Terrorism analyst and Act for America President Brigitte Gabriel says the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Libya and the U.S. Embassy in Egypt were coordinated, and more may be coming.
“Jihadists are organizing together, and they’re communicating with one another through the Internet,” she told WND today following the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Libya.
“Through their websites and networks,” Gabriel said, “we are seeing the Muslim Brotherhood rising in Libya, where it has been active for the past 30 years.”
The Associated Press reported authorities are investigating the possibility the attack today was coordinated, and they warn that the next target for violent Muslims could be the U.S. embassy in Algeria.
The AP said various jihadist groups have engaged in online chatter about ongoing protests at U.S. embassies, and an intelligence report said Algerians plan to storm the U.S. Embassy today.
The statement cited a Facebook page for a German-speaking Muslim cleric based in Tripoli who is promoting violence online.
Further, WTOP-TV in Washington reported sources saying the attacks did not “appear to be a random mob scene, but rather an opportunity that militants seized.”
The Islamic attackers used a rocket-propelled grenade, a weapon not traditionally carried by protesters, the report said.
In Cairo, mobs of angry protesters invaded the U.S. Embassy compound, and at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, attackers killed four Americans, including the ambassador.
The Cairo mob lowered U.S. flags and hoisted a black Islamic flag instead.
Reports said the crowds were angry about an anti-Muhammad film that was allegedly produced in the U.S.
However, Gabriel and former PLO operative Walid Shoebat said the protest was a pretext for an attack and the beginning of a wider political movement.
Shoebat told WND the notion that the film was the main reason for the attack is “rubbish.”
“There is nothing about that specific movie in their publicity,” he said. ‘It was about trying to suppress voices and freedom of speech.”
He said a translated advertisement that ran on Sept. 10 asked people to rally at the U.S. Embassy.
“The Salafists Nour joined the Voice of Shikma, the Voice of Wisdom. Wisam Abdul Waris called for the whole thing. The idea was to create a revolution in front of the embassy,” Shoebat said.
Shoebat bases his analysis on a translation of the statement calling for the protest.
“The Arabic sources show that this was in support of al-Qaida day, posting al-Qaida flags and some of the chanting was about reminding Americans that there are many al-Qaldas (i.e. Nour Party),” Shoebat said in the interview.
The statement is also posted on his website.
The film in question is a 2011 release called, “The Innocence of the Muslims,” made available on You Tube in early 2012.
Shoebat emphasizes that the film is merely a pretext for pushing worldwide Shariah Law.
“They want to … create havoc so that they can enforce the idea to make it illegal to insult Islam and the prophet Muhammad any time,” Shoebat said.
Gabriel agrees that the joint attacks on the embassy in Cairo and the consulate in Libya are part of a wider agenda.
“They used the movie as an excuse. Remember the Muslim Brotherhood has organized networks all over the Internet. Jihadists communicate with each other and basically they were looking for an excuse,” Gabriel said.
“The embassy has been under threat from radicals as was reported by newspapers in Egypt,” Gabriel said. “Islamic Jihad has been expressing in letters to the embassy that they wanted to burn the embassy unless the U.S. releases all of the Islamic prisoners including the Blind Sheikh,” Gabriel said.
Gabriel noted that the release of Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheik” behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is also one of the demands of Egypt’s new president, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi.
Morsi asked for the release of Rahman after he was elected in June. When the jihadists saw there was no response, they attacked the embassy, Gabriel explained.
An Egyptian citizen who lives in Cairo and who asked not to be named for security reasons agrees that the attack was not spontaneous.
“It was orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood and the MB youth and Salafists,” the Cairo resident told WND. “There were about 1,000 protesters during the height of the protest.”
“Planning for this attack has been going on for a while,” Shoebat added.
He said an attack on an embassy on Sept. 11 was more than a coincidence.
“They chose 9/11 to basically insult America. ‘We are all al-Qaida,’ is what was chanted. The object is to force the American government to create law to stop anyone who criticizes Islam,” Shoebat said.
“They know that humiliating Americans works. That’s why they chose 9/11 to carry out this attack,” Shoebat said.
Shoebat says the Cairo embassy statement was exactly what the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist protesters wanted.
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.
Shoebat says the impact of the statement is that the United States just promoted further attacks.
An intelligence analyst and military historian who asked to remain anonymous says that the U.S. Embassy statement had to be approved by a higher authority.
“For an embassy to release anything to the public, word has to come from high levels at the State Department, often after clearing it with the White House,” the analyst said.
Aidan Clay, Middle East analyst for the human rights group International Christian Concern, says that the situation is clear: The jihadists are gaining in power and influence.
“There’s no doubt that Islamists are becoming increasingly bolder throughout the Middle East. The rise of political Islam – the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis in Egypt, the Ennahda party in Tunisia, Islamist opposition groups in Syria – has been a main contributor,” Clay said.
“It would seem that the only groups benefiting from the newly gained freedoms after the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ have been radical Islamists who are now taking justice into their own hands,” he said.
“What’s more, these extremist mobs are often times protected by their own governments who either agree with their motives or cower to their growing influence,” Clay said.