One of the suspects in last week’s attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans is a likely al Qaeda member who was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2007, Fox News reported Wednesday.
Sufya Ben Qumu, a Libyan, was released into Libyan custody under the agreement that he would remain in custody, unnamed “intelligence sources” told Fox. He is believed to have participated in, or maybe even led, the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the three others.
Qumu has ties to people who financed the Sept. 11 attacks and his alias is “found on a list of probable Al Qaeda personnel receiving monthly stipends and family support,” according to Fox
The report raises new doubts about whether the attacks were unplanned and prompted by a U.S.-made anti-Islam video, as the White House contends based on the available intelligence. Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told lawmakers on Wednesday that the assault was a “terrorist attack” but “opportunistic” rather than planned ahead.
“The attack began and evolved and escalated. It appears that individuals who were certainly well-armed seized on the opportunity presented as the events unfolded,” Olsen said. “What we don’t have at this point is specific intelligence that there was a significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack. We’re still looking for any indications of substantial advanced planning. We just haven’t seen that at this point.”