The Administration narrative is that there was a protest outside the consulate in Benghazi prior to the attack that killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others last Tuesday.
We’ve have learned now that there was in fact no such protest and that the attack occurred all at once. It was coordinated and organized.
One of the Libyan security guards wounded on the site at Tuesday’s attack against the US consulate provided new details, denying that there was a “protest” against the consulate before the attack, as officials pointed the finger at a heretofore virtually unknown militant faction for the strike.
“There wasn’t a single ant outside,” the guard insisted, saying that 125 armed attackers showed up from all directions and attacked with no advanced warning, storming the main gate before fanning out inside the compound.
Fox News confirming this as well.
“An intelligence source on the ground in Libya told Fox News that there was no demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi prior to last week’s attack — challenging the Obama administration’s claims that the assault grew out of a “spontaneous” protest against an anti-Islam film.
“There was no protest and the attacks were not spontaneous,” the source said, adding the attack “was planned and had nothing to do with the movie.”
The source said the assault came with no warning at about 9:35 p.m. local time, and included fire from more than two locations. The assault included RPG’s and mortar fire, the source said, and consisted of two waves.
The account that the attack started suddenly backs up claims by a purported Libyan security guard who told McClatchy Newspapers late last week that the area was quiet before the attack.
“There wasn’t a single ant outside,” the unnamed guard, who was being treated in a hospital, said in the interview.
These details appear to conflict with accounts from the Obama administration that the attack spawned from an out-of-control protest. The Libyan president also said Sunday that the strike was planned in advance.
Officials are blaming “Ansar al-Sharia” for the attack, which appears to be entirely separate from the Ansar al-Sharia group in Yemen, which occupied the Abyan Province of that nation for over a year.
This Ansar al-Sharia seems to be confined to the Benghazi area, with some referring to it as Ansar al-Sharia Benghazi (ASB). There are some unconfirmed claims that it has “online connections” to a third Ansar al-Sharia group operating out of Tunisia.
The Tunisian government is blaming that Ansar al-Sharia for today’s attack on the US embassy in Tunis.
This particular group is one of several Islamist factions which have set up shop in Benghazi during and after the US-backed Libyan civil war.
After the installation of a pro-NATO government, mostly made up of former Gadhafi regime officials, several of the Islamist factions have tried to carve out a measure of independence.
More to come.