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U.S. Officials Reportedly Say Former Guantanamo Bay Detainee Suspected of Being Involved in Benghazi Attack

“Detainee’s alias is found on a list of probable al-Qaida personnel receiving monthly stipends.”

This file photo taken on September 11, 2012, shows a vehicle and the surrounding area engulfed in flames after it was set on fire inside the U.S. mission compound in Benghazi. A long-awaited inquiry into a deadly militant attack on the US mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi late on December 18, 2012 slammed State Department security arrangements there as "grossly inadequate." But the months-long probe also found there had been "no immediate, specific" intelligence of a threat against the mission, which was overrun on September 11 by dozens of heavily armed militants who killed four Americans. (Image source: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A former Guantanamo Bay detainee is suspected by U.S. officials of being involved in the deadly Benghazi attack and his group may soon be designated as a foreign terrorist organization, officials familiar with the situation told the Washington Post.

According to U.S. officials, who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity, militiamen following orders from Abu Sufian bin Qumu — leader of Ansar al-Sharia in the Libyan city of Darnah — participated in the attack which claimed the lives of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Qumu's militiamen were spotted in Benghazi before the Sept. 11 attack, witnesses told U.S. officials, according to the Post. It was not clear whether they were there coincidentally or as part of a scheduled attack, the Post reported, noting the drive would have taken several hours.

Officials reportedly said that Qumu and two others will be branded as a "designated global terrorists." Qumu, who is suspected of training in one of Osama bin Laden's camps, had reportedly fought in the past with the Taliban before being turned over to the U.S. and held at Guantanamo Bay.

[sharequote align="center"]“Detainee’s alias is found on a list of probable al-Qaida personnel receiving monthly stipends.”[/sharequote]

He has a “long-term association with Islamic extremist jihad and members of al-Qaida and other extremist groups,” according to military files, the Post reported. “Detainee’s alias is found on a list of probable al-Qaida personnel receiving monthly stipends.”

In 2007 Qumu was sent to Libya where he was later released in 2008.


Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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