Forward Thinking

Watch: Slain Envoy Saw Al Qaeda Take Root in Libya

By J.J. Goldberg

  • Print
  • Share Share

Rachel Maddow opened her MSNBC show this evening with a fascinating piece about a small city just east of Benghazi called Derna, which was reported several years ago by the late Chris Stevens, then a junior U.S. diplomat in Libya to be a hotbed of Islamic radicals and Al Qaeda wannabes. According to a 2008 memo by Stevens that was published last year by Wikileaks, Al Qaeda identified Derna some years ago as a major source of terrorist recruits in Iraq and deliberately built it into a new hub of terrorist recruitment and training. She also shows several films taken by Derna-based radicals of earlier attacks they had launched against Western targets in Benghazi.

What she shows is how the attack on the consulate and the murder of Stevens and the others was not a protest that got out of hand but the latest in a series of increasingly elaborate, highly planned operations by Al Qaeda from the hub they have built over the years in Derna, one of a growing network of bases across Africa.

She draws some tantalizing though incomplete connections to the Iraq war, which apparently was a boon to Al Qaeda’s recruitment and expansion strategies, and to the imprisonment in North Carolina of the blind sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. Must see TV:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Rachel Maddow, Terrorism, N. Africa, MSNBC, Libya, Derna, Benghazi, Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Al Qaeda

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.