U.S. officials and experts do acknowledge an Egyptian connection to the Benghazi attacks. They’ll point to what they call a ragtag group of jihadists, led by Muhammad Jamal Abdo Al-Kashif (aka Abu Ahmad), known as the “Jamal network.” However, the U.S. administration downplays this Egyptian connection, whereas several Arabic-language sources reveal a much larger connection. It is significant to point out that the first attack against the U.S. embassies on September 11, 2012, happened in Cairo. Egypt was the spark and Egyptians were the agents of both attacks.

Al-Kashif had been locked up in one of Egypt’s most secure prisons, but he was released by deposed president Mohammad Mursi prior to the attacks. Al-Kashif had been Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard. Mursi was the primary agent behind his release.

Here is Al-Kashif praising Egyptian security for orchestrating his release. Al-Wafd (translated into English) mentions Mursi’s involvement:

Mursi released the most dangerous of terrorists, who have sentences that include death and life imprisonment, as reported by Nour al-Huda Zaki in her report regarding the terms of the exchange. She quoted Karam Zuhdi, of Jama’t Al-Islamieh, saying that he mediated the liberation of soldiers in the Sinai in return for the release of 18 Jihadi inmates. The list included al-Kashif, who was known to have attacked the American embassy in Benghazi. … This is the most distinguished of the entire group who carried out missions in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. … Allowing the return of 300 from the Jihad and Jama’t Al-Islamieh.

A leaked Libyan intelligence document dated four days after the attacks also implicates Mursi as being involved in Benghazi. (A full translation of this document is available here.) The document states that Ansar al-Sharia’s Egypt branch, led by Marjan Salem, was the main player, not the Libyan branch:

The initial investigation shows that the membership of the group [belongs] to the jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia in Egypt which was established and led by Egyptian cleric Marjan Salem. … The most distinguished names that were obtained from the confessions by members of the cell are the president of Egypt, Muhammad Mursi, Safwat Hijazy and Saudi businessman Mansour Bin Kadasa, the owner of Al-Nas TV station.

An Arabic video reportedly discovered on the ground in Benghazi during the attack features the terrorists stating that Mursi had sent them.

Multiple Arabic media sources have reported that the purpose of the Libyan intelligence chief’s recent trip to Cairo was to share information about Mursi’s involvement.

Other Arabic sources (1, 2, 3), including Masress, have reported on the details of the charges being filed against Mursi. They involve his release of Al-Kashif. Per New Elfagr:

As well as charging [Mursi] in complaint No. 3790 for the year 2012 petitioned by the attorney general for negligence and laxity and plunging the country into a chaotic security breach that caused seas of blood, which destabilized the security and stability of the country. Issuing a presidential pardon for Mohammed Jamal Al-Kashif (aka Abu Ahmad), who was responsible for terrorist operations in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and many of the jihadi groups. These elements — together with the Hamas movement — were behind the killing of 16 soldiers on the border during the last month of Ramadan. These groups also kidnapped six soldiers and then negotiated their release.

If Mursi was involved, what were his possible motives? Indisputably, the two most prominent voices as of late demanding the release of  “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdul Rahman were Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Muhammad Mursi. Interestingly, Mursi made such a demand before and days after the attacks in Benghazi.

The younger brother of Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Muhammad Zawahiri, was outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on September 11, 2012, and he made the same plea for Rahman’s release. CNN’s Nic Robertson interviewed him and the blind sheikh’s son, also present, there at the scene. When discussing the protesters, Muhammad Zawahiri stated that they were demanding the release of the blind sheikh.

There was an additional attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound (SMC) in Benghazi on June 6, 2012. A group calling itself The Brigades of the Imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman claimed responsibility.