There has been much speculation surrounding the deadly attacks on a US consulate in Libya that killed four people, including a US ambassador. Fox News has spoke with intelligence officials who say they are convinced the attack was a planned terrorist operation, and not a protest as was originally reported. They also believe a former Gitmo detainee may have played a role in the attacks.
The suspected Gitmo prisoner is Sufyan Ben Qumu. He was released from the detention facility in 2007 by the Bush administration. He was transferred to Libya, where Qumu was supposed to remain behind bars. He was released in 2008 in a deal the Qaddafi government made with Islamists. Qumu has ties to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
These reports fly in the face of the narrative that Obama administration officials had been painting for the past several days. UN Ambassador Susan Rice and Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney both indicated the attacks in Libya were related to protests over an anti-Islamic movie. It now appears the attacks were a planned operation tied in to the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
The news is not surprising considering how different the attacks in Benghazi, Libya were to protests across the region. The other protests have resulted in some protesters dying, but there have been no other deaths of US diplomats.
The Libyan government has already made several arrests in relation to the attacks. The eastern region of the country is crawling with radical Islamic groups who are being monitored by both the Libyan government, and the US military. Drones have already begun circling the area. The US also has two warships off the coast of the country, sent by President Obama after the attacks took place.
The Libyan government is still relatively weak following the ouster of longtime ruler Moammar Qaddafi. The newly democratic nation is ill equipped to handle the number of radical elements that inhabit the country. Libya has long been a hotbed for radical activity. Many of the foreign fighters who journeyed to Iraq to battle American forces came from Libya.
The Obama administration is likely to put all of our military power on display in hunting down the terrorists responsible. The attack came just a few short months before the 2012 presidential election. President Obama will not want to look weak on foreign policy before election day. Thus far, foreign policy has been one of his strong points. I expect that trend to continue.