JERUSALEM – A four-page incident report written by a private contractor that provided security to the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, adds yet another layer of intrigue to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.
The report, for the first time, claims that another American aside from Ambassador Christopher Stevens was being treated at the Libyan hospital reportedly controlled by the Ansar Al-Sharia terrorist group.
The American was described in the report by the private Blue Mountain Group as being “black” and shot in the hand. The report says the man was presumed to be “one of the ambassador’s close protection team as both were black.”
The State Department’s Accountability Review Board report, or ARB, detailed what it claimed was the official version of events during and after the attack. The ARB report does not mention any other American at the hospital with Stevens.
The ARB report states only that Stevens’ body was transported from the hospital to the Benghazi airport. The ARB does not describe how Stevens’ body was released from a hospital said to be under Ansar Al-Sharia’s control.
The Blue Mountain report raises questions about who was holding Stevens’ body, whether the ambassador was kidnapped and whether any other American was present at the hospital.
The State Department confirmed the report leaked to the news media in recent days matches the version sent to the U.S. government by the Blue Mountain Group.
The Washington Post said the incident report was written by the man interviewed by “60 Minutes” last week, identified by the pseudonym Morgan Jones, who is the author of a new book on Benghazi.
The Post revealed what it said was Jones’ real name, Dylan Davies.
The incident report, written in the first person allegedly from the perspective of Davies, contradicts key elements of Davies’ account in his book and in his “60 Minutes” interview.
Davies, however, told the Daily Beast he did not write the report, nor had he ever seen it. The report was not signed by anyone.
The report states Davies returned to his villa immediately after the attack while Davies writes in his book he attempted to reach the Benghazi compound but couldn’t do so because of Ansar al-Sharia roadblocks.
The incident report says Davies learned of Stevens’ death from a Blue Mountain guard who had apparently secretly gone to the hospital and had taken a photo of the ambassador’s body. Davies writes in his book, however, he was the guard who infiltrated the hospital and verified Stevens was dead.
Davies said the Blue Mountain incident report matches a version he told to a superior at his firm. He told the Daily Beast he failed to report his own personal involvement in going to the hospital and the fated compound since a top Blue Mountain executive had asked him to stand down.
While most of the news coverage surrounding the Blue Mountain report focuses on how the version conflicts with the story told by Davies in his book, far more telling may be the details of the report itself.
The Blue Mountain incident report relates that Davies learned of Stevens’ death from another contractor who had gone to the hospital. The report, for the first time, claims a second American was at the hospital.
“I asked (blank) if any other Americans were at the hospital and he said yes, a black man who had been shot in the hand. I presumed that this was one of the Ambassador’s close protection team as both men were black.”
The report does not relate the fate of the other American it said was at the hospital.
The ARB report – reviewed in full by WND – does not mention any other American as being at the hospital.
The ARB details how Stevens’ guard, identified in the State-sanctioned report as “ARSO 1,” brought the ambassador and officer Sean Smith into a bathroom while smoke engulfed the building during the attack.
“ARSO 1” escaped through a window, states the ARB, believing Stevens and Smith were following him, and later re-entered the building to search for Stevens and Smith. He made it to the roof of the compound, where he radioed for assistance.
The ARB relates “ARSO 1” was rescued by a small team that made it back to the nearby CIA safe house.
The ARB states Stevens was taken to the hospital by what it claimed were “Good Samaritans” who found his body in the compound. The ARB doesn’t explain how the supposed Good Samaritans made it past the Ansar al-Sharia checkpoints.
The ARB briefly relates that Stevens’ body was later “brought to the airport in what appeared to be a local ambulance at 0825 local.”
There have been questions about whether Stevens was kidnapped.
The questions reached a fevered pitch in June when Abdallah Dhu-al-Bajadin, who was identified by U.S. officials speaking to the Washington Free Beacon as a known weapons experts for al-Qaida, wrote on a jihadi website that Stevens was killed by lethal injection after plans to kidnap him during the Benghazi assault went awry.
A detail provided in testimony by Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of the U.S. mission in Libya, may require further investigation in light on the claim.
Hicks, a Benghazi whistleblower, said the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, was told Stevens was taken to a hospital controlled by Ansar Al-Sharia, the group originally believed to have been behind the Benghazi attack.
Stated Hicks: “We began to hear also that the ambassador has been taken to a hospital. We don’t know initially which hospital it is, but we – through David’s reports we learned that it is in a hospital which is controlled by Ansar Sharia, the group that Twitter feeds had identified as leading the attack on the consulate.”
Hicks was referring to David McFarland, the U.S. Tripoli embassy’s political section chief.
Hicks said he received a call from the Libyan prime minister informing him of Stevens’ death. Prior to the phone call, he said, the embassy received several other calls from a cell phone that had been with the ambassador, claiming to have Stevens’ body.
Hicks repeated the assertion that Stevens was being held in a hospital controlled by Ansar al-Sharia.
“Before I got the call from the prime minister, we’d received several phone calls on the phone that had been with the ambassador saying that we know where the ambassador is, please, you can come get him,” stated Hicks.
“And our local staff engaged on those phone calls admirably, asking very, very good, outstanding, even open-ended questions about where was he, trying to discern whether he was alive, whether they even had the ambassador, whether that person was with the ambassador, send a picture, could we talk to the ambassador?”
He continued: “Because we knew separately from David that the ambassador was in a hospital that we believe was under Ansar Sharia’s call, we – we suspected that we were being baited into a trap, and so we did not want to go send our people into an ambush. And we didn’t.”
Stevens reportedly was pronounced dead in the Benghazi Medical Center. The center fell into the hands of the rebels during the U.S. and NATO-supported revolution that overthrew the regime of Muammar Gadhafi.
The jihadist rebels reportedly routinely received treatment at the hospital.
The Free Beacon reported today that al-Bajadin’s claim was not immediately being rejected by U.S. law enforcement officials probing the death of Stevens.
In the March 14 posting on the Ansar al-Mujahideen Network, an al Qaida-linked jihadi website, al-Bajadin claimed Stevens was given a lethal injection that was overlooked during the medical autopsy on his body.
Al-Bajadin wrote “the plan was based on abduction and exchange of high-level prisoners.”
“However, the operation took another turn, for a reason God only knows, when one of the members of the jihadist cell improvised and followed Plan B,” he wrote.
Al-Bajadin explained that a lethal injection is given in “more than one place in the human body that autopsy doctors ignore when they see that the symptoms are similar to another specific and common illness.”
“Anyone who studied the art of silent assassination that spies applied during the Cold War would easily identify these parts of the body,” he said.
The terrorist wrote that he waited until now to reveal the botched kidnapping and lethal injection because “the cell” behind “the infiltrative and secret operation is now completely safe from intelligence bureaus.”
With additional research by Joshua Klein.