The more we learn about what happened in Benghazi, the clearer things become.
Two U.S. intelligence officials told The Daily Beast that the intelligence community is currently analyzing an intercept between a Libyan politician whose sympathies are with al Qaeda and the Libyan militia known as the February 17 Brigade—which had been charged with providing local security to the consulate. In the intercept, the Libyan politician apparently asks an officer in the brigade to have his men stand down for a pending attack—another piece of evidence implying the violence was planned in advance.
The Martyrs of the Feb. 17 Revolution Brigade is Islamist and linked with the Muslim Brotherhood. It was repeatedly accused of engaging in atrocities during and after the Libyan Civil War.
Many more-secular politicians in Libya are suspicious of Mr. Bukatef and his brigade because of their own Islamist reputation. He has been a member of Libya’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and one of his group’s commanders reporting to him is Ismail al-Salabi, who leads a group of Islamist fighters and is the brother of Libya’s most prominent Islamist thinker, Ali al-Salabi.
The State Department puts its faith in the Islamists… and the Islamists repaid them the way they always do.
US security officers and the Libyan authorities did not call for help from any formal military or police force — there is none to speak of — but turned to the leader of another autonomous militia with its own Islamist ties.
‘‘We had to coordinate everything,’’ said that militia leader, Fawzi Bukatef, recalling a phone call about the attack that he received from the mission’s security team.
I’m sure there was a whole lot of coordinating going on.