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Just weeks after the New York Times’ asinine attempt to defend and cover up the Obama Administration’s disastrous response to the murder of four U.S. citizens, including our ambassador, in Benghazi, the U.S. State Department has now finally confirmed that “terrorist organizations” were behind the Benghazi attack.
Today, the State Department released its new designation of terrorist organizations, specifically naming Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi and Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah as the terrorist groups responsible for the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
The State Department release provides:
The Department of State has announced the designations of Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi, Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah, and Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia as separate Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as Specially Designated Global Terrorist entities under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. . . .
Created separately after the fall of the Qadhafi regime, Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi and Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah have been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets, frequent assassinations, and attempted assassinations of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya, and the September 11, 2012 attacks against the U.S. Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya. Members of both organizations continue to pose a threat to U.S. interests in Libya. Ahmed Abu Khattalah is a senior leader of Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi and Sufian bin Qumu is the leader of Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah.
In addition, Fox News is reporting that at least one of these groups has direct ties to al Qaeda:
And despite State Department claims that Al Qaeda leadership was not involved and a recent news report echoing that assessment, Fox News has learned that bin Qumu has Al Qaeda ties.
According to his Guantanamo file, he has historic ties to the Al Qaeda network, including training at one point at "Usama bin Laden’s Torkham camp."
It’s time for the truth about Benghazi to come to light. And it is time for the Obama Administration to come clean. Let’s hope this designation by the State Department is the start of a truly honest assessment of the Benghazi attack. This should finally put to rest the truly bizarre theory that a video and not terrorists were behind the attack on our consulate. You cannot fight an enemy that you refuse to name.
Matthew Clark is Associate Counsel for Government Affairs and Media Advocacy with the ACLJ. A lifelong citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he lives with his wife and three boys in Northern Virginia. Follow Matthew Clark: @_MatthewClark.