Clare Lopez is an international security consultant at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies. She is uniquely qualified to analyze the intelligence and defense communities not only through her current professional connections, but also because of her 20-year background with the CIA. She served for 20 years as an operations officer specializing in counterintelligence, counternarcotics, and counterproliferation programs.
Today, writing at RI.org, Lopez spots a very troubling anomaly with the timeline of the Benghazi attack. And, as if there aren’t enough unanswered questions about the attacks and the subsequent White House cover-up, her discovery has the potential to implicate Turkish officials in the murders.
…Ambassador Christopher Stevens held his last meeting of the day on September 11 with [a]] Turkish diplomat [Ali Sait Akin] from 7:30pm to 8:30pm and then escorted him out to the compound gate to bid farewell. At that point, the briefing states, “Everything is calm at 8:30 p.m. There’s nothing unusual.”
But the AP witnesses said that, “The neighbors all described the militants setting up checkpoints around the compound at about 8 p.m.” The checkpoints were described as being manned by bearded jihadis in pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns and bearing the logo of the Al-Qaeda terror franchise, Ansar al-Shariah.
That means that the Turkish Consul General would have had to pass out through the blockade as he departed the American compound and left the area. There is no record that he phoned a warning to his American colleague, the one he’d just had dinner with, Ambassador Stevens. Given the description of the blockade around the American compound and of the jihadis and their trucks that were manning it, it seems unlikely that the he somehow just failed to notice. “[N]o one could get out or in,” according to one neighbor interviewed by the AP.
Except for the Turkish Consul General, it would appear.
Stevens was a sitting duck, a target surrounded by the jihadist attackers who shortly would take his life and that of his Public Affairs Officer, Sean Smith.
…Similarly, this raises the question of the Libyan gate guards from the “February 17 Martyrs Brigade,” the jihadi militia subcontracted by the British firm Blue Mountain, which was the prime contractor for the U.S. Benghazi compound security contract… [T]he Libyans of the Martyrs Brigade surely must have been [aware of the checkpoints]. Yet they provided no warning to the Ambassador and his people either, because again, according to the State Department briefing, the American security officers inside were taken by surprise when the first gunshots and explosions rang out around 9:40 pm…
In other words, the Turkish Consul General met with Stevens — the discussion topics of which have not been released by the State Department — and then left the Ambassador, drove safely through a newly-established terrorist checkpoint, and disappeared into the night without warning his colleague.
Lopez asserts that “it is obvious that the Turkish diplomat and by extension, his government, were at least to some degree complicit in the attack against Ambassador Stevens and the others.”
What was the subject of the discussion between Stevens and Akin? Malta Today offers some context that hints at some strong possibilities.
A Libyan-flagged vessel which last year was used by a Malta-based humanitarian organisation in supplying a lifeline to rebels in Misurata, has been implicated in a covert US arms smuggling operation to Syrian freedom fighters, which may also be linked to murdered US ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi last month.
The ship ‘Al Entisar’ which was chartered last year by I-Go Aid Libya, then run by businessman Mario Debono, has been reported to be linked to last September’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
A Fox News investigation revealed that shipping records confirmed that the Al Entisar entered the Turkish port of Iskenderun, some 35 miles from the Syrian border, just five days before Ambassador Chris Stevens, and three other US officials were killed during an assault by more than 100 Islamist militants on the US Consulate compound in Benghazi.
Another report, this time appearing on the Times of London, said that the Al Entisar was carrying 400 tons of cargo. Some of it was humanitarian, but also reportedly weapons, described by the report as the largest consignment of weapons headed for Syria’s rebels on the frontlines…
…The cargo reportedly included surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, RPGs and Russian-designed shoulder-launched missiles known as MANPADS.
The ship’s Libyan captain reportedly told the Times of London that “I can only talk about the medicine and humanitarian aid” for the Syrian rebels.
It was reported there was a fight about the weapons and who got what “between the free Syrian Army and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
A reasonable person would deduce from these stories that the United States was running weapons (does “Fast and Furious” ring a bell?) from Libya to Syria using Turkey as a go-between. The end result turned out to be a complete disaster — like everything this administration attempts.
The Libyan weapons likely went to the Muslim Brotherhood and a Turkish diplomat appears to have helped set up the assassination of Ambassador Stevens. We simply don’t know whether the government of Turkey itself was involved with the double-cross or whether Akin was a Brotherhood sympathizer who helped set up the attack.
The families of those murdered deserve answers. America deserves answers. And we can start the interrogatory by firing this administration on November 6th and launching a full-scale Congressional investigation. We don’t have to take this s*** any more.
Update: Clinton discloses West’s effort to help reshape Syria opposition
Doug Ross @ Journal