NEW YORK – An Egyptian terrorist who was suspected of participating in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, was trained in the United States, according to an Egyptian investigation.
The probe being conducted by the Supreme State Security Prosecution in Egypt has named Tarek Taha Abu Al-Azm as the terrorist operative in the Jamal network responsible for directing from Egypt the Benghazi attack.
Al-Azm, a former major in the Egyptian armed forces who reached the rank of captain and was put in charge of an air base for the Egyptian Air Force, traveled to the U.S. for military training after graduating from the Egyptian military academy as a member of the Egyptian Armed Forces Officers, according to reports published in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Watan and on the pro-Jihadi website Arabian Sword.
Explaining Al-Azm’s role in the Benghazi attack, Shoebat said he would be akin to Mohamed Atta, the cell ringleader in the 9/11 attack, and Al-Kashif would be like one of the terrorist pilots.
Multiple Arabic-language sources in the Middle East document that Al-Azm learned how to fly fighter jets through training in the U.S. from the U.S. Air Force.
According to the Jihadi website Muslim.org, an article by the Al Bayan Media Foundation included excerpts from a police interview with Al-Azm after his cell in Nasr City, a district of Cairo, was broken up earlier this year: “Al-Azm stated that he was an air force pilot and was sent to America by the Egyptian Air Force to get military training.”
According to the notes of his police interrogation, as reported by Al-Watan, Al-Azm said the following regarding Americans: “America tried to impress us but I was not impressed. They have administrative capacity only and do not understand things. They are easy to know.”
Benghazi ties to terrorists
A break in the Benghazi case came when a terrorist named Karim Ahmed Essam al-Azizy, a Libyan national, was killed in a raid on an apartment complex in Nasr City on Oct. 25, 2011, as Reuters reported at the time.
At the time of his death, al-Azizy was working under Egyptian terrorist Muhammad Jamal Abdo Al-Kashif, the recognized head of the Jamal network and widely regarded in the West as the leader of the Egyptian group behind the Benghazi attack.
But according to lead Egyptian investigators, the leader of the terror cell was not Muhammad Jamal Abdo Al-Kashif but an Egyptian terrorist named Tarek Taha Abu Al-Azm.
Al-Kashif, according to the Supreme State Security prosecutor in Egypt, was simply the “second defendant” and the one who sent the message that the U.S. compound at Benghazi had been attacked to Ayman Zawahiri, the current leader of al-Qaida who advanced to the No. 1 spot after Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. military forces in May 2011.
But according to the lead Egyptian investigators, Ziad Al-Sadeq and Shady Albrkoqy, the leader of the terror cell was someone else, which explains much about the silence surrounding the Nasr City fiasco.
Morsi government culpable?
WND has previously reported allegations that the Morsi government in Egypt was responsible for directing the Benghazi attack. The claim was backed by a letter written by the chief of the Department of Security in the Libyan government four days after the Benghazi attack.
WND has also reported that videos of the Benghazi attack in progress show several jihadists pleading in an Egyptian dialect of Arabic: “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot. Dr. Morsi sent us.”
Al-Kashif and Al-Azm, both of whom were imprisoned in Egypt, were released by the Morsi government soon after Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak was deposed Feb. 11, 2011, following 18 days of Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations in Cairo.
A video posted on YouTube shows Al-Azm’s jubilation upon his release from prison.
After his release, Al-Azm became active in the Jamal network terrorist organization, leading Al-Azm’s involvement in the Benghazi attack.
WND has also reported a document obtained from inside the Morsi government lends credibility to the charge the Obama administration was paying bribes as large as $850,000 a year to Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Cairo, with the direct involvement of the U.S. Embassy.