Report: Al Qaeda Operatives from Yemen Were Part of the Benghazi Attack

The distance from Yemen to Libya is about 2100 miles. You have to cross Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea, over Sudan and Egypt to get from one to the other. That's a heckuva distance to go to kill people just to protest a YouTube movie.

Several Yemeni men belonging to al Qaeda took part in the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi last September, according to several sources who have spoken with CNN.

One senior U.S. law enforcement official told CNN that “three or four members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” or AQAP, took part in the attack.

Another source briefed on the Benghazi investigation said Western intelligence services suspect the men may have been sent by the group specifically to carry out the attack. But it’s not been ruled out that they were already in the city and participated as the opportunity arose. …

If the AQAP members were dispatched to Benghazi, it would be further evidence of a new level of co-operation among jihadist groups throughout the Middle East and North Africa, counterterrorism analysts say.

Um, yeah, it would. In the weeks before the attack, Ansar al-Sharia flexed its muscle in Benghazi and across Libya through public demonstrations. Ansar al-Sharia is the Libyan branch of al Qaeda. Ambassador Stevens was sufficiently worried about Ansar that on August 16, 2012, he warned the State Department in Washington that the Benghazi mission could not defend itself from attack. The cable from the U.S. mission also stated that the local militias including Ansar had become increasingly brazen, and that the mission would request more security, as it could not count on the weak local or national government to help. The mission would not get that security. As events later proved, the U.S. mission in Benghazi could not count on the government in Washington, either.

That same month, a little-noticed report from the Library of Congress warned about Ansar al-Sharia's growing influence in Libya. It was then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's job to monitor the situation in Libya and ensure the safety of American officers who ultimately answered to her, but when asked about Ansar's role in the attack on October 24, 2012, she laughed it off.