In yet another example of either the utter incompetence and ignorance of Barack Obama as commander-in-chief or the more nefarious possibility that he loftily ignored signs of Islamic terror, a report shows his administration received warnings in 2012 of the rise of the Islamic State.
An August 5, 2012, Defense Intelligence Agency report, obtained by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch and reviewed by Fox News, indicates that members of the Obama administration were warned in August 2012 of the rise of ISIS and the possibility of it creating a caliphate. This happened over a year before Obama referred to the group as a “JV team.”
An October 2012 report further detailed that members of the administration knew that arms were being shipped from Libya to Syria, despite claims by administration officials of their ignorance of such events.
A third report from September 12, 2012, offers damning evidence that, within 24 hours of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, evidence piled up that the attack had been planned for at least a week and was revenge for the June 2012 drone strike that killed an al-Qaeda strategist—not an attack caused by an anti-Islam video, as the Obama administration initially claimed.
The report stated, “The attack was planned ten or more days prior to approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for the US killing of Aboyahiye (Alaliby) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings.” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “The Obama administration says it was a coincidence that it occurred on 9/11. In fact, their intelligence said it wasn’t a coincidence and in fact specifically the attack occurred because it was 9/11.”
The report delineating the likelihood of Islamic State’s ascent was fed to many government officials, including those at the CIA, State Department, and senior military leaders, but it is unclear whether Obama saw it. Either he did not, in which case his competence as a leader can be questioned, or he indeed saw the document and purposefully ignored its implications, a far more sinister possibility.
The report warned that because security in Iraq had deteriorated, there could be “dire consequences,” adding, “This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI (al-Qaeda in Iraq) to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi… ISI (Islamic State of Iraq) could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.”
In June 2014, ISIS indeed announced that they had formed a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, triggering a migration of fighters to the area to join the terrorist group.
The October report, although heavily redacted, stated, “Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the Port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155 mm howitzers missiles.”
Yet administration officials sometimes contradicted themselves as to whether they knew such arms were being shipped; former acting CIA Director Michael Morell told Fox News’s Bret Baier that he couldn’t confirm whether the CIA knew of arms being shipped. Hillary Clinton, when asked in January 2013 during her Benghazi testimony whether arms were being shipped out of Libya, only allowed, “I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody’s ever raised that with me.” She responded to Rand Paul on his assertions that the news had reported weapons being shipped by answering, “Well, senator, you’ll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the annex. I will see what information is available.” Thomas B. Gibbons, acting assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, wrote in February 2013, “The United States is not involved in any transfer of weapons to Turkey.”
But on Nov. 15, 2012, Morell and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the intelligence committee that U.S. intelligence community did indeed know that arms were being shipped from Libya to Syria. Then, on May 22, 2013, when Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) asked whether the CIA was “monitoring arms that others were sending into Syria,” Morell answered, “No, sir.”