Officials Tie Former Guantanamo Bay Detainee to Benghazi Attack

The State Department is expected to link Abu Sufian bin Qumu and a group he oversees to the attack.

A U.S. military guard tower stands on the perimeter of a detainee camp at the U.S. detention center for 'enemy combatants' on September 16, 2010 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
National Journal
Add to Briefcase
Jordain Carney
Jan. 8, 2014, 6 a.m.

A former Guantanamo Bay de­tain­ee took part in the Benghazi ter­ror­ist at­tack, of­fi­cials said, and a group he leads will be des­ig­nated as a for­eign ter­ror­ist or­gan­iz­a­tion.

Abu Sufi­an bin Qumu, who over­sees An­sar al-Sharia in the east­ern Liby­an city of Dar­nah, took part in the Sept. 11, 2012, ter­ror­ist at­tack which left four Amer­ic­ans dead, in­clud­ing U.S. Am­bas­sad­or J. Chris Stevens, of­fi­cials told The Wash­ing­ton Post.

Qumu was trans­ferred from Guantanamo Bay to Libya in 2007. He was re­leased from de­ten­tion by the Liby­an gov­ern­ment in 2008.

Mem­bers of Qumu’s or­gan­iz­a­tion were seen in Benghazi be­fore the ter­ror­ist at­tack, but it is un­clear if that is a co­in­cid­ence. Dar­nah is ap­prox­im­ately 180 miles away from Benghazi.

Qumu’s group will be linked to the Benghazi ter­ror­ist at­tack when the State De­part­ment la­bels three branches of An­sar al-Sharia as for­eign ter­ror­ist or­gan­iz­a­tions, of­fi­cials said.

Qumu will also be labeled as a spe­cific­ally des­ig­nated glob­al ter­ror­ist, which al­lows the U.S. gov­ern­ment to freeze any as­sets in its jur­is­dic­tion and block Amer­ic­an in­di­vidu­als and com­pan­ies from en­ga­ging in fin­an­cial trans­ac­tions with Qumu.