Where is the Leader of Jamal Network?

On October 7th, the State Department designated Muhammad Jamal Abdo Al-Kashif and his Jamal network (MJN) as terrorist entities. Al-Kashif’s MJN is widely believed to have been involved in the Benghazi attack. What has also been widely reported is that Al-Kashif was released from prison in early 2011 after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

Al-Kashif: Head of the Jamal Network. He should still be in jail, right?

Al-Kashif: Head of the Jamal Network. He should still be in jail, right?

Via Eli Lake at the Daily Beast:

The State Department’s designation says Jamal formed the network in 2011 after he was released from an Egyptian prison during the country’s revolution. It says that his network received funding from al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate and that Jamal himself has used that affiliate to “smuggle fighters into training camps.” It also says suicide bombers have trained at MJN traning camps and that Jamal has “established links with terrorists in Europe.”

The Obama administration has been reluctant to publicly draw a direct connection to al Qaeda and the assault on September 11, 2012 that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. It took nearly two weeks for the White House to acknowledge the attacks were terrorism. {emphasis ours}

What can be said is that one of the consequences of the Arab Spring, which the Obama administration supported, was the release of Jamal and the formation of his network. Could this have something to do with the administration being “reluctant” to identify Al-Kashif as a suspect?

Al-Kashif was arrested in a Nasr City raid in October of 2012 (during the presidency of Mohammed Mursi). Here is an excerpt from an NBC News report on December 8th of last year:

A man accused of involvement in the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Libya has been arrested in Egypt, two intelligence sources in Cairo told NBC News on Saturday.

Mohammed Abu Jamal Ahmed, allegedly a member of a militant group, was detained in Cairo where he lives, the sources said.

In addition to the allegations that he was involved in the attack in Benghazi, he is also accused of transporting weapons from Libya to Egypt, the sources added. {emphasis ours}

According to the Long War Journal’s Thomas Joscelyn, in an article from this past February, the Egyptian government – still under Muslim Brotherhood control – would not allow U.S. authorities to interview Al-Kashif:

Egyptian authorities first detained members of the cell during a raid in the Nasr City neighborhood of Cairo on Oct. 24, 2012. The US government has asked Egypt for permission to interview the senior-most detainees in custody, according to intelligence and law enforcement officials contacted by The Long War Journal. Thus far, the Americans have been rebuffed. {emphasis ours}

Now that Mursi and the Brotherhood are out of power in Egypt, coupled with the new State Department designation of the Jamal Network and its leadership as terrorists, shouldn’t interviews of the detained leaders of MJM now take place? After all, aid to the new Egyptian government has been withheld by the Obama administration. Couldn’t it be reinstated in exchange for interviewing Al-Kashif and his terrorist comrades?

That question presumes that Al-Kashif is still in custody.

But is he?

According to Al-Wafd, in an article dated just more than a month before Mursi’s ouster on July 3rd, Al-Kashif was released from prison.

If this report is true, it would appear that we have yet another reason why the Obama administration would not want to reveal the truth about Benghazi. The Arab Spring that it supported would have been responsible for the release of Al-Kashif, who decided to use his new found freedom to form a network that was most likely, directly involved in the Benghazi attack. The bitter fruit of that Arab Spring would have then been responsible for releasing Al-Kashif after the Benghazi attack.

General Abdel Fatah El-Sisi: Should he grant access to head of Jamal Network? Can he?

General Abdel Fatah El-Sisi: Should he grant access to head of Jamal Network? Can he?

Perhaps the State Department didn’t identify Al-Kashif as being a suspect in the attack but it has now officially designated both him and his organization as terrorist entities.

Perhaps the new Egyptian government should either grant U.S. authorities access to Al-Kashif or explain why they cannot.

**UPDATE / CORRECTION at 8:29am EST on October 20, 2013**
After further review of the Al Wafd article we referred to as reporting that Al-Kashif was released by Mursi in May of 2013, we’ve determined this translation to be incorrect. The layout of the article is such that this reference appears just below a separate headline within the article. The end of the first article is not sufficiently separated from the beginning of the subsequent article, which refers to Al-Kashif’s 2011 release from prison. We mistakenly interpreted that Al-Kashif was part of a prisoner exchange referred to at the end of the first article. That prisoner exchange was said to have been coordinated by Mursi. This review was prompted by a report from Al-Arabiya earlier this month that reported Al-Kashif was still in jail.


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