October 17, 2012
Obama Administration Had Intelligence About al-Qaeda in Libya for Months
In the months before the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, U.S. and allied intelligence agencies warned the White House and State Department repeatedly that the region was becoming an increasingly dangerous vortex for jihadist groups loosely linked or sympathetic to al Qaeda, according to U.S. officials.Really there is no excuse for not anticipating revenge in Libya for the drone strike against Abu Yahya al-Libi.
Despite those warnings, and bold public displays by Islamist militants around Benghazi, embassies in the region were advised to project a sense of calm and normalcy in the run-up to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States.
So brazen was the Islamist presence in the Benghazi area that militants convened what they billed as the "First Annual Conference of Supporters of Shariah (Islamic law)" in the city in early June, promoting the event on Islamist websites.
Pictures from the conference posted on various Internet forums featured convoys flying al Qaeda banners, said Josh Lefkowitz of Flashpoint-Intel.com, a firm that monitors militant websites. Video clips showed vehicles with mounted artillery pieces, he added.
al-Libi's funeral was held openly in Libya and received lots of coverage and sympathy in the Arab press.
This article on ABC's blotter from June 12th this year discusses al-Libi's death and also contains a video of Ayman al-Zawahiri confirming al-Libi's death and vowing revenge.
Basically Obama's claims about the intelligence leading up to the death of Ambassador Stevens suggest that the administration needs to start reading The Blotter and Jawa Report.
Also his debate claims about his advances against al-Qaeda are contrary to what we all know about recent Jihadist advances in the wake of the Arab Spring. al-Qaeda as a centralized organization may be somewhat weakened by the loss of some of its leaders, however al-Qaeda as a state of mind as the primary philosophy of jihadist groups is stronger and more influential than its ever been.
This truth is one Obama can hardly afford to become part of the public discussion. That his policies have promoted, not thwarted the long term goals of al-Qaeda and their sympathizers.
But what about attacks? Direct Jihad against the US homeland is really not required. The US is disengaging for the most part it does not interfere with the Jihadists. al-Qaeda can concentrate on other areas with only the occasional direct attack against US interests in special cases such as revenge for the death of al-Libi.
This dovetails nicely with Obama's interest that the American electorate be blissfully unaware of the danger, ignorant for the most part of the true strength of the al-Qaeda, the Salafi Jihadist movement and its current advances across the Middle East.