Benghazi, the Blind Sheikh, and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president

When it comes to the 9/11/12 Benghazi attacks, there is one name that just keeps popping up – Sheikh Abdel Rahman (“the Blind Sheikh”). This is the guy who was the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. As we’ve pointed out, the Blind Sheikh was very close with Hassan al-Turabi, the man who founded the Islamic Da’wa Organization (IDO), for which Malik Obama works as Executive Secretary.

With that as a backdrop, we seem to have a confluence of developments relative to matters relating to Benghazi, the Blind Sheikh, and al-Qaeda.

First, consider that in January of this year, Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he wanted to see the Blind Sheikh released:

Next, consider this cell phone video, shot in Benghazi outside the U.S. Consulate during the attack. In it, gunmen can be heard shouting, “Don’t shoot us! We were sent by Dr. Mursi!”

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This past June 4th, in a report by Bill Gertz that appeared in the Washington Times, an al-Qaeda weapons expert made the shocking claim that Ambassador Christopher Stevens did not die from smoke inhalation on September 11th; it was from lethal injection:

An al Qaeda terrorist stated in a recent online posting that U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens was killed by lethal injection after plans to kidnap him during the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi went bad.

The veracity of the claim by Abdallah Dhu-al-Bajadin, who was identified by U.S. officials as a weapons expert for al Qaeda, could not be determined. However, U.S. officials have not dismissed the terrorist’s assertion.

A little bit later, Gertz reveals why the kidnapping of Stevens would have been preferable:

According to a March 14 posting on an al Qaeda-linked website, Dhu-al-Bajadin stated that Stevens was given a lethal injection that was overlooked during the autopsy.

The “plan was based on abduction and exchange of high-level prisoners,” the terrorist wrote on the prominent jihadist Web forum Ansar al-Mujahideen Network. “However, the operation took another turn, for a reason God only knows, when one of the members of the jihadist cell improvised and followed Plan B.”

The credibility of an Al-Qaeda weapons expert should always be taken with a grain of salt but assuming that there’s any veracity to the claim, would not the Blind Sheikh be a “high-level prisoner”? We know that Mursi wants the Blind Sheikh released and we know that – thanks to the cell phone video – that he seems to have had loyal gunmen at the scene of the act of war.

Now, let’s go back to the terrorist attack on a gas plant in Algeria this past January. The man who claimed responsibility for the attack was Moktar Belmoktar, who had a falling out with another Al-Qaeda leader named Abdelmalek Droukdel. Do you remember what Belmoktar pointed to as his reason for attacking the plant?

Via CNN:

Belmoktar’s demand during the siege for the release from U.S. prisons of Omar Abdul Rahman (the blind sheikh) and Aafia Siddiqi, two hugely popular figures in pro-al Qaeda circles, may have been a calculated effort to boost his popularity.

So Belmoktar wanted the same “high-level prisoner” freed that Mursi did. According to the report:

“In September, Droukdel ‘fired’ Belmoktar from the AQIM leadership…”

Indications are that Belmoktar was “fired” after the Benghazi attacks (more on that shortly).

Now, check out this March 6th report from CNN:

Shortly after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi last September, a phone call was placed from the area.

Whoever made the call was excited. “Mabruk, Mabruk!” he repeated, meaning “Congratulations” in Arabic…

…One of the sources says the phone call was discovered when a Western intelligence service trawled through intercepts of communications made in the wake of the attack. That source told CNN that the call was made specifically to Moktar Belmoktar, leader of an al Qaeda faction based in northern Mali.

A little later on in the report, it appears that Belmoktar and Droukdel may have had a falling out after the Benghazi attack:

Soon after the Benghazi attack, Belmoktar was relieved of his position as emir of the Sahel and a deputy leader of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The group’s overall leader, Abdelmalek Droukdel, appears to have lost patience with Belmoktar’s “freelance” kidnapping of Westerners, which are reputed to have netted several million dollars.

So, without conclusive evidence that Stevens was supposed to be part of a kidnapping / high-level prisoner exchange, we either know or can quite reasonably conclude the following:

  • Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi had supporters with weapons on the scene in Benghazi on 9/11/12
  • Mursi wanted / wants the Blind Sheikh released
  • Moktar Belmoktar received a call on the night of the attack extending him congratulations
  • Belmoktar wanted / wants the Blind Sheikh released
  • Belmoktar was fired from Al-Qaeda shortly after the Benghazi attacks for being rather reckless, relative to kidnapping operations
  • An Al-Qaeda weapons expert says that Stevens was murdered by lethal injection after a kidnapping operation went bad

It would seem we have an entirely new set of questions that need to be answered by the Benghazi investigators.

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