NEW YORK – The personal effects of slain U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens are in the possession of an Islamic terrorist currently at large in Libya, according to information provided exclusively to WND by reliable expatriate Libyan sources in exile.
According to the expatriate Libyans, Stevens’ personal belongings – including his camera, cell phone, identification papers and various private documents – are being kept locked in a safe in the possession of Wesam Bin Hameed in Libya.
Bin Hameed has been identified as an Islamic extremist in Benghazi who allegedly participated in the terrorist attack Sept. 12, 2012, attack in Benghazi that led to Stevens’ death.
No U.S. authorities, including the FBI, have questioned Bin Hameed regarding the Benghazi attack. At present, according to the sources, he is roaming freely in Benghazi, where he continues to threaten to shoot any Libyans who dare protest against the various Islamic terror gangs and militia that currently exert unofficial authority in the streets of Tripoli and Benghazi.
Libyan newspapers have identified Bin Hameed as the chairman of the Supreme Revolutionaries Committee comprising 280 members of Islamic militia all over Libya.
During the civil war that ousted Muammar Gadhafi and led to his murder, Bin Hameed was cited by international news sources as brigade commander of the Martyrs of Free Libya Brigade.
Bin Hameed does not appear to be among the three Libyans the FBI currently wants for questioning in the on-going Benghazi investigation.
On Dec. 19, 2012, WND published a 19-second video obtained from the same Libyan expatriate sources that apparently shows the body of Stevens in a morgue in Benghazi.
WARNING: Video contains graphic images
Amateur video shows Stevens, apparently alive and still breathing, being pulled out of a room by Libyans apparently participating in the terrorist attack.
Various amateur videos still posted on YouTube also show Stevens being found by Libyans in the U.S. compound at Benghazi, although it is not clear from the videos that he was alive at the time his body was found.
The videos and the report Bin Hameed currently has custody of Stevens’ personal effects confirm testimony Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission to Libya, gave to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Washington last week. Hicks said U.S. authorities lost track of Stevens’ body during the Benghazi attack.
‘They did not find the ambassador’
Hicks testified that during the night of the attack, reports were received in the Tactical Operations Center at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli that Libyans had taken Stevens’ body to a hospital in Benghazi controlled by Ansar al-Sharia, the group that Twitter feeds had identified as leading the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi.
When the government in Tripoli tried to tell Hicks that Stevens was “in a safe place,” implying Stevens was with U.S. personnel in the annex in Benghazi, Hicks insisted that was incorrect.
“Our contacts with the government in Tripoli are telling us that the ambassador is in a safe place, but they imply that he is with us in the annex in Benghazi, and we keep telling them no, the – he is not with us,” Hicks said. “We do not have his – we do not have him.”
According to Hick’s testimony, U.S. personnel in Benghazi and Tripoli lost possession of Stevens’ body after regional security officers on scene in Benghazi were unable to pull Stevens’ body out of the burning Villa C because of the exposure to the extremely toxic Cyanide gas being emitted by the petroleum fire engulfing the building.
“There were repeated attempts by all of the RSOs and by the response team from the annex to go into the burning building and recover – to try to save Sean [Smith, State Department information management officer] and the ambassador,” Hicks testified. “They found Sean’s body and pulled it out, but he was no longer responsive. They did not find the ambassador.”
Later, as the attack was proceeding into the early hours of Sept. 12, 2012, Hicks received news that Stevens’ body had been recovered and taken to a hospital that was controlled by Ansar al-Sharia, the group that Twitter feeds had identified as leading the attack on the Benghazi compound.
Finally, at 3 a.m. on Sept. 12, 2012, Hicks received authoritative confirmation Stevens was dead.
“At about 3 a.m., I received a call from the prime minister of Libya,” Hicks continued. “I think it is the saddest phone call I have ever had in my life. He told me that Ambassador Stevens had passed away. I immediately telephoned Washington that news afterwards and began accelerating our effort to withdraw from the Villas compound and move to the annex.”
Hicks also made clear the embassy staff in Tripoli had received several phone calls from individuals claiming to have possession of Stevens, evidently before the 3 a.m. call from the Libyan prime minister.
“We suspected we were being bated into a trap, and so we did not want to send our people into an ambush,” Hicks explained. “And we didn’t.”
Hicks did not detail in his congressional testimony last week where Stevens’ body was taken the night of the attack or how and when the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli recovered it.
Nor did Hicks discuss whether or not U.S. authorities recovered personal possessions with Stevens the night of the attack, including his wallet, his ID papers and any other documents he may have had with him when the attack began.
WND was first to report the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi served as a meeting place to coordinate aid for rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East, according to Middle Eastern security officials.
WND also reported Stevens played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian sources.
In November 2012, Middle Easter security sources confirmed the U.S. mission and nearby CIA annex in Benghazi served as the main intelligence and planning center for U.S. aid to the rebels that was being coordinated with Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.