Senate Committee briefed on Jailed Benghazi Suspect

Halfway through five pages of written testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, terrorism expert Thomas Joscelyn presented Congress with something that has been getting very short shrift in the media. The terrorist who founded a network involved in the Benghazi attacks last year is in custody but U.S. Intelligence still does not have access to him.

Joscelyn: gave Senate testimony about jailed Benghazi suspect.

Joscelyn: gave Senate testimony about jailed Benghazi suspect.

Via Long War Journal:

In Egypt, a longtime subordinate to Ayman al Zawahiri named Muhammad Jamal al Kashef was designated a terrorist by both the U.S. State Department and the United Nations in October. Egyptian authorities found that Jamal was secretly in contact with Zawahiri while also working with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Jamal established training camps in the north Sinai and eastern Libya. And some of his trainees went on to take part in the attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. Jamal is currently jailed inside Egypt, but his upstart branch of al Qaeda, commonly referred to as the “Muhammad Jamal Network,” remains active. Jamal’s network has even established ties to terrorists inside Europe.

Jamal’s activities prior to his capture highlight the interconnectivity of al Qaeda’s global network, including throughout North Africa and the Middle East, as well as the organization’s desire for secrecy in some key respects. In addition to its official and unofficial branches, al Qaeda has also established and maintained terrorist cells. This has long been part of the organization’s tradecraft. {emphasis ours}

Last February, Catherine Herridge reported on the matter of the U.S. not having access to Al-Kashif but the primary difference between then and now is that Egypt was run by Mohammed Mursi at the time. With the Obama administration’s incessant pro-Muslim Brotherhood stance, it’s understandable why the U.S. would not be granted access to Al-Kashif either then or now. In the report, Al-Kashif was identified as “the only suspect (in Benghazi attacks) believed to be in custody”.

Not true. Tarek Taha Abu Al-Azm is one of the leaders – if not the actual lead – in the Jamal Network. Joscelyn himself wrote about al-Azm this past July and referred to him as being “imprisoned”.

For as little attention as al-Kashif and his Jamal Network get, Al-Azm gets even less. Yet, he is believed to have been the guy behind the June 2012 attack on the Benghazi compound and should be considered a suspect in the 9/11/12 attacks. Then again, evidence that he was actually trained by the U.S. Air Force may make it unpalatable for the U.S. Government to draw attention to him.

Here is the Fox News report from February:

As for U.S. Intelligence agents not getting access to al-Kashif, perhaps they would if the Obama administration actually supported the current Egyptian government instead of the Muslim Brotherhood.


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