June 18, 2014
ANOTHER CONSPIRACY THEORY DOWN THE TUBES:
Brazen Figure May Hold Key to Mysteries (DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, JUNE 17, 2014, NY Times)
Posted by Orrin Judd at June 18, 2014 7:19 PMDespite extensive speculation about the possible role of Al Qaeda in directing the attack, Mr. Abu Khattala is a local, small-time Islamist militant. He has no known connections to international terrorist groups, say American officials briefed on the criminal investigation and intelligence reporting, and other Benghazi Islamists and militia leaders who have known him for many years. [...]In the period before the attack, Mr. Abu Khattala was living in el-Leithi, known for its high concentration of militant extremists. He made his living as a building contractor in blue Dickies coveralls. But he was still active with a small, part-time militia, which at certain times over the last two years controlled at least one checkpoint on a highway near Benghazi.On the day of the attack, Islamists in Cairo had staged a demonstration outside the United States Embassy there to protest an American-made online video mocking Islam, and the protest culminated in a breach of the embassy's walls -- images that flashed through news coverage around the Arab world.As the attack in Benghazi was unfolding a few hours later, Mr. Abu Khattala told fellow Islamist fighters and others that the assault was retaliation for the same insulting video, according to people who heard him.In an interview a few days later, he pointedly declined to say whether an offensive online video might indeed warrant the destruction of the diplomatic mission or the killing of the ambassador. "From a religious point of view, it is hard to say whether it is good or bad," he said.