Al Qaeda video of earlier attack on US Consulate in Benghazi on June 6, 2012
Prior to the September 11, 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, in which four Americans were killed, there were two other bombings at the consulate, one on April 6 (when two former security guards hurled improvised explosives at the building) and another on June 6. See more on the threats and subsequent investigation here.
This video purports to show some of the attack on June 6. The video was discovered by the SITE Intelligence Group, an organization which monitors online terrorist activity.
The video was released by the “Brigades of the Imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman” which takes responsibility for the attack. According to SITE, the Brigades group reported in a communiqué posted on jihadist forums on June 11 that its fighters planted an explosive in the wall of the consulate, the blasting of which injured a number of guards (official accounts do not include any injuries). The jihadist group added that the attack came in response to the drone strike on al-Qaeda official Abu Yahya al-Libi in North Waziristan, and also in response to American drones flying in Libyan skies. The Wall St. Journal reported last month that this explosion blew a hole through the perimeter barrier of the consulate, one source noting the resultant crater was so big that “40 men could walk through it”. An Obama administration official characterized this attack as “mild”, compared to that of 9/11/12. The official said that on 9/11, “We faced a coordinated, military-style assault. We’ve never seen that kind of attack before,” this official added.
The attack on June 6th followed the June 5th announcement by the US of al-Libi’s death, claiming his death as a “major blow” to Al Qaeda.
The video begins with a canned clip of Osama Bin Laden speaking, then follows with a speaker from “as-Sahab”, the PR arm of Al Qaeda. There is then a short clip of the alleged explosion being set off, followed by the leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman Al Zawahiri, haranguing the United States, referencing September 11, 2001 and the attack on the World Trade Center.
The June 6th attack specifically references the drone strike on al-Libi in Pakistan. Al-Libi was from Libya and it has been speculated the September 11 attack in Benghazi may have been further revenge for his death, as well as marking the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Al Qaeda acknowledged al-Libi’s death when they released a eulogy for him on September 10th.
What is also of note is the reference to the “Brigades of the Imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman”. The Sheikh is Egyptian, and part of the reason for the “protest” in Egypt on September 11, 2012 was to agitate for his release from the US to Egypt. He is being held in a prison in North Carolina, after conviction for plotting the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and has become a focus of such groups as Al Qaeda. There had also been speculation that President Obama was in negotiations to send him back to Egypt. One of the people agitating for his release was the brother of Ayman al Zawahiri, Mohammed al Zawahiri, one of the organizers of the “protest” on September 11, in Egypt, according to the Weekly Standard.