Members of the Islamist extremist militia blamed for the Benghazi terror attack had moved in next door to the U.S. Consulate months before the strike but “nothing was done” despite concerns about the dangerous neighbors, sources tell Fox News.The AFP reported in May of this year that the February 17 Martyrs "Brigade is made up of Islamist ex-rebels, including radicals, and is suspected of links with Ansar Al-Sharia, a group classified as a terrorist group by Washington."
Sources say members of Ansar al-Sharia moved to the house just outside the east wall of the compound within three weeks of American personnel renting the facility, and later used the location to help plan and take part in the attack on the American Consulate on Sept. 11, 2012. [It is worthwhile to note the US personnel moved into the facility in mid-2011, which means the Ansar al-Sharia thugs moved in next door well over a year before the attacks occurred.]
The neighbors prompted multiple security requests -- including repeated requests up until the day of the attack -- for more weapons and personnel.
“We warned D.C. about the guys who moved in next door, but nobody knew what to do and nothing was done,” a U.S. intelligence source said.
According to one intelligence source, American security personnel specifically asked for an M240 machine gun to mount on the roof at the consulate for added protection, but were turned down repeatedly.
A State Department source also confirmed to Fox News that “they asked for a belt-fed mounted machine gun, but were specifically denied by the State Department because they said it would upset the locals.”...
Fox News is told that American personnel also requested sandbags to help fortify positions at the compound because "the only thing in between us and the neighbors was grass and a couple of trees and a wall.”
“The State Department knew it. Everyone on the ground knew it,” one source with direct knowledge of the attack said.
Another source said the sandbags were denied because “making shooting positions was too aesthetically unpleasing."
The threat was so well-known that on the night of the attack, as rescuers from the nearby annex were facing heavy fire while leaving the consulate, they "made sure to make a left turn out of the consulate and not a right turn” where the Ansar al-Sharia house was located.
The revelations continue to raise questions about the State Department response and training of agents, ahead of the attack which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, as well as Americans Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Others were injured.
Further, leaders of the local Libyan militia known as "'The February 17 Martyrs Brigade” -- which was tapped to provide security at the U.S. compound in Benghazi -- not only didn’t respond to help save American lives, but may have directly participated in the 2012 attack on Americans. This has prompted criticism of the State Department for its original decision to contract with the powerful militia.
According to multiple sources, the department selected the militia over multiple other militia groups, private companies and even U.S. Marines to protect and secure the American consulate in Benghazi, despite the fact that those on the ground questioned the decision....
Sources also say militia leaders may have helped orchestrate and directly participated in the attack -- even though they were being paid, being fed, given automobiles and even allowed to swim in the consulate pool by the U.S. State Department....
“It is truly one of the worst outsourcing decisions of all time,” said another source with direct knowledge of the attack.
However, as I noted back in May: Although Ansar Al-Sharia has been classified as a terrorist group by the Obama administration, "the February 17 Islamist brigade - which is linked to Ansar Al-Sharia - and which was tasked by the Obama administration to provide security at the US consulate in Benghazi - which later came under attack - apparently, has not been classified as a terrorist group by the administration - because, after all, how would it look if Obama and company labeled the very group it had hired to protect the consulate as a terrorist group?"
In May of 2013, I noted: "Eric Nordstrom - the State Department's former regional security officer in Libya - testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing earlier this month that the [February 17 brigade] militia - which was hired to guard the U.S. consulate in Benghazi - issued threats, in July of 2012, against former U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens and Senator John McCain.
"Moreover, Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya, testified that the aforementioned militia was complicit in the Benghazi attacks - which begs the question: Why did the Obama administration allow these terrorist thugs to guard the consulate?"
Additionally, I noted in my May 2014 post as follows:
Newsmax reported last year that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade "had clear al-Qaida sympathies, and had prominently displayed the al-Qaida flag on a Facebook page some months before the deadly attack."I also noted in my May 14 post as follows:Several entries on the militia’s Facebook page openly profess sympathy for Ansar al-Sharia...
The State Department did not respond to a Newsmax request for an explanation as to why the February 17th Martyrs Brigade was hired to protect the mission.
On April 23, House Republicans released an interim progress report on their investigation into the Benghazi killings. It cited “numerous reports” that “the Brigade had extremist connections, and it had been implicated in the kidnapping of American citizens as well as in the threats against U.S. military assets.”...
On June 28..., the Brigade posted a... graphic [which featured] two rows of pictures... The images include some of the leading figures of modern-day jihadism, including al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden and the founder of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Earlier this month four Libyan protesters were killed while demonstrating against the February 17 Martyrs Brigade.However, I noted at the time that the State Department did not respond to a Newsmax request for an explanation as to why the February 17th Martyrs Brigade was hired to protect the mission because, after all, as Hillary Clinton is wont to say, "What difference does it make?"
All Africa reported:Protestors... moved to the February 17th Brigade locale and demanded its disbandment, blaming it for assassinations in Benghazi.
If the Brigade is not removed from Libya, "it will spread" [like a disease] "and kill all Libyans; we'll become like Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan," a Libyan teacher proclaimed.
On Saturday, Justice Minister Salah Marghani told reporters that the brigade was ordered to leave the city within 72 hours...
Computer engineer Faraj Ali confirmed that the "February 17th brigade camp is one of the biggest military camps in Libya with all of its weapons, but all such weapons are hidden in farms..."
"Col. Wanis Bukhamada has raided their farms more than once, and has even raided al-Nayrouz resort, and directly after that, they kidnapped his son," Ali added.
Abu Omar al-Manfi, a car electrician, said, "The so-called February 17th brigade is engaged in the most horrific forms of torture and is sponsoring terrorists and those exploiting religion... They must be arrested and brought to trial."
I also noted that it's safe to assume that the February 17th Martyrs Brigade will not be designated a terrorist group by the Obama administration anytime soon, because, after all, how would it look?
Benghazi hearing: Consulate guards' militia [the February 17th Martyrs Brigade] threatened Stevens & McCain - was complicit in attacks:
Benghazi: Obama administration receives 3:00 AM call from Gregory Hicks: