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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

ansar al-sharia

Known Knowns: Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi

The terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia was immediately associated with the Benghazi tragedy and reliable reports of their involvement were confirmed within days; this is often cited in accusations that the administration was remiss in their early appraisals presented to the media. How is this not compelling evidence of a terrorist plot? And how could this same militia gravitate back to Benghazi and assume their previous security role after such a blatant act?

The answer may provide some insight into the conditions in Benghazi at the time of the attack and help further our understanding of what actually happened that resulted in the death of our US ambassador and the apparent abandonment of CIA operations in Benghazi. There seems no question that Ansar al-Sharia militiamen, and their motor pool, were involved:

The trucks bore the logo of Ansar al-Shariah, a powerful local group of Islamist militants who worked with the municipal government to manage security in Benghazi…

Paul Schemm and Maggie Michael – Libyan witnesses recount organized Benghazi attack AP 27 Oct 13

So we have ample evidence of their involvement, and reports they took credit for the attack on 12 September 2012, yet their leadership lived freely in Benghazi and even gave interviews with Western media in the aftermath. What gives?