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#1: Violence begets violence - a blow back incident Re: Chris Stevens...

Posted on 2012-09-13 00:14:55 by lo yeeOn

In article <0c4f5c29-2893-49e9-8a4c-169e6a246576@c8g2000pbe.googlegroups.com>,
rst9 <rst9wxyz@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Every morning after I get up, I turn on my TV and listen to news.
>There were 3 events that really got my attention:
> 1: The bombing of the marine building that killed 241 Marines in
>Lebanon
> 2: The assassination of Robert Kennedy.
> 3: And now, the attack on our embassy in Libya.
>
>Chris Stevens, U.S. ambassador to Libya killed in rocket attack,
>served as envoy during revolution
>By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News | The Lookout � 55 mins ago
>http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/chris-stevens-us-libya-ambassador-killed-142949456.html
>
>Stevens speaks to local media in Benghazi, Libya. (AP/Ben Curtis,
>File)
>Click image for more photos.
>
>Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya killed along with three
>others in a rocket attack outside the American Consulate in Benghazi�
>ignited by protesters angry over a film they say insults Prophet
>Mohammad�was "a courageous and exemplary representative of the United
>States," President Obama said in a statement Wednesday condemning the
>attack.
>Initial reports said the slain embassy staffers�who also include
>foreign service information management officer Sean Smith�were trying
>to flee the consulate building when they were fired upon. But
>according to the Associated Press, a Libyan doctor who treated Stevens
>said the diplomat died of severe asphyxiation from smoke inhalation
>and that he tried for 90 minutes to revive him.

First, an information management officer? What was he doing in our
Consulate in Benghazi?

Second, other reports suggested Stevens was killed during a second
stage attack. In those reports, it was a 2-stage attack. After the
first stage, Libyan security forces moved the consulate staff to a
supposedly safe location. But then that "safe" location was attacked
by rocket propelled grenades and other ammunitions. And the 1+3 were
killed during that second attack. This is why it is increasingly
looking like it was a well-planned attack, rather than a spontaneous
act of violence arising from a popular portest against some dumb film
appearing on the internet for the first time.

CNN: (see below for the url of the report which contains the following
excerpt.)

According to our own sources at Quilliam Foundation, the attack was
the work of roughly 20 militants, prepared for a military
assault. It is rare, for example, that an RPG7 -- an anti-tank
rocket-propelled grenade launcher -- would be present at a civilian
protest. The attack against the consulate had two waves. The first
attack led to U.S. officials being evacuated from the consulate by
Libyan security forces, only for the second wave to be launched
against U.S. officials after they were kept at a secure location.

Third, it is clear from the long obituary I included below that
Stevens was a CIA agent for a long time before (and perhaps still
concurrently) he became a high profile diplomat working directly out
of the State Department. Of course, that is nothing new. The CIA
works closely with the State Department (in stirring up troubles
around the world). In fact, Peace Corps is where many future CIA
agents began their liasons between people in the foreign land and the
government.

This is clearly a blow back. Violence begets violence. The neocons
and their spokespeople like Hillary Clinton were acting with lots of
hubris but too little caution. In less than a year, both Qaddafi and
Stevens had died inside Libya - they were the men that Hillary had
come and seen before they died.

A great waste and a lot of bad blood flowing along!

And Libya's current government is saying we don't have the resource to
function as a government and that's why they can't make armed militia
to disarm. And they claim that "they have no institutions" and blame
Qaddafi. Actually they have no money and lack expertise to run a
government. They say they are starting from "zero".

(They should learn a little modern Chinese history. When the head of
the Nationalists Generalissimo Chiang Kei-shek fled, he left the
government to Li ZongRen but sent all the gold reserve out of the
country. So, money suddenly became worthless. It was so unpopular
that Li's interim government fell immediately and the People's
Liberation Army marched into the interim capital in Guangchou,
residents lined up to cheer them. Yet China under the CCP rose from
nothing to the world's second largest economy. And also, there was
not a single incident of foreign embassy being attacked that caused
injuries or deaths to foreigners. There is a clear distinction
between a competent government and an incompetent one. The CCP also
would have no one to pay attention to it had it wanted to complain
since western media had ostracized it, following the US government
policy at the time.)

Some people would like you to think what went on in Libya last year
was about rising against a tyrant. And the "rebels" reportedly told
the media they were doctors, engineers, and students who just want to
get rid of a dictator.

Ha! These able-bodies would refuse to give up their arms to go back
to those enviable positions if they could, but would rather keep their
arms? Absurd!

The country is infinitely impoverished as a result of the regime
change.

And even before Libya has been properly restored, our State Department
under Hillary was already going after Syria for more "Arab Spring"!

She is like someone who doesn't pick up after herself. She is like
someone who wasn't toilet-trained!

And guess what? The "rebels" in Syria are once again some merciless
mercenaries (like those with the "libyan revolution") and they kill
you simply because you are a Christian or because you are a postman
working as a government employee. So much so for their terrorist
approach to "revolution" that, according to a report in the UK
Telegraph I saw today, Christians in Syria are taking up arms against
these "rebels" or "Revolutionaries".

See the article By Ruth Sherlock, Carol Malouf in Beirut7:30PM BST 12
Sep 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9539244/Syria-Christians-take-up-arms-for-first-time.html


And in Iraq, raping gay guys (even though they have hairy arms as you
can see from the video included in the report) and even just guys
wearing a trendy western style haircut would be stopped by police,
pulled-over, and raped repeatedly.

Read the BBC News report with the title:

"In post-occupation Iraq being gay, or even looking gay, can be a
death sentence."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19557895

In Libya, although the media has been silent about it, I found out
that Bani Walid is still outside of the current government's control.
The news only came up because the new Libyan president was reported to
have visited Bani Walid.

Washington Post's headline was:

Libya's leader reaches out to Gadhafi loyalists' last stronghold

Apparently, those "Gadhafi loyalists" recaptured Bani Wali in January
this year. So, for nine months, nothing was done about it. Rather,
nothing, apparently, could be done about it.

The regime change in Libya has essentially rendered the country
greatly impoverished and the existing government impotent.

Think about this:

Can you imagine that the US Ambassador to Libya would have been
killed, along with three other staffers of the diplomatic mission,
if Libya were still under Qaddafi's government?

The former government was one of the wealthier countries in a very
impoverished region that includes North Africa and the Middle East.

It was totally self-sufficient and was able to help out other poorer
countries in Africa. Furthermore, it was minding its own business and
was doing all the things the western powers wanted it to do to help
out in thir terror war. But that was just not good enough for the
regime-change advocates like Hillary Clinton.

So, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Syria to Libya, lives have been ruined
by our ruthless and insensitive foreign policy.

And so this is what the world gets as a result of the violence our
government perpetrated. It is terrible!

lo yeeOn

P.S.: Surprised to see that the RFK assassination drew more attention
from you than 9/11. I believe you because you don's sound like the
lying type from the many things you posted. Just surprised, that's
all.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

12 September 2012 Last updated at 15:55 ET

Libya attack: Obama vows justice for killed US envoy

"[The attacks] go to the heart of the practice and theory of the Obama
foreign policy. They also raise immediate questions why there wasn't
more protection for the embassies, particularly on the anniversary of
9/11" Mark Mardell, North America BBC News editor

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19577913

US President Barack Obama has vowed to bring to justice those who
killed the US ambassador to Libya during protests against a film that
mocks Islam.

But he told reporters that the attack on the American consulate in
Benghazi would not break the bonds between the US and the new Libyan
government.

His election rival Mitt Romney criticised his handling of the crisis.

Ambassador J Christopher Stevens reportedly died of smoke inhalation
after a crowd stormed the consulate.

Three other Americans were also killed and the consulate set ablaze.

Rocket-propelled grenades were reportedly fired during the assault on
Tuesday night.

Charred vehicles could be seen parked near the damaged buildings on
Wednesday.

A US marine anti-terrorism team is being sent to Libya to bolster
security after the attack, a US defence source told reporters in
Washington.

Protesters against the film attacked the US embassy in Cairo on
Tuesday night.

In other developments on Wednesday:

Nigeria placed its police force on red alert to guard against attacks
related to the controversial film

The US embassy in Algiers warned Americans in Algeria to avoid
non-essential travel amid social media calls for protests

Tunisian police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the air to
disperse a protest by several hundred people near the US embassy in
the Tunisian capital, Tunis

Demonstrations were reported outside the US embassy in Khartoum,
Sudan, and the US consulate in Casablanca, Morocco, as well as outside
the UN offices in the Gaza Strip

The Afghan government ordered a block on YouTube until the offending
film was removed - but the site was still visible to internet users in
Kabul

'Especially tragic'

Speaking in the Rose Garden at the White House, President Obama told
reporters: "Make no mistake. Justice will be done."

He said he condemned "in the strongest possible terms the outrageous
and shocking" attack.

"It is especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because
it is a city that he helped to save," he added, praising the dead
ambassador for his work in Libya after the overthrow of the late Col
Muammar Gaddafi.

Reports say a militia known as the Ansar al-Sharia brigade was
involved in the attack, but the group has denied the claim, the BBC's
Rana Jawad in Tripoli says.

American officials have told CNN and the New York Times that they
believe the Benghazi attack was planned, using the protest as a
diversion, while the Cairo protest was spontaneous.

Ambassador Stevens and his staff went to the consulate in an attempt
to evacuate the site after it was attacked, the Associated Press news
agency said.

The building apparently came under attack by a crowd armed with guns
and rocket-propelled grenades.

Dr Ziad Abu Zeid, the Libyan doctor who treated Stevens in hospital,
told the BBC he died of severe asphyxiation, apparently from smoke
inhalation, with no other injuries.

Mr Stevens was the only American brought into the Benghazi Medical
Centre and initially no one realised he was the ambassador, the doctor
said.

Libya's interim leader, Mohammed Magarief, apologised to the US over
the killings, which he called "cowardly criminal acts".

Libya's deputy envoy to the UN, Ibrahim Dabashi, told the UN Security
Council that his government was carrying out an investigation but he
admitted it did not control all of Libya's territory.

"We cannot understand how this group, or these persons, could have
eliminated such a wonderful person," he said.

Both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council
condemned the attack.

Mitt Romney, Mr Obama's Republican challenger in the forthcoming
presidential election, criticised the US administration's response,
saying it had appeared to "sympathise with those who waged the
attacks".

Mr Obama's team, he said, had sent "mixed signals to the world" in the
face of violence, referring to a statement issued on Tuesday by the US
Embassy in Cairo.

The embassy had issued the statement condemning the film as a protest
was imminent, but not before the embassy was breached and the US flag
was torn down, the Associated Press reported.

Mr Romney's campaign had put out the statement before reports of US
deaths, but on Wednesday, Mr Romney stood by his criticism of the
administration.

Safety concerns

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he had sent condolences to
President Obama and that he expected the new Libyan authorities to "do
all in their power... to bring the killers to justice".

BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says many people in
Libya are still armed following the conflict that overthrew Gaddafi.

The attack will raise serious new concerns about stability in the
country and the ability of the new Libyan administration to maintain
security, he adds.

In June, two British bodyguards were injured in an attack in Benghazi
on a convoy carrying the British ambassador to Libya. Red Cross and UN
staff also came under attack this year.

Correspondents say the film at the heart of the row, which appeared on
YouTube translated into Arabic, is highly provocative and insulting to
Muslims.

An Islamic tenet bans the portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad.

Cartoons featuring the founder of Islam sparked violent unrest among
Muslims in 2005 when they were published by a Danish newspaper.

US ambassadors killed in line of duty

John Gordon Mein - Guatemala, 1968: Shot dead by rebels who ambushed
his car

Cleo A Noel Jr - Sudan, 1973: Shot dead along with senior US and
Belgian diplomats by Palestinian militants, after being taken hostage
in Saudi embassy

Rodger P Davies - Cyprus, 1974: Killed by sniper gunfire during a
protest at US embassy by Greek Cypriots

Francis E Meloy Jr - Lebanon, 1976: Kidnapped and shot dead by
Palestinian militants in Beirut with another senior US official

Adolph Dubs - Afghanistan, 1979: Killed in exchange of fire after
Afghan and Soviet forces tried to free him from kidnappers in hotel

------

J Christopher Stevens, who has been killed in an attack on the US
consulate in Benghazi, was a veteran diplomat who had been in the post
of Ambassador to Libya since 22 May.

President Barack Obama described Mr Stevens as "a courageous and
exemplary representative of the United States".

"Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country
and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi... His legacy will
endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice," Mr Obama
said.

In a statement to a US Senate committee after his nomination as
ambassador, Mr Stevens wrote of his "extraordinary honour" at being
selected for the post.

Mr Stevens had held two previous posts in Libya, as deputy chief of
the US mission between 2007 and 2009 and then as envoy to the
Transitional National Council (TNC) during the Libyan uprising in
2011, according to the US state department.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Mr Stevens "won friends
for America in distant places and made other people's hopes his own".

"He risked his life to stop a tyrant and gave his life trying to build
a better Libya," she said.

"The world needs more Chris Stevenses," Ms Clinton said, adding that
she had spoken to the ambassador's sister and told her that he would
be remembered "as a hero by many nations".

'Unflappable personality'

In an article in a state department publication, Mr Stevens described
arriving in Benghazi in April 2011 in a Greek cargo ship to make
contact with the TNC.

Mr Stevens and his team facilitated "non-lethal military assistance"
to the TNC, the article said.

In diplomatic cables leaked by the Wikileaks site, Mr Stevens had
earlier described Col Muammar Gaddafi as "notoriously mercurial" and
wrote that he could be an "engaging and charming interlocutor".

A speaker of Arabic and French, Mr Stevens had also been posted
elsewhere in the region during his career, including Jerusalem,
Damascus and Cairo.

He had worked in several posts in Washington, including at the state
department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

Born and raised in northern California, Mr Stevens had been an
international trade lawyer in Washington DC before joining the US
Foreign Service in 1991.

In a video posted on YouTube after his appointment, Mr Stevens talked
of his experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer in North Africa after
graduating from the University of Berkeley in California.

Mr Stevens speaks in the video of the two years he spent as an English
teacher in the Atlas Mountains region of Morocco and how he "quickly
grew to love" the area.

On a website run by ex-Peace Corp volunteers, Mr Stevens was described
as the "quintessential diplomat" by Joan Mower, who was in his
training class at the Foreign Service.

Mr Stevens had "an unflappable personality... He listens to people,"
Ms Mower said.

-----


Libyan ambassador blames ex-Qaddafi forces for consulate attacks

Posted By Josh Rogin Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 1:10 PM

Libya's Ambassador to Washington Ali Aujali said Wednesday that
associates of disposed tyrant Muammar al-Qaddafi were behind the
Tuesday attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the
deaths of four American officials, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

"We know that Qaddafi's associates are in Libya. Of course, they took
this chance to infiltrate among the people," Aujali said in today in
an interview. His claim contradicts most reports, which place the
blame on radical Islamist groups that claimed to be reacting to an
obscure American film they viewed as insulting to Islam.

Aujali said that the Libyan government has intelligence that
unspecified Qaddafi forces were involved.

"I think it is not clear who [the attackers] are exactly but I am sure
they were infiltrated by these people. They still have money. They
still have support in countries like Tunisia and Mauritania and other
countries who work together with them and finance these kinds of
terrorists attacks."

His claim was viewed with skepticism in Washington, where analysts
said Aujali's statements fit a pattern of the Libyan government
refusing to confront the hundreds of militias that remain powerful,
heavily armed, and beyond the reach of the law.

"The Libyan government has been blaming amorphous pro-Qaddafi elements
for everything that goes wrong in their country," said Tom Malinowski,
Washington director of Human Rights Watch. "It's a way of denying the
hard truth that the biggest threat they face to their hopes for
democracy and the rule of law comes from among their own fellow former
revolutionaries."

The Libyan government has failed to respond to a series of
provocations by these groups, Malinowski said.

"The responsibility for this crime falls squarely on the people who
perpetrated it and on the Libyan authorities, who have failed thus far
to rein in armed elements that defy the law in Libya with impunity,
whether by destroying Sufi shrines, attacking aid groups, or now
murdering a U.S. ambassador," he said. "The majority of Libyans are
not responsible for this, but they are responsible for stopping it by
confronting these armed groups once and for all."

Aujali also said that the Libya government didn't have any direct
advance knowledge of the attack and pledged that the Libyan government
would work closely with the U.S. government to investigate the
incident.

Aujali emphasized that the Libyan people are grateful for American
support and he expressed confidence that the U.S.-Libya relationship
would be maintained.

The Libyan government's failure to protect the consulate is due to a
lack of resources and progress in rebuilding the security
infrastructure in Benghazi, he said.

"Qaddafi left no intstitions[sic]. We have no army, no police forces.
We have to build everything from zero, unfortunately. We still need
some time," he said.

--------

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-12/ambassador-stevens-dies-witness-then-casualty-in-libya.html

. . .

"Was going places"

John Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador to Libya killed
trying to evacuate the U.S. consulate in Benghazi during an attack by
Islamist protesters, was a firsthand witness to Libya's painful
transition to democracy who became one of its casualties. He was 52.

Known to friends and colleagues as Chris, the California native was an
Arabic-speaking, 21-year veteran of the State Department who had
postings in Damascus, Cairo and other Middle Eastern locales before
his first stint in Libya from 2007 to 2009.

Stevens, the No. 2 diplomat in Tripoli when Muammar Qaddafi was still
in power, went to Benghazi in 2011 as the eyes and ears for policy
makers trying to gauge how to respond to the rebellion and avert a
massacre in that city by Qaddafi forces. He was promoted to ambassador
after the dictator was killed by rebels, and led the U.S. post there
at the height of the revolution.

"With characteristic skill, courage and resolve, he built partnerships
with Libyan revolutionaries and helped them as they planned to build a
new Libya," President Barack Obama said today in the Rose Garden of
the White House.

Ali Aujuali, Libya's ambassador to the U.S., remembers meeting Stevens
six years ago in Tripoli and thinking that the talented diplomat was
going places. They formed a friendship over tennis games and
breakfasts.

Stevens "was very enthusiastic" about the relationship between Libya
and the U.S., Aujali told reporters today in Washington. "He believed
that the Americans should support the Libyan people to get their
country back."

`Passion for Service"

Stevens' death comes four months after he was sworn in and dispatched
to the most challenging assignment of his career: navigating the
aftermath of Qaddafi in a divided country with no constitution or rule
of law. Tribal rivalries have pitted regional militias against one
another, and weapons made their way across borders, falling into the
hands of insurgents.

"I had the privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a
few months ago," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a
statement. "He spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for
diplomacy and for the Libyan people."

At a March 23 Senate hearing, Stevens spoke of the "tremendous
goodwill for the United States in Libya now" and how "Libyans
recognize the key role the United States played."

"It's especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi, because
it is a city that he helped to save," Obama said.

Senator Dick Lugar, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee told reporters today that Stevens had been in Benghazi
"attempting to at least try to survey how things were going there"
with security of the U.S. consulate.

Ibrahim Dabbashi, the deputy Libyan ambassador to the United Nations,
was visibly moved as he remembered Stevens as someone able to connect
with Libyans from all walks of life.

"His personality was very simple," Dabbashi, who was among the first
Libyan officials to defect to the Qaddafi regime, told reporters. "He
used to have the friends among high officials and simple Libyan
people." [This sounds like Stevens was a perfect "ear and eye" for
Washington.]

During his tenure in Tripoli, Stevens had time to observe Qaddafi, who
ruled Libya for more than four decades and was the first of the
autocrats to be killed in the Arab Spring uprisings.

Stevens wrote a cable prepared for the historic visit to Libya of
then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2008, where he described
Qaddafi as a "notoriously mercurial" who avoides eye contact.

He received a law degree from the University of California's Hastings
College of the Law in San Francisco in 1989 and served as an
international trade lawyer before joining the Foreign Service in
1991. In 2010, he received a master's degree in national security
studies from the National War College in Washington.

The Peace Corps service was key, according to Clinton. That's when,
she said, "Stevens fell in love with the Middle East."

To contact the reporter on this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson in United
Nations at fjackson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at
jwalcott9@bloomberg.net

--------

Editor's note: Noman Benotman is president of Quilliam Foundation, a
counter-extremism group in London. He is a former leader of the Libyan
Islamic Fighting Group, a jihadist organization that fought against
Muammar Qaddafi's regime in the 1990s. After resigning from
L.I.F.G. in 2002, he became a prominent critic of jihadist and
Islamist violence.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/12/opinion/benotman-libya-attack/index.html

(CNN) - The Obama administration may very well be right that the
attack in Benghazi which claimed the lives of Ambassador Christopher
Stevens and three other U.S. officials was part of a pre-planned
terrorist operation. It would have happened sooner or later,
regardless of any protests against an obscure anti-Islam film made in
America.

The attack apparently occurred because in recent days, the al-Qaeda
leader Ayman al-Zawahiri posted a video online calling on Libyans to
avenge the killing of al-Qaeda's second in command, Abu Yahya al-Libi.

According to our own sources at Quilliam Foundation, the attack was
the work of roughly 20 militants, prepared for a military assault. It
is rare, for example, that an RPG7 -- an anti-tank rocket-propelled
grenade launcher -- would be present at a civilian protest. The attack
against the consulate had two waves. The first attack led to
U.S. officials being evacuated from the consulate by Libyan security
forces, only for the second wave to be launched against U.S. officials
after they were kept at a secure location.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/12/opinion/benotman-libya-attack/index.html

-----

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/09/benghazi-and-cairo-polarizing-attacks.html

The ambush-murder, on Tuesday night, of the American Ambassador to
Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans in the eastern city of
Benghazi, following a violent mob attack on the American consulate
there, is the worst in a long string of disquieting episodes that have
occurred in Libya in the year since s overthrow by NATO-backed
rebels. At about the same time, mobs stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo
in neighboring Egypt, though there, thankfully, without loss of life.

The last time an American Ambassador was murdered in his post was in
Afghanistan, in February, 1979, when Adolph Dubs was taken hostage and
shot dead in Kabul, during violence that followed the Soviet-backed
coup that led to the Russian invasion of that country later that
year. These new attacks on diplomatic outposts highlight the
continuing uncertainties of the country's evolving relationship with
the United States, a result of the volatile forces unleashed in the
so-called Arab Spring, which began early last year. In the continuing
tug of war by competing groups, not all of them friendly to the U.S.,
over political power, there may well be more unwelcome surprises to
come.

The recent election of a transitional government in Libya saw
political moderates of the variety favored by the West sweep the
polls, but Islamists, who came out of hiding during the revolution,
remain a potent force in the country; some of them regard the U.S. as
their ultimate foe. During the past decade, clandestine
coRegionqaddafipppppperation took place between U.S. and British
intelligence agencies and Qaddafi's own spy agencies in pursuit of
Islamist extremists. A number of Libyans who are now in positions of
power and influence were subjected to renditions by the West and
tortured and imprisoned at home. Some of these individuals may still
be seeking their revenge for past humiliations.

Most worryingly, the rule of law has yet to be established in Libya;
there are scores, if not hundreds, of heavily armed militias, many of
whom have carried out violent attacks on their rivals in recent
months, and some of whom maintain their own clandestine prisons, where
they torture and execute their prisoners. Rockets were fired at a
British diplomat's convoy in Benghazi in June. In that incident, no
one was hurt, but it may have been the warning of things to come. In a
series of ongoing assaults, Salafist extremists have bulldozed ancient
historic Sufi shrines around the country on the grounds that they were
idolatrous; there has been no

--------

12 September 2012 Last updated at 15:19 ET

Did Ansar al-Sharia carry out Libya attack?
By Robin Banerji
BBC News

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19575753

A little-known Islamist group has been blamed for the attack on the US
consulate in the city of Benghazi.

The attack led to the death of the US ambassador to Libya, J
Christopher Stevens, and three other US officials.

Libya's deputy ambassador to London, Ahmad Jibril, named Ansar
al-Sharia as the perpetrators.

The group apparently took advantage of a demonstration against a
trailer for a controversial American film, Innocence of Muslims.

Although the trailer has been around for a year, an Arabic version was
recently uploaded to the internet.

According to accounts, a group of people were demonstrating outside
the US consulate on Tuesday when they were joined by members of an
Islamist group in pickup trucks.

The number of fighters was reported to be anything from as many as 80
to as few as 20.

"The Libyan government provides security to all diplomatic missions in
the country but I don't think they were prepared for an attack like
this," said Mr Jibril.

"The Libyan security services did not have the ability to counter
these people."

'Lacking experience'

A Libyan reporter in Benghazi, Osama al-Fitri, told the BBC World
Service he had seen militiamen armed with AK47 assault rifles and
14.5mm anti-aircraft machine guns.

Other eyewitnesses spoke of seeing rocket-propelled grenades.

The attackers were keen to hide their identities. Al-Fitri said one
threatened to shoot him unless he turned off his camera.

The attackers raised the black flag - a Jihadi symbol - over the US
consulate.

According to Libya expert, George Joffe, Ansar al-Sharia is one of
several Islamist groups active in Cyrenaica, or eastern Libya.

Although its members are most probably Libyan, and the group emerged
from the armed Islamist opposition to Col Muammar Gaddafi, Ansar
al-Sharia also has links to foreign groups. Last year, without
success, it attempted to set up an Islamic state in the eastern part
of the country.

They are a relatively new group to Libya and, seemingly, lack
battlefield experience.

"They were not known [in] Libya before the revolution. We had the
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, we had the Muslim Brotherhood, we had
Salafists but this group we did not hear about until recently, until
after the revolution started," said Mr Jibril.

Ansar al-Sharia is blamed for crimes committed in eastern Libya. "The
group has carried out several terrorist attacks within the last few
weeks and also the killing of some Libyan officials, especially in
Benghazi," said Mr Jibril.

However, with the current confused situation in eastern Libya, pinning
the blame on any single group will be difficult.

Precision attack

Although the attack on the US consulate has been linked to the US
film, Libya experts have also suggested a different reason.

"This was a precision attack," said Mr Joffe. "One that would have
required a degree of planning. It may well have been inspired by the
call by al-Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri to avenge the killing of Abu
Yahya al-Libi."

Al-Libi was a Libyan-born al-Qaeda commander killed in June by a US
drone strike in the North Waziristan-Afghan borderlands.

It is difficult to know exactly who carried out the consulate attack
but there are plenty of people in eastern Libya with the will,
equipment and battlefield experience to carry out an operation of this
kind.

Ahmad Jibril also suggests that the Islamist groups now operating in
Libya enjoy the protection of elements of the state.

"Libya's Supreme Security Committee has some elements from these
groups. So sometimes there is a conflict inside the institutions,
inside the Security Committee in Libya, when these groups have the
upper hand in some cities. Unfortunately, I think Benghazi is one of
those cities."

The success of this attack shows there is a serious security vacuum in
Libya.

"That is a fact, not just speculation," says Mr Jibril. "This is the
tip of the iceberg of the very many serious challenges that the Libyan
government is facing at the moment."

Mr Jibril says it is vital for the Libyan government to re-establish
control of security in eastern Libya by facing up to groups such as
Ansar al-Sharia.

However, it cannot be taken for granted that Libya can defeat them. He
suggest international assistance may be necessary.

And he has a warning for those who would avoid the fight.

"If the government does not take the necessary steps to encounter
these challenges, then I think we are heading towards disaster."

-----

CBS News

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57511645/u.s-eyes-terrorist-link-to-deadly-libya-attack/

. . .

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports the FBI
has opened an investigation into the killings and will send agents to
Libya to search for evidence. At the same time, the U.S. will increase
its surveillance over Libya, including the use of unmanned drones the
Central Intelligence Agency has used against terrorists in Pakistan.

Wanis al-Sharef, a Libyan Interior Ministry official in Benghazi, said
there had been threats that Islamic militants might try to take
revenge for the death of al Qaeda's No. 2 commander Abu Yahya al-Libi,
who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan in June, and he said
the U.S. consulate should have been better protected.

Confirming al-Libi's death for the first time in a video posted online
Monday, al Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahri called on Muslims in al-Libi's
native Libya to take revenge for his death.

U.S. officials believe the militants were using the demonstration
against the video as a cover to get into the consulate and then take
as much revenge as they could on Americans, Martin reports.

. . .


>
>Stevens, 52, was the first U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty
>since 1979, when Adolph Dubs, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was
>gunned down in a kidnapping attempt.
>[Also read: President Obama's statement on attack in Benghazi]
>
>"Throughout the Libyan revolution, [Stevens] selflessly served our
>country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi," Obama said.
>"As ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to
>democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for
>liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my
>administration, and deeply saddened by this loss."
>
>Stevens, a California native and U.C.-Berkeley grad, was a 21-year
>veteran of foreign service, the White House said.
>
>"I had the privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a
>few months ago," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a separate
>statement. "He spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for
>diplomacy and for the Libyan people. This assignment was only the
>latest in his more than two decades of dedication to advancing closer
>ties with the people of the Middle East and North Africa.
>
>[Related: 'Innocence of Muslims': The film that sparked deadly U.S.
>Embassy attacks]
>
>"As the conflict in Libya unfolded, Chris was one of the first
>Americans on the ground in Benghazi," Clinton continued. "He risked
>his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the
>foundation for a new, free nation. He spent every day since helping to
>finish the work that he started. Chris was committed to advancing
>America's values and interests, even when that meant putting himself
>in danger."
>
>"It's especially tragic because Chris Stevens died in Benghazi,"
>President Obama said at a press conference Wednesday morning, "because
>it is a city he fought to save."
>Here's Stevens' bio from the U.S. Embassy's website:
>
>Ambassador Chris Stevens considers himself fortunate to participate in
>this incredible period of change and hope for Libya. As the
>President's representative, his job is to develop a strong, mutually
>beneficial relationship between the United States and Libya.
>Ambassador Stevens was the American representative to the Transitional
>National Council in Benghazi during the revolution.
>
>When he's not meeting with government officials or foreign diplomats,
>you can find Ambassador Stevens meeting with Libyan academics,
>business people, and civil society activists, exploring Libya's rich
>archaeological sites, and enjoying Libya's varied cuisine.
>
>After several diplomatic assignments in the Middle East and North
>Africa, Ambassador Stevens understands and speaks Arabic and French.
>He likes the Facebook page of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli and hopes
>you will, too.
>
>"I had the honor to serve as the U.S. envoy to the Libyan opposition
>during the revolution,"
>
>Stevens said in May in a video introducing himself to the Libyan
>people as the new U.S. ambassador there. "And I was thrilled to watch
>the Libyan people stand up and demand their rights."
>
>[Slideshow: Gunmen storm U.S. consulate in Libya]
>
>"Growing up in California I didn't know much about the Arab world,"
>Stevens continued. "I traveled to North Africa as a Peace Corps
>volunteer, worked as an English teacher in a town in the high Atlas
>mountains in Morocco for two years and quickly grew to love this part
>of the world.
>
>"We know Libya is still recovering from an intense period of
>conflict," he added. "There are many courageous Libyans who wear the
>scars of that battle."


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