Opinion

State Dept. finally designates, names terrorist groups behind Benghazi attack

Finally, the Benghazi cover story is officially unraveling.

The 2012 attack on the American mission in Benghazi that killed the American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans was the work of organized terrorists – led partly by a former American prisoner freed from Guantanamo Bay, the State Department announced on Friday.

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Photo: Fox News

The announcement all but makes it official that the administration’s initial story was baseless — that the Sept. 11, 2012 attack was the result of a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video no one had seen.

According to Fox News, the State Department has designated Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah – two branches of the Islamist group that formed during the revolt against the late dictator Muammar Gadhafi – as terrorist organizations.

The Darnah branch is headed by Sufian bin Qumu, a former prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, according to Fox.

“Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi and Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah have been involved in terrorist attacks against civilian targets, frequent assassinations, and attempted assassinations of security officials and political actors in eastern Libya, and the September 11, 2012 attacks against the U.S. Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya,” the department said. “Members of both organizations continue to pose a threat to U.S. interests in Libya.”

Formally, the State Department’s designation makes it illegal to lend “material support or resources” to the groups and freezes any assets the groups have in the United States or its jurisdictions.

But it’s unlikely anyone providing “material support or resources” to a group calling itself Ansar al-Sharia – whether it’s in Benghazi, Libya, or Buffalo, N.Y. – gives much of a damn about whether the State Department likes it. And any assets are unlikely to have “Property of Ansar al-Sharia” labels either.

The real news is the formal admission – however it’s couched — that the Benghazi attack was carried out by militant groups at war with the United States. That’s something the Obama administration was denying while the ruins were still smoking and a re-election loomed. And its bootlicking media buddies played along.

The leadership of a former Guantanamo Bay inmate is particularly rich, since President Obama and his liberal fellow travelers have been trying to close it since 2009. Even richer is the fact that in its novel-length whitewash of Benghazi posted Dec. 28, the bootlicking-in-chief New York Times went out of its way to say “neither Mr. Qumu nor anyone else in Derna appears to have played a significant role in the attack on the American Mission.”

Few but diehard liberals actually believed the initial story. Outside of MSNBC and House Democrats, The Times whitewash last week was greeted with widespread skepticism. House Republicans, such as Trey Gowdy, D-S.C., called it an attempt to clear the president and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of any responsibility for the attack that occurred under her watch.

Now the State Department is making it official. The Benghazi cover story is unraveling. Finally.

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