The US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three staff members at the US consulate in Benghazi were deliberately murdered Tuesday night Sept 11 just after memorial ceremonies were held in America for the victims of the 9/11 outrage. DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report exclusively that far from being a spontaneous raid by angry Islamists, it was a professionally executed terrorist operation by a professional Al Qaeda assassination team, whose 20 members acted under the orders of their leader Ayman al Zawahri after special training. They were all Libyans, freed last year from prisons where they were serving sentences for terrorism passed during the late Muammar Qaddafi’s rule.
In a video tape released a few hours before the attack, Zawahri called on the faithful to take revenge on the United States for liquidating one of the organization’s top operatives, Libyan-born Abu Yahya al-Libi in June by a US drone in northwestern Pakistan.
Its release was the “go” signal for the hit team to attack the US diplomats in Benghazi.
To mask their mission, they stormed the consulate on the back of a violent protest by hundreds of Islamists against a film said to insult Prophet Muhammed produced by a Florida real estate agent called Sam Bacile, who has been described as of Israeli origin.
The operation is rated by terror experts as the most ambitious outrage al Qaeda has pulled off in the last decade. According to our sources, the gunmen split into two groups of 10 each and struck in two stages: