This little item popped up on my FACEBOOK stream (from a right wing friend), so I googled to see if had any merit.
What came up was a page of links, mostly "Fox News Exclusives", and other right wing-slanted news sources:
The former inmate, Sufyan Ben Qumu, is one of the leaders of Ansar al-Sharia, a Libyan militant Islamist group with a high-profile presence in the east of the country that has already been identified by local officials as involved in the attack on the consulate in Benghazi in which Chris Stevens died.What does this mean and why is Fox News trumpeting itlike the second coming?
Apparently there is some real journalism behind the report:
Ben Qumu was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2007 by President George W. Bush and returned to Libya. At the time, negotiations were under way led by Col Muammar Gadaffi's son, Saif al-Islam, to grant an amnesty to imprisoned Islamists, mostly members of a group called the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.Clearly Ben Qumu was released during Bush's tenure...but check out Drudge & Fox News & their ilk. The new party line over there is that the Obama administration ignored warnings of a 911-pre planned terrorist attack on our embassies and neglected to beef up security.
Its leaders had rejected both al-Qaeda and violent opposition to the regime, and many play a prominent role in the new Libya.
Ben Qumu returned to Derna and, like many other Islamists, formed his own armed group in the wake of last year's revolution. Ansar in both Derna and Benghazi are allowed to operate openly, with armed and defended bases, although they are officially described as "illegitimate".
US intelligence has already briefed journalists that they believe there were "communications" between Al-Qaeda - most likely, its franchise in north Africa, Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb - and Ansar al-Sharia on the day of the attack on the consulate.It's evident that there is still some confusion in intelligence over whether or not this was a seriously well-planned attack or an attack that opportunistically took advantage of the embassy protests. It looks likely now that there was some pre-planning. How much - and how much actual warning our intelligence agencies had - is still very much in question.
It's clear from the right wing side of the net that there is a frantic search on to find a way to pin blame on the administration for this, and to use it as an attack on Obama and his "little stick" foreign policy.
And you can bet that Mitt Romney, as he said in his "47% Video",
"I mean, if something of that nature [another Iran hostage crisis situation] presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity."Will this be the new distraction meme: "Obama ignored warnings of 911-retaliation attacks in the Middle East" to try and move the media off of the "47%" narrative?