Egypt Connection to Benghazi Doubtful

Posted: Jun 30, 2013 12:01 AM
Egypt Connection to Benghazi Doubtful
Egypt: Update. Egyptian security and medical officials said an American was killed in Alexandria during clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mursi. Alexandria security chief General Amin Ezz Eddin said the American was killed while, or because, he was taking images of the clashes with his cell phone.

Thousands of Egyptians demonstrated in Egypt. By Friday evening, clashes that erupted between the rival sides in Alexandria left two dead and dozens wounded. Anti-Brotherhood protestors in Nile Delta cities set fire to offices belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The State Department issued a warning advising against all nonessential travel to Egypt and authorized the departure of a "limited" number of nonessential embassy personnel and family members. The US Embassy said it would be closed Sunday, typically a working day in Egypt.

Comment: The largest anti-government and pro-government demonstrations are to take place on 30 June. They almost certainly will be violent.

Libya: This week the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai published a Libyan  intelligence report of the results of its interrogation of terrorists connected to the Benghazi attack in which a US Ambassador was murdered. According to the report, the Egyptian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mursi were involved in the plot to attack the US facility.

Comment: Al Rai is a mainstream legitimate news outlet in Kuwait. It published what purports to be the entire document in its original Arabic. Other Arab newspapers picked up the report before it reached English language news services.

The information, assuming the entire document is not a fake, is based on admissions or confessions obtained under Libyan intelligence interrogation. Therefore its credibility is doubtful. The linkage to Mursi is almost certainly a lie obtained under torture. What is significant is that multiple Arab news outlets thought it worth repeating.

Senegal: President Macky Sall of Senegal said he requested additional aid from President Obama to assist African nations in their effort to combat Islamist militants in the Sahara desert. Sall said, "We need in Africa, not just in Senegal but the whole of Africa, to have the military capacity to solve this problem but we need training, we need materials, we need intelligence."

Comment: There is irony in Sall's request because the US administration seldom connects Islam with militants or terrorists. There is no reporting whether there was a reply.

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