope that Islamists were good, decent, kind people who could be reasoned with. Qumu was none of the above. And now our ambassador to Libya is dead at the hands of a man we funded. For years, the left blamed the Reagan administration for failing to keep track of Osama Bin Laden in the years after the mujahedeen fought the Soviets out of Afghanistan. They claimed that US backing of Muslim terrorist groups paved the way for Taliban rule and terrorist growth. Certainly that claim is true for President Obama, whose quixotic support for the Libyan rebellion has already borne bloody fruit.