Today, I finally read David Fitzpatrick’s story in The New York Times in which he claims that the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 were motivated solely by the internet video of Muhammad and that al Qaeda and no other international terrorist organization was involved in the attacks.
I had tried to read the article over the weekend, but my server would not read the link. Perhaps my computer is trying to tell me to stop reading The New York Times.
All levity aside, now that I have read the article my commentary won’t be that extensive. I believe both Thomas Joscelyn at The Weekly Standard and David French at National Review Online have done a good job in discrediting Fitzpatrick’s claims. Joscelyn notes that while Fitzpatrick focuses his 7,000 word article on a militia leader named Abu Khattala, he omits dozens of others who were involved in the attack that had ties to al Qaeda. He further notes that The New York Times had previously reported that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was directly involved in the attack. Could it be that Fitzpatrick doesn’t read his own paper?
Yet let us, for argument’s sake, accept Fitzpatrick’s proposition that Abu Khattala’s Obeida Ibn Al Jarra militia (which is affiliated with Ansar al-Sharia) has no formal ties to al Qaeda and that al Qaeda was not directly involved in the attack. Because if we do then how does one explain Khattala’s admiration for al Qaeda? By Fitzpatrick’s own admission Khattala “never hid his admiration for its vision.” In fact, Khattala went further than that. In October 2012, after it was alleged that Khattala was involved in the Benghazi attack, Khattala did a phone interview with the Associated Press. While denying any links to al Qaeda, Khattala described Osama bin Laden as “a good brother who fought for a cause and died defending his beliefs and the outcome is not important.”
So did you get that David Fitzpatrick? Even if al Qaeda and the Obeida Ibn Al Jarra militia do not have direct ties with one another, Abu Khattala and Osama bin Laden fight for the same cause. If al Qaeda is at war with the United States then so is the Obeida Ibn Al Jarra militia, Muslim video or no Muslim video. Those who attacked our consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 have common cause with those who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.