Wednesday, February 20, 2013

20-Feb-13: This is how terrorism changes the map, killing after cold-blooded killing

9/11 at the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya last year [Image Source]
Americans, and not only Americans, were infuriated when the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens was murdered in an attack that took place, evidently not by coincidence on a fateful date last year: September 11.

But interests and outrage wax and wane and the parade moves on - for most people, though not for those who knew Stevens and the other victims, three members of the US diplomatic mission, of that cowardly terrorist attack that day. We know from up close how that works.

Life on the ground has evolved five months after the premeditated and well-planned murderous jihadi assault, and the group who carried out are now operating right out in the open. No one seems excessively troubled by how this is unfolding, and we can be certain their appetite for blood and mayhem will not have been diminished by the experience; on the contrary. This report comes from Reuters:
Libya militia linked to U.S. attack returns to BenghaziHadeel Al Shalchi | BENGHAZI, Libya | Sun Feb 17, 2013
(Reuters) - An Islamist militia linked to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and kicked out of the city by locals is back openly manning checkpoints and building up support promising much-needed security. Heavily bearded youths from Ansar al-Sharia control the western entrance into Libya's second biggest metropolis, patrol a hospital and check cars and trucks passing through another checkpoint in the south. Witnesses say the group's members were at the scene of the September 11 attack that killed the U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans... The group's highly visible return, five months on, underlines the complex security situation on the ground two years after the start of the revolt that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. Many in the West see Islamist militants as the biggest threat to the security of the oil-producing country and the region - and accuse them of carrying out a string of attacks on police and foreigners in the city in recent months. Their fears echo international concerns about the rise of Islamism in other countries shaken by the Arab Spring uprisings, including Libya's neighbours Egypt and Tunisia. But the groups are also held up as heroes of the Libyan uprising by some locals who say they are doing a better job of the protecting them than the government in distant Tripoli... "These militias are part of our liberation. We cannot exclude them at least at this time until we build our army and police," [Libya's deputy prime minister, Awad Ibrahim] told Reuters in Benghazi, the cradle of the revolt... One of the cars honks at the men in greeting and a passenger waves the black and white flag of al Qaeda... After Ansar al-Sharia was kicked out of its bases in September, some of its members were absorbed into other armed brigades dotted around the country. Others quietly returned, keeping a low profile, running a clinic and teaching the Koran. They removed their logo from their vehicles, but have gained enough confidence to acknowledge their allegiance publicly.
The Islamist thugs responsible for the killing recorded the moment when Ambassador Stevens was dragged out to cries of Allahu Akhbar - you can hear them clearly in the video. They were led by an Al-Qaeda figure, Sufyan Ben Qumu, said to have been the now-deceased Osama bin Laden's driver. He happens to have been released from the US military detention center in Cuba in 2007 and turned over at that time to the now-gone Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi on condition that he be kept behind bars. We're guessing such conditions no longer apply in the "new" Libya.

The US State Department says five additional American ambassadors have been killed by terrorists: Adolph Dubs, in Afghanistan, 1979; Francis E. Meloy Jr., in Lebanon, 1976; Rodger P. Davies, in Cyprus, 1974; Cleo A. Noel Jr., in Sudan, 1973; John Gordon Mein, in Guatemala, 1968. Stevens was the sixth.

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