Why the hell do we release these people?
U.S. officials suspect a former Guantanamo Bay detainee played a role in the attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya, and are planning to designate the group he leads as a foreign terrorism organization, according to officials with the plans.
Militiamen under the command of Abu Sufian bin Qumu, the leader of Ansar al-Sharia in the Libyan city of Darnah, participated in the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, U.S. officials said.
Witnesses have told American officials that Qumu’s men were in Benghazi before the attack took place on Sept. 11, 2012, according to the officials. It’s unclear if they where there as part of a preplanned attack or out of happenstance. The drive from Darnah to Benghazi is several hours.
The State Department is expected to tie Qumu’s group to the Benghazi attack when it designates three branches of Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah, Tunisia and Benghazi as foreign terrorism organizations in the coming days.
Qumu and two other individuals, including militia leaders Ahmed Abu Khattala and Seif Allah bin Hassine, will also be identified as “specially designated global terrorists,” a determination that allows U.S. officials to freeze their financial assets and bar American citizens and companies from doing business with them.
Qumu fought alongside the Taliban after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and then fled to Pakistan and was later arrested in Peshawar. He was turned over to the United States and held at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Qumu has a “long-term association with Islamic extremist jihad and members of al-Qaida and other extremist groups,” according to the military files. “Detainee’s alias is found on a list of probable al-Qaida personnel receiving monthly stipends.”
Qumu also had links to Abu Zubaida, a key al-Qaeda facilitator, who is being held indefinitely at the Guantanamo Bay prison. In 2007, Qumu was sent to Libya, where he was detained. The Libyan government released him in 2008