Open Thread: Libya Attacks Not About Anti-Islam Film?
Despite all appearances that the attack on the American embassy in Libya was more than just a protest gone violent, the Obama White House is still refusing to call the violence "terrorism." This is looking increasingly ridiculous as more is learned about the background surrounding the attack and Al Qaeda's recent actions:
As the hours passed, however, it became increasingly evident that the worst of Tuesday’s violence in Benghazi had nothing to do with an obscure film insulting Mohammed.
According to briefing administration officials, fighting between “unidentified Libyan extremists” and U.S. and Libyan security personnel lasted for more than four hours – from 10 PM-2.30 AM (4-8.30 PM eastern U.S. time).
“This was a well-armed, well-coordinated event, it had both indirect and direct fire, and it had military maneuvers that were all part of this very organized attack,” House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) told MSNBC. “That’s concerning, so we are going to have to make sure, working with the Libyans hopefully, that these people are brought to justice very swiftly.”
Reports in the independent Libya Herald cited eyewitnesses in Benghazi as saying the attackers were Islamist Salafists, including members of one of the jihadists groups that have emerged in Libya in the aftermath of the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Ansar al-Sharia.
A Libyan diplomat in London, Ahmad Jibril, also named Ansar al-Sharia as the perpetrators of the attack, the BBC reported.
The Quilliam Foundation, a British think tank set up by Muslims in 2008 with the declared aim of countering extreme Islamist ideology, also pointed to the sophistication of the assault in Benghazi and the use of weaponry including rocket-propelled grenades.
“The military assault against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi should not be seen as part of a protest against a low budget film which was insulting Islam – there were just a few peaceful protesters present at the event,” it said Wednesday.