Archive for the ‘Benghazi’ category

Bodyguard Gives Harrowing Account of Benghazi Attack

October 3, 2017

Bodyguard Gives Harrowing Account of Benghazi Attack, Breitbart, October 3, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — A diplomatic security agent testified Monday that after militants stormed the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, he turned to U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was hiding in a safe room, and said, “When I die, you need to pick up my gun and keep fighting.”

Agent Scott Wickland was the government’s first witness in a trial of Ahmed Abu Khattala, a Libyan suspected of orchestrating the attack that killed the ambassador and three other Americans. Wickland took the stand and gave a harrowing account of how he tried without success to save the ambassador and Sean Patrick Smith, a State Department information management officer.

The smoke from weapons’ fire and explosions was so thick and black that it blinded the three. They dropped to the floor and crawled on their bellies, gasping for air. Wickland said he was trying to lead them to a bathroom where he could close the door and open a window.

“I was breathing through the last centimeter of air on the ground,” Wickland said. “I’m yelling, ‘Come on. We can make it. We’re going to the bathroom.’ Within 8 meters, they disappeared.”

Wickland kept yelling for them. He was feeling around on the floor through the toxic smoke, which made the lighted room darker than night.

“To this day, I don’t even know where they went. I was right next to them, and then that’s it,” Wickland said. “I had my hand on Ambassador Stevens. I could hear Sean shuffling.”

Twelve jurors and three alternates assembled for the opening day of one of the most significant terrorism prosecutions in recent years. Abu Khattala is being tried in U.S. District Court, a civilian court, at a time when the Trump administration has said terror suspects are better sent to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

During Wickland’s testimony, Abu Khattala hung an arm over his chair and held his chin, covered in a long, grayish white beard. He listened through earphones to an Arabic translation of the proceedings.

The opening testimony was aimed at turning the jury against the defendant, but his name was never mentioned throughout Wickland’s nearly three hours on the stand. He is expected to retake the stand on Tuesday.

An 18-count indictment against Abu Khattala arises from a burst of violence that began the night of Sept. 11, 2012. Stevens and Smith were killed in the first attack at the U.S. mission. Nearly eight hours later, two more Americans, contract security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, died in a mortar attack on a CIA complex nearby

Abu Khattala, who appeared in court wearing a white shirt and dark pants, has pleaded not guilty to his charges, including murder of an internationally protected person, providing material support to terrorists and destroying U.S. property while causing death.

In his opening statement, defense attorney Jeffrey Robinson called Abu Khattala a “Libyan patriot” who fought on America’s side in the war against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. He said Abu Khattala didn’t mastermind the attack. The lawyer said the defendant simply went to the attack site because he heard there was a protest and wanted to see what was happening.

“He didn’t shoot anyone. He didn’t set any fires. He did not participate in the attacks,” Robinson said.

Robinson also said Abu Khattala was a deeply religious man who believes in conservative sharia law as outlined in the Quran. He reminded jurors that in America, people are not prosecuted because of their religious beliefs.

The prosecution gave a starkly different portrayal of the defendant. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb said that when Abu Khattala’s hatred of America boiled over, he orchestrated the attacks and then triumphantly strode around the attack site carrying an AK-47.

Crabb said that later, the defendant told someone at his apartment: “I attacked the American Embassy” and would have killed more Americans that night if others had not intervened.

He said Abu Khattala “hates America with a vengeance.”

“He killed Ambassador Stevens — a man of peace.”

The trial is expected to last for weeks. Crabb said the prosecution would show the jury videos of the attack site and Abu Khattala’s phone records, which he said showed a spike in activity during the attacks. He said witnesses would include weapons and fire experts and a man named Ali, who was paid $7 million to befriend Abu Khattala and help U.S. forces capture him in Libya.

After he was captured, he was taken to a U.S. Navy ship that transported him to the United States. During the 12-day journey, he was first interrogated by intelligence personnel and then by FBI agents. Crabb said Abu Khattala told FBI agents that America was the “root of all the world’s problems.”

His defense lawyer said Abu Khattala cooperated aboard the ship and he “continued to deny, as he denies today, any participation in planning or masterminding the attack.”

Security Contractors: Clinton State Department Silenced Us on Benghazi Lapses

September 13, 2017

Security Contractors: Clinton State Department Silenced Us on Benghazi Lapses, Washington Free Beacon , September 13, 2017

 

Two security contractors on Tuesday blew the whistle during an exclusive interview with Fox News’ chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge about Hillary Clinton’s State Department silencing them on Benghazi lapses.

Four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, were killed on September 11, 2012 in a terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

“Was the State Department contract officer trying to silence you?” Herridge asked.

“Oh absolutely,” longtime special forces soldier and security contractor executive Joe Torres said. “The U.S. ambassador is dead and nobody is held accountable for it.”

Brad Owens, a former Army intelligence officer echoed Torres, saying that those “who made the poor choices that actually, I would say, were more responsible for the Benghazi attacks than anyone else, they’re still in the same positions, making security choices for our embassies overseas now.”

Torres went on to say that this terrorist attack could happen again and ‘nothing [has] changed” in making the security safer.

“In the spring of 2012, Torres bid on the security contract for the State Department compound in Benghazi, but the nearly $700,000 deal, handled by State Department contracting officer Jan Visintainer, went to a mysterious foreign company Blue Mount Group,” Herridge said. “The guards were local hires through another company and not armed.”

Owens said that Blue Mountain Group was “a teeny tiny little security company registered in Wales that had never had a diplomatic security contract, had never done any high-threat contracts anywhere else in the world that we’ve been able to find.”

Herridge said Fox News received a classified cable in October 2012 after the attack that showed Libya ambassador Chris Stevens and his team knew they were in trouble in mid-August and that they had warned the State Department that radical Islamist groups were everywhere.

“They were sending these cables back to the contracting guys and the decision makers back here and they weren’t responding,” Owens. “It’s gross incompetence or negligence, one of the two.”

Herridge said that Visintainer summoned Torres to visit the State Department building in Arlington, Va., to discuss Benghazi.

“She said that I and people from Torres should not speak to the media, should not speak to any officials with respect to the Benghazi program,” Torres said.

Herridge asked Torres whether he felt guilty for not speaking out sooner, prompting him to respond, “absolutely.”

“We had about 8,000 employees at the time and we just didn’t need that level of damage because these guys–their livelihood rely on the company,” he said.

Herridge said that the State Department declined a request to make Visintainer available and that the two contractors alleged that repercussions have continued against their company.

EXCLUSIVE: Libyan Army Spox Says Obama, Clinton “Abandoned the Libyan People to the Terrorists”

July 11, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Libyan Army Spox Says Obama, Clinton “Abandoned the Libyan People to the Terrorists” PJ MediaPatrick Poole, July 11, 2017

Col. al-Mesmari also claims that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade — hired by Hillary Clinton’s State Department to protect the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi — cooperated with Ansar al-Sharia in attacking the consulate compound on September 12, 2012. 

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In an exclusive interview with PJ Media, the Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman, Col. Ahmed al-Mesmari, says that President Obama and Hillary Clinton “abandoned the Libyan people to face these terrorists alone.”

He also implicates the Obama administration in supporting terrorist militias — including Libyan al-Qaeda leader Abdelhakim Belhadj and Muslim Brotherhood militias allied to al-Qaeda.

Rather than backing the LNA and the elected Tobruk-based Libyan House of Representatives (HoR) in the fight against these terror groups, the Obama administration — along with the United Nations and the European Union — have been trying to impose a “Government of National Accord” (GNA) that has zero constituency in Libya. Further, it is accused of working with terror-linked militias in Tripoli.

With the continuing crisis between several Arab nations — including the Libyan HoR and Qatar — Col. al-Mesmari discusses Qatar’s role in arming and financing terrorist militias in Libya. He also connects the Muslim Brotherhood militias that have been fighting against the LNA with al-Qaeda and ISIS elements operating in the country.

Col. al-Mesmari also claims that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade — hired by Hillary Clinton’s State Department to protect the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi — cooperated with Ansar al-Sharia in attacking the consulate compound on September 12, 2012. 

That attack led to the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Libyans celebrated last week when, after three years of battle, the LNA finally liberated Benghazi from all terrorist groups in the city:

Photo published for Libyan Army recaptures Benghazi from ISIS
Libyan Army recaptures Benghazi from ISIS
The Libyan Army announced on Wednesday that it has recaptured the city of Benghazi from ISIS, Al
english.alarabiya.net

Reuters Top News 

And over the past month, Col. al-Mesmari has publicly charged Qatar with direct support of terrorist groups operating in Libya:

Al Arabiya English 

Official says  and  are ‘triad of terrorism’ in http://ara.tv/95xs3 

The following is an exclusive interview I conducted by email earlier today with Col. Ahmed al-Mesmari, official spokesman for the Libyan National Army:

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1) It’s been six years since the U.S.-led NATO intervention in Libya. Hillary Clinton was the leading voice in the Obama administration for the U.S. action. What responsibility does she and Obama bear for that decision?

The main responsibility falls on NATO, which interfered in Libya in 2011 to end the Gaddafi regime and destroyed all Libyan army weapons and infrastructure, only to then leave Libya alone to fight the terrorists. They took none of the necessary measures to help rebuild the Libyan Army or even help to reactivate other security facilities.

The U.S. administration led by Obama and Hilary Clinton was not up to the challenge in Libya and didn’t give much attention to the Libyan situation.

We don’t have any doubts that the Obama administration and his ambassador to Libya, Deborah Jones, had considerable contact with militias and terrorist groups in Libya.

There was a U.S. plan for Libya that we still don’t know the details about, but in the end they abandoned the Libyan people to face these terrorists alone.

2) Given the current crisis over Qatar’s role in financing extremism, what kind of interference by Qatar has been seen in Libya?

Qatar started working in Libya even before NATO arrived. Qatar interfered in Libya under the cover that it was willing to help the Libyan people’s uprising. Later NATO left the scene and Qatar was all over Libya with their support for Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and other militias.

Qatar also supported these groups with money, weapons, ammunition, in addition to transporting fighters from Libya to Syria via Turkey.

Qatar continues until today supporting al-Qaeda militias and Muslim Brotherhood Shield militias in Tripoli and Misrata.

3) Many in the U.S. remember the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. What role, if any, did Qatar play in financing and arming Ansar al-Sharia who conducted the attack?

First, this operation was led by Ansar al-Sharia, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Libya, and also another militia called the 17 February Martyrs Brigade, which is one of the Muslim Brotherhood Shield militias that took part in this attack. Qatar is the main supporter and financier of the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda in Libya. In this particular brutal attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi they provided weapons and communication equipment to the terrorist militias.

The paradox here is that the 17 February Muslim Brotherhood militia was the militia that the U.S. contracted to protect the consulate. They had an agreement with the attackers to fake a weapons clash then later opened the gates into the consulate for them.

4) What role does Qatar play now in financing and arming extremists in Libya?

The last clear support of Qatar to terrorist groups was their support of the so-called “Benghazi Defense Brigades,” another al-Qaeda affiliate that was labeled terrorist group by the Libyan HoR and by other Arab countries. The Qatari support to them arrived in Al Jufrah in form of weapons, ammunition, armored vehicles, telecommunication equipment, and money in cash.

5) The Libyan House of Representatives recently designated several Muslim Brotherhood leaders as terrorists. What connections have been discovered tying the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya to extremists?

In Benghazi we fought against the Muslim Brotherhood militias known as Libyan Shields. These militias fought next to Ansar al-Sharia (al-Qaeda) and ISIS against the Libyan Army.

This alliance shows clearly that the Muslim Brotherhood had an alliance with ISIS and al-Qaeda, and we know that all these groups including the Muslim Brotherhood all have terrorist religious views.

6) What connections have been discovered linking the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt with extremists in Libya?

The Muslim Brotherhood is an international terrorist group and all their groups in any country ideologically go back to their “murshid” or Supreme Guide who is in Egypt.

7) One of the leading militia leaders backed by the U.S. has been former al-Qaeda leader Abdelhakim Belhadj. Many U.S. media outlets describe Belhadj as a former extremist.

Based on the available evidence now, is it true that Belhadj has abandoned extremism, or is he still involved in extremist activity?

Not at all, Belhadj is still a terrorist leader. In addition he has a lot of money to support his terrorist group as well as financing other groups in Tunisia and Syria.

Belhadj is a founder of Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and will not let go of his terrorist views. For us Belhadj is the leader of LIFG, an al-Qaeda affiliate.

8) We know that arms from various parties in Libya were being sent to extremists in Syria, particularly in 2011 and 2012. What do we know now about those networks, and who exactly were these arms being sent to? What way, if any, was the U.S. involved in those arms transfers?

First, it wasn’t just sending weapons and ammunition, but also fighters from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and other nationalities.

Their first stops were training camps in Sabratha, Tripoli, Misrata, Derna and Benghazi, then later airlifted and transported by sea to Syria via Turkey.

Liwa Al-Umma in Syria was established from these fighters and their commander was the al-Qaeda terrorist Mahdi al-Harati, who is a Libyan-Irish national. He is one of Belhadj’s inner circle and was fully supported by Belhadj and Qatar. Liwa Al-Umma fought next to Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda) in Syria.

We still don’t know exactly what the American role in this was, but we have what makes us believe that the U.S. knew all about it as well as some European countries.

9) This week we saw, after several years of fighting, the Libyan National Army recover all of Benghazi. With that accomplished, what are the next major objectives for the LNA?

Our duty is to protect the Libyan people and we will always be after terrorism and terrorist groups wherever they are. We have no doubt that we will target every al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group in Libya, or any group that affects the security of the Libyan people.

10) We have seen a rise in the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe over the past two years. What role do extremists take in human trafficking in Libya?

You must know that there is zero illegal immigration to Europe from the areas under our control.

We know that some organized crime groups are human trafficking, so some of these groups simply engage in this activity for the sake of the financial income.

We also know that other groups do it to send terrorists to Europe masking them in forms of illegal immigration.

11) Now with a new U.S. administration under President Trump, what are the steps the U.S. can take to assist Libya in moving forward with political and security solutions for the future?

Politics is not my field, so I will leave it to the politicians to answer that question.

Military-wise, we ask the Trump administration to support our armed forces and its leadership so we could easily and fully control our own soil, then we could end illegal immigration by protecting our borders and coast.

Patrick Kennedy, Hillary Clinton’s Fixer

October 19, 2016

Patrick Kennedy, Hillary Clinton’s Fixer, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, October 19, 2016

Patrick Kennedy, the State Department official who tried to get the FBI to change email classifications in exchange for helping the FBI meet its staffing needs in Bagdhad, is what they used to call a “fixer.” A fixer is not quite the same thing as a henchman. Cheryl Mills played that role at the Clinton State Department.

Kennedy has been a fixer in both Democratic and Republican administrations. But until Hilary Clinton came to Foggy Bottom, there’s no evidence that Kennedy needed to fix things corruptly.

The Clintons corrupt everything they touch, so it’s not surprising that as Hillary’s State Department fixer, Kennedy went to corrupt lengths. In the case of the FBI negotiations, the Bureau either needed extra personnel in Baghdad or it didn’t. If it didn’t, Kennedy should not have offered to help the FBI. If it did, he should have helped the FBI unconditionally.

Baghdad is not some way station; it is at the center of American foreign policy and national security concerns. For Kennedy to condition his assistance in obtaining extra U.S. personnel in that hot-spot on a favor for a presidential candidate is deplorable. And, as argued below, it’s clear that he did this in concert with Hillary Clinton.

The FBI negotiation is just one example of Kennedy trying to fix things for Clinton. Steve Hayes reminds us of another.

It was Kennedy who helped Cheryl Mills select Clinton-friendly members and staff for the State Department’s Administrative Review Board (ARB). Clinton would later use the findings of the ARB as the key component of her defense on Benghazi. However, as Hayes says, the in-house State Department investigation of those attacks was hardly independent:

The chairmen acknowledged under congressional questioning that they had advised Clinton and her team about potentially problematic witnesses before congressional hearings, provided an advanced copy of their final report to several top Clinton staffers, allowed [Cheryl] Mills to edit the report, and even briefed Clinton for two hours on their findings before they were made public.

In this instance, Kennedy wasn’t just fixing things for Hillary, he was fixing them for himself. Kennedy was at fault for the poor security at Benghazi. Gregory Hicks, the State Department’s charge d’affaires in Libya, testified before Congress that “given the decision-making that Under Secretary Pat Kennedy was making with respect to Embassy Tripoli and Consulate Benghazi operations, he has to bear some responsibility” for the Benghazi terror attack.

As Clinton’s fixer, it was only natural that Kennedy assist the Clinton Foundation. The Washington Examiner reports that Kennedy was involved in pushing plans for a new $177.9 million embassy in Norway in 2011 over the apparent objections of diplomatic officials in Oslo. Norway’s government has donated between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, donor records show.

“Yes” to $177.9 million for an diplomatic officials didn’t want; “no” (absent help for the Clinton campaign) to two FBI agents in Baghdad. And “no” to beefed up security in Benghazi.

Kennedy also helped fix it so that Brian Pagliano, the man in charge of Hillary’s home-brew email server, got a job at the State Department. A State Department official told the FBI:

Around the time of Clinton’s onboard transition, Patrick Kennedy, Undersecretary of State for Management, suggested [redacted] interview Brian Pagliano, who served on Clinton’s. . .presidential campaign. [Redacted] and [Redacted] interviewed Pagliano, who had an MBA form the University of Maryland. After interviewing Pagliano [Redacted] agreed he would be a good fit for [Redacted] team. Pagliano was subsequently hired on to DoS in a Schedule C position, and was tasked with assisting mainly with cost recovery planning and researching DoS technical enhancement opportunities.

(Emphasis added)

Kennedy claims he had no knowledge that Clinton was using a private email server. However, he exchanged dozens of emails with Secretary Clinton’s private email address. In fact, he emailed Clinton at two private addresses: HDR22@clintonemail.com andhr15@att.blackberry.net.

Kennedy’s official job at the State Department isn’t fixer, it is Undersecretary of State for Management. As such, he oversees the department’s compliance with federal records laws. Clinton’s use of a private email server undermined the department’s ability to comply with federal records laws. Kennedy knew from his own correspondence with Clinton that she was using private email for State Department business.

All of this is clear. The remaining question is whether Kennedy sought to have the FBI help Clinton’s position in the email scandal on his own or, instead, at the behest of Clinton.

It seems unlikely that Kennedy would do this something this risky — the FBI could have gone public immediately with Kennedy’s quid pro quo offer — without sign off from the party he was serving. However, we need not speculate. The timing of events demonstrates Clinton’s involvement in Kennedy’s efforts.

As John pointed out, quoting FBI memos, prior to the end of the conversation between Kennedy and the key FBI man on the classification issue, “KENNEDY asked whether the FBI or STATE would conduct the public statements on the matter.” The FBI man “advised KENNEDY that the FBI would not comment publicly on the matter.”

Safe in the knowledge (dutifully provided by Kennedy) that the FBI would not be commenting, Hillary Clinton promptly met the press, a rare event, “to deny having sent classified emails on her private email server.”

Thus, when Kennedy tried to influence the FBI, via a quid pro quo, to help the Clinton campaign, he was no rogue fixer. He was a fixer working closely with Hillary Clinton, as he had in the past.

As President, Bill Clinton needed not just an ordinary fixer but a “Secretary of Sh*t” (John Podesta filled that job for a time). As President, Hillary Clinton will need at least one. Patrick Kennedy is perfect for the role.

Court orders State to hand over new Clinton emails by Sept. 13

August 26, 2016

Court orders State to hand over new Clinton emails by Sept. 13, Washington ExaminerAnna Giaritelli, August 25, 2016

A federal court has ordered the State Department to review and turn over emails from a new batch of communications that Hillary Clinton sent during her time as secretary of state by Sept. 13, but which she deleted, Judicial Watch announced Thursday afternoon

“The State Department shall search the material, determine whether any responsive records exist, and complete its first production of non-exempt records, to the extent any exist, by September 13, 2016,” the court ruled.

Judicial Watch said the department has admitted in a court filing that some of the emails that Clinton had deleted included some “Benghazi-related documents.”

That case involves emails between Clinton and the White House in the week after the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans.

Judicial Watch is also pursuing another case that involves a separate batch of Clinton emails. Those emails will start being delivered to the group on Sept. 30, and the court said Thursday that it would hold a hearing on Aug. 30 on whether State should make it known sooner how many documents are involved.

Obama Only Bombs Libya When the Muslim Brotherhood Lets Him

August 2, 2016

Obama Only Bombs Libya When the Muslim Brotherhood Lets Him, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, August 2, 2016

benghazi_victims

Obama is rather belatedly bombing ISIS in Libya after having essentially turned over Libya to Jihadists. That particular course of action cost the lives of four Americans in Benghazi.

Why can Obama bomb Libya now but not to save the Americans who were under siege in Benghazi? The answer is simple and ugly.

In Washington, the Pentagon said the raids were launched in response to a request from the unity government.

“At the request of the Libyan Government of National Accord, the United States military conducted precision air strikes against ISIL targets in Sirte, Libya, to support GNA-affiliated forces seeking to defeat ISIL in its primary stronghold in Libya,” Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said, using another name for IS.

The GNA is significantly Muslim Brotherhood influenced. Obama refused to provide aid until the GNA, which incorporates Islamists, came into being.

A  third deputy is Abdessalam Kajman who aligned with the Justice and Construction Party of which the Muslim Brotherhood is the largest component while Musa al-Kuni represents southern Libya.

Whether it was going after Gaddafi or ISIS, Obama needs to be on the right side of his political Islamists first. And he isn’t about to bomb them merely to save American lives.

Michael Cutler on The Hillary-FBI Fix — The Glazov Gang.

July 9, 2016

Michael Cutler on The Hillary-FBI Fix — The Glazov Gang. ViaYouTube, July 8, 2016