Diana West was kind enough to ask me to do an interview on The Jihadist Plot. Even better, Diana asked several questions that go beyond the book itself to related current issues such as the war in Syria and the Boston bombings. Here is a small excerpt:
DW: You make a strong case that on as many as three key fronts in Libya, “NATO partnered with rebel commanders who had previously collaborated with al Qaeda in Afghanistan and/or Iraq: al Hasadi on the Eastern front, Belhadj in Tripoli, and bin Hamid during the siege at Sirte.” Do you think the implications of this have registered with any American or other Western lawmaker or politician in particular?
JR: No. As far as I know, none. I gather that the implications could well register with Rand Paul. But I don’t know if he knows about the evidence. I can tell you that the staff member of the House Oversight Committee who is directly responsible for the Benghazi hearings has been in touch with me and expressed interest in reading the book. I cannot tell you if he has, since I never heard back from him. If you could quote that same passage to Darrell Issa and ask him if he is aware of the facts and their implications, I would be very interested to know his response. My impression thus far is that even the Republicans in Congress do not want go to the root of the problem. The root of the problem is not inadequate security measures at the mission in Benghazi. The root of the problem is a NATO intervention in Libya that strengthened the hand of America’s enemies.
DW: Who do you think attacked the US compound in Benghazi on 9/11/12 and why? Second, what is your guess about the purpose of the US compound in Benghazi?
JR: Elements of virtually any and all of the Eastern Libyan militias could have been involved in the attack. This includes both the militia that was supposed to be guarding the compound, the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, and Libya Shield, the militia that escorted American marines to the supposedly secret “safe house” or annex where mission personnel had taken refuge. As it so happens, the “safe house” would become the target of a second attack after the marines arrived, which suggests that it was at this point that the attackers were tipped off about the location. I cannot say for sure who perpetrated the attacks. But I do know that the focus on just Ansar al-Sharia is mistaken and misleading. The supposedly “friendly” militias like Libya Shield and the February 17th Martyrs Brigade are no different than Ansar al-Sharia. As I say, in the literal sense of the expression, they are all “Ansar al-Sharia.”
By the way, I have come across statements from both brigades suggesting that there really were protests over an “anti-Islam film” on the night of the attacks and, moreover, that the brigades themselves sympathized with the grievances of the protestors. So, it is not impossible that there was an element of spontaneity in the attacks, after all….
To read the whole thing, go here.