Monday, November 5, 2012

“We were not focused on these guys”

 'No concerns' in Syria
"... In general, Ansar al-Sharia was viewed as a local extremist group with an eye on gaining political ground (sounds familiar?) in Libya,”  said one U.S. official who is familiar with the intelligence assessment. “Of course, there were concerns that Islamist militias such as Ansar could help more violent extremists gain a foothold.”  One U.S. intelligence contractor working on the investigation into the Benghazi attacks said, “We were not focused on these guys.” Militias like Ansar al-Sharia, this person said, might be analyzed and monitored, but they weren’t the focus of the analysts who were maintaining kill lists and monitoring the broader war against al Qaeda.
Today, the intelligence community has begun to reassess its view of Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, in part because the attacks there included not only that group’s members but two other al-Qaeda-affiliated groups: al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the Jamal network.
Unraveling Ansar al-Sharia, however, is one of the harder jobs today for U.S. intelligence analysts. ..."

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