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This article appears in the May 17, 2013 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Questions To Be Answered in the
Investigation of Benghazi 9/11

by William F. Wertz, Jr.

[PDF version of this article]

May 14—In the last week, the investigation of the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi has finally gained traction, including with the mainstream news media. The exposure by the Weekly Standard, the ABC News release of the Administration's "talking points," and then, the hearing conducted by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee featuring three State Department whistleblowers, have made it clear that the Obama Administration has been engaged in a massive cover-up, compared by many to Watergate, and to Nixon's threatened impeachment and forced resignation.

Over two-thirds of the Republican conference in the House has co-sponsored Rep. Frank Wolf's HR 36, calling for the creation of a select committee to investigate Benghazi—146 co-sponsors as of May 13.

Unfortunately, there are those like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham who say they want to get to the bottom of Benghazi, but do not really want to do so. Because they, like Obama, are protecting the al-Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which Obama allied with to overthrow Qaddafi, and is now allied with to overthrow Assad in Syria. Perhaps McCain should reflect upon the testimony of State Department security expert Eric Nordstrom, who reported that the February 17 Brigade, which was hired by the State Department to protect the Benghazi mission, posted threats not only to Ambassador Stevens, who was killed in the Benghazi attack, but also to McCain, on its Facebook page prior to 9/11/2012. The February 17 Brigade was founded by the emir of the LIFG, Abdelhakim Belhadj, whom McCain has foolishly defended.

Whether the investigation continues to be conducted by House standing committees, or a select committee is created, the investigation must address the policy issue which underlies the three issues most frequently raised:

  1. Why was security denied despite repeated requests?

  2. Why was military support either not available to be rendered, or not provided if available?

  3. Why did the Administration lie through the talking points?

The British-Saudi-Obama Alliance

In a continuously Updated Fact Sheet on Benghazi produced by this author for, beginning in December of 2012, it has been conclusively demonstrated that the answer to these three questions is that the Obama Administration, in alliance with the British Empire and Saudi Arabia, has allied with al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Asia, as a continuation of the old British intelligence hand Bernard Lewis's "Arc of Crisis" policy, aimed ultimately at Russia and China. So, while the Obama Administration proclaimed that it had killed Osama bin Laden, and that al-Qaeda was on the run, the Administration was actually continuing the policy which led to the creation of al-Qaeda in the first place, as a weapon against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, a policy which has backfired against the United States more than once.

In Benghazi, the reality is that the al-Qaeda-affiliated LIFG, with which Obama allied to overthrow Qaddafi, and upon which Obama is relying to overthrow Assad, was responsible for the murder of our ambassador and three other Americans.

The underlying policy was not created by the State Department, the Pentagon, or the CIA. It was a British Empire-Saudi policy, carried out by their stooge Barack Obama and his close White House aides, such as White House terrorism advisor John Brennan, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, et al. The State Department, the Pentagon, and the CIA may be criticized for carrying out that policy, but they did not generate it. Therefore, any investigation which focuses the blame at a lower level, including Cabinet members such as Hillary Clinton, would represent a coverup of Obama's responsibility, a responsibility, which includes launching an unconstitutional war against Libya in the first place.

If Congressional investigators seek the truth, they will have succeeded in pulling the rug out from underneath a policy which otherwise, in the case of Syria, could lead to World War III.

Therefore, the following series of questions must be answered if the Congress is to meet its Constitutional responsibilities, and not engage in its own coverup of the very coverup it has correctly accused the Obama White House of perpetrating.

Questions To Be Asked
By Congressional Investigators

  1. At least 18 hours before the attack on the Benghazi mission, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a video timed for the anniversary of 9/11/01, called for attacks on Americans in Libya to avenge the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi in a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan in June 2012. Why didn't Obama mention this deplorable video, and why were U.S. military forces not put on immediate alert?

  2. According to a hacked Feb. 16, 2013 memo to Hillary Clinton from former White House advisor to Bill Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, French intelligence told Algerian intelligence that the Benghazi terrorist attack was funded by "wealthy Sunni Islamists from Saudi Arabia." According to Algerian intelligence, Libyan intelligence gave them the same information. Investigators should contact French, Algerian, and Libyan intelligence to obtain their intelligence on the Saudi funding of the Benghazi attackers, especially, given the role of Saudi Arabia in the original 9/11 and its current role in supporting al-Qaeda in Syria.

  3. According to the London Independent of March 7, 2011, the Obama Administration asked Saudi Arabia to provide weapons to the Benghazi-based opposition to Qaddafi. The United Nations has concluded that both Qatar and the U.A.E. did so in violation of the UN arms embargo. Investigators should look into the role of Saudi Arabia in arming the al-Qaeda-affiliated opposition in Libya directly, or indirectly through Qatar and the U.A.E. Specifically, what is the involvement of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the current head of intelligence in Saudia Arabia, who previously funded the Contras in the 1980s, when the Congress cut off funding; provided funds through his wife to the first two 9/11 hijackers to enter the U.S. when he was Saudi Ambassador to the U.S.; and is now supporting al-Qaeda in Syria?

  4. In addition to the mission, the U.S. also maintained an annex in Benghazi run by the CIA. What was the purpose of the CIA annex in Benghazi? Why was the mission in Benghazi never formally registered with the Libyan government, as reported by the Accountability Review Board (ARB)? Was it involved in supplying weapons or vetting personnel to be sent to Syria? Is this why the CIA has not allowed any of its personnel to be interviewed?

  5. The LIFG was listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the State Department, the UN Security Council, and the U.K. Home Office before it officially disbanded in February 2011, and merely renamed itself the Libyan Islamic Movement for Change (LIMC). In 2007, al-Qaeda announced its merger with the LIFG. There are numerous links between the LIFG and 9/11/01 known to the U.S. from interrogations in Guantanamo. The sole suspect in the Benghazi attack currently in custody, Faraj al-Chalabi, is a member of al-Qaeda and of the LIFG. Did Obama knowingly authorize the decision to work with the LIFG/LIMC?

  6. The emir of the LIFG, Abdel Hakim Belhadj, fought together with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, and then moved with him to Sudan in 1992. He ran training camps for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the late 1990s. He fled Kabul in 2001, and went with bin Laden to Tora Bora. He was listed as a co-conspirator in the 2004 Madrid bombings. In Libya, he received weapons approved by Obama from Qatar. He became the military commander of the Tripoli Military Council in August 2011, and was responsible for security at all foreign embassies. He was later appointed to the Supreme Security Committee in Libya. The Algerian Foreign Ministry declared him persona non grata in February 2013 and stated that he had prior knowledge of the al-Qaeda hostage-taking in Algeria in January 2013 by Mokhtar Bel Mokhtar, the head of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb.

    Why did Obama ally with a known terrorist to overthrow Qaddafi? Why did Obama approve Qatar providing him with weapons, bypassing the Transitional National Council (TNC)? Is Belhzdj, indeed, the current head of domestic security in Libya, as stated by Mathieu Pellerin, head of the Paris-based private intelligence company CISCA?

  7. After Belhadj became head of the Tripoli Military Council, he and Ismael al-Sallabi traveled with TNC chairman Jalil to Qatar to meet with NATO officials and financiers of the revolution. Who attended this meeting? Was Prince Bandar there? Why did NATO choose to meet with known terrorists? Did Obama authorize this meeting? Who were the financiers?

  8. Bin Qumu is head of Ansar al-Sharia, which took credit for the attack on the U.S. Mission on its Facebook page. Bin Qumu is known to be a member of the LIFG and al-Qaeda, and was assessed to be a medium-to-high risk to U.S. interests while at Guantanamo. He received a monthly stipend from one of the financiers of the original 9/11. He nonetheless became an ally of the Obama Administration when he began training rebel forces in Derna in April of 2011. Why did the Obama Administration ally with a known terrorist to overthrow Qaddafi?

  9. U.S. officials met with Wisam bin Hamid and Muhammad al-Garabi on Sept. 9, 2012. The Library of Congress reports that bin Hamid is reported to be the leader of al-Qaeda in Libya. He leads Libya Shield, aka Free Libya. He hosted a demonstration in Sirte in March 2012, attended by the head of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, Mokhtar Bel Mokhtar, as his honored guest. Bel Mokhtar has been identified as the leader of the hostage-taking event which took place, beginning Jan. 13, 2013, at a BP gas field in Algeria. Bin Hamid also participated in another rally in Benghazi with other militias on June 7-8, 2012. The Library of Congress reports that these militias probably make up the bulk of al-Qaeda's network in Libya. It was Libya Shield which held up U.S. reinforcements from Tripoli at the Benghazi airport for three hours, and then escorted them to the CIA annex. The mortar attack on the annex commenced 15 minutes later.

    Why did U.S. officials meet with bin Hamid? Which officials met with him? Why did we rely on Libya Shield for security in Benghazi? On Nov. 28, 2012 The New York Times reported that the FBI investigators of the Benghazi terrorist attack were escorted by "Mr. Hamid." Why do we continue to rely on Wisam bin Hamid and Libya Shield for security, while investigating a crime in which bin Hamid must be a suspect?

  10. The Supreme Security Council police car assigned to the Benghazi mission left the scene of the terrorist attack just as it began. An individual wearing an SSC police uniform took photos of the mission on the morning of the attack. On Sept. 12, Wanis al-Sharif, Deputy Interior Minister for eastern Libya, in charge of the SSC in Benghazi, and a senior leader of the LIFG, told the press that there had been a demonstration protesting a U.S. video attacking the Prophet Mohammed. On Sept. 17, he was sacked by his own government. And yet, until at least two months later, al-Sharif had defied the order, and refused to step down. Why was al-Sharif sacked? Why was he, nonetheless, still in his office until, at least, mid-November?

    Since he continues to be referred to as a top security official in Benghazi by the media, what is his current status? What are we doing to identify the individual who took photos? Have we interviewed al-Sharif to find out why he lied, and why he did not provide a marked police car outside the mission 24/7? Have we interviewed the driver who left the scene? As Deputy Interior Minister for eastern Libya, what is his involvement in running weapons to al-Qaeda in Syria and Mali?

  11. The February 17 Brigade was formed by Ismael al-Sallabi. Belhadj was in Benghazi in April 2011 to help form the brigade. According to the Senate Homeland Security Committee report, the February 17 Brigade was involved in extrajudicial detentions of U.S. diplomatic personnel prior to Sept. 11. On that date, according to the U.S. Accountability Review Board, the February 17 Brigade guards at the mission failed to notify the February 17 Brigade barracks. According to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the February 17 Brigade failed to respond to two calls for assistance from the CIA annex. On Sept. 24, Ismael al-Sallabi and Fawzi Bukatif, the founder and commander of the Brigade, were sacked by the Libyan government. On Feb. 16, 2013, the Washington Post reported that al-Sallabi is now a senior member of Libya Shield 3. The Daily Beast reports that the Ministry of Defense of Libya is now paying al-Sharia through the February 17 Brigade.

    Why did we rely on the Brigade for security in the first place, given that it was created by known LIFG operatives? Why did we continue to employ the Brigade after it conducted extrajudicial detentions, and after its loyalties were called into question? Why were al-Sallabi and Bukatif sacked? Why is al-Sallabi now working with Libya Shield under the Defense Ministry? Why is the February 17 Brigade currently paying Ansar al-Sharia?

  12. In October 2011, Burhane Ghalioun, head of the Syrian National Council, and Jelil, the head of the Libyan Transitional National Council, signed an agreement, in which Libya agreed to assist in the overthrow of the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. Belhadj traveled to Turkey to meet with the Syrian Free Army in November 2011 to provide money, weapons, and fighters to overthrow Assad. On Dec. 11, 2011, the October agreement was expanded in a meeting in Tripoli involving Jelil; Youssef Qaradhaoui Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood party, Ennahda; Hamad Jabber bin Jassim al-Thani, the Foreign and Prime Minister of Qatar; the number two of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria; and Abdel Hakim Belhadj. The agreement reached determined to arm and send fighters from Libya and Tunisia to Syria.

    What role did the Obama Administration play in the October and December agreements? Did Obama know about Belhadj's trip to Turkey to meet the Free Syrian Army? Did Obama approve this trip? Did this trip result in the provision of weapons, personnel, and training to the Free Syrian Army from Benghazi?

  13. Six hundred LIFG fighters went to Syria in November 2011, led by al-Harati, the deputy commander of the Tripoli Military Council under Belhadj. Did Obama approve this deployment?

  14. The UN reports that weapons provided to Belhadj and the LIFG by Qatar and the U.A.E., in violation of the UN arms embargo, with the approval of Obama, are now being sent "out from Libya to the Syrian Arab Republic through networks and routes passing through either Turkey or northern Lebanon." They report that weapons are flooding into a total of 12 nations, including Syria and Mali. Is Obama facilitating this weapons flow?

  15. It is reported that Ambassador Stevens opposed Belhadj becoming either Minister of Defense, or Minister of the Interior in Libya. Is this true and, if so, why? Did Stevens in any way oppose the policy carried out by Belhadj of sending weapons to al-Qaeda in Syria and Mali? Was he targeted by al-Qaeda and the LIFG because he opposed their ascension to power in Libya?

  16. The Libyan Interior Ministry official in charge of border control at the time of the attack in Benghazi was Abd al-Wahhab Mohammad Qaid, a leading member of the LIFG whose brother, al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi, was killed in Pakistan in June, 2012 by a U.S. drone attack. He is now the chairman of the National Security Committee of the Libyan Parliament. What was his involvement in the events in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, given the killing of his brother in June 2012, and al-Zawahiri's call for revenge against Americans in Libya?

  17. Wisam bin Hamid and Muhammad al-Garabi told U.S. officials on Sept. 9 that they would not continue to provide security for the mission, if Jibril became prime minister. On Sept. 12, one day after the attack in Benghazi, Jibril was defeated. Now the Muslim Brotherhood controls nearly half of the Cabinet positions in Libya, and the Muslim Brotherhood candidate for Prime Minister, Barasi, who was supported by them, is a deputy Prime Minister. With the passage of the Political Isolation Law in Libya supported by the LIFG and Muslim Brotherhood, Libya has undergone a coup d'état. The armed militias which occupied Tripoli at the time of the vote were led by Wisam bin Hamid. Did the Obama Administration support this ascension of the LIFG and Muslim Brotherhood to power in Libya?

  18. The last meeting Ambassador Stevens had in Benghazi before the terrorist attack was with the Turkish ambassador. The ARB also reports that U.K. diplomatic personnel were in Benghazi on Sept. 11. The attack began immediately after U.K. security personnel left the U.S. mission. What was the purpose of Ambassador Stevens meeting with the Turkish ambassador in Benghazi? Did Stevens also meet with U.K. diplomatic personnel on Sept. 11?

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