Slain ambassador warned in '08 about extremists near Benghazi
September 12th, 2012
03:32 PM ET

Slain ambassador warned in '08 about extremists near Benghazi

Before he became U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens warned in a 2008 diplomatic cable of jihadist sentiment growing not far from Benghazi.

Stevens, who became ambassador to Libya this year,  was killed this week in an attack that U.S. sources tell CNN was planned by a pro-al Qaeda group of extremists. While it is not definitively clear whether this group, or what group specifically, is behind the attack, it's clear that Stevens expressed concern about a radical movement fomenting in the port city of Derna.

The cable was leaked in the trove that WikiLeaks released in 2010 and 2011, and CNN reported on it last year.

In his 2008 missive Stevens, who at the time was U.S. deputy chief of mission in the North African nation, wrote about that "one Libyan interlocutor likened young men in Derna to Bruce Willis' character in the action picture "Die Hard", who stubbornly refused to die quietly."

There is "frustration at the inability of eastern Libyans to effectively challenge" Moammar Gadhafi's regime, Stevens wrote.

That and "a concerted ideological campaign by returned Libyan fighters from earlier conflicts, have played important roles in Derna's development as a wellspring of Libyan foreign fighters in Iraq."

Moammer Gadhafi was killed in October 2011, at the hands of Libyans.

"Other factors include a dearth of social outlets for young people, local pride in Derna's history as a locus of fierce opposition to occupation, economic disenfranchisement among the town's young men. Depictions on satellite television of events in Iraq and Palestine fuel the widespread view that resistance to coalition forces is justified and necessary," Stevens wrote.

Stevens describes Derna: "The lower-middle class neighborhood, comprising poured concrete homes crowded along largely unpaved streets, sits on a hill overlooking the town ... A number of residents were on the streets; however, they were visibly more wary and less friendly than in other Libyan towns."

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soundoff (485 Responses)
  1. Derek Wildstar

    Honestly the sooner the politicians hasten our transition to a bankrupt, third world, has been, with religious extremist in control the better off in the long run we are going to be. Just say goodby and get it over with. The American Empire, draws to a close like all before us. The average American hasn't a clue about anything, and plainly don't deserve even the most fundamental rights, the hundreds of thousands of previous Americans have died to protect for them. Just remember all those who we go out of our way to tolerate, and not offend, are intolerant themselves, and will be quite diligent in eliminating all those short sighted individuals who have made their eventual control possible. God is truly great!

    September 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |

    Obama has a proven record of failing but yet people are still stupid and will still vote for him thats the problem with the US today there is only a few smart ones left and we are a dying breed stop the madness vote republican

    September 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. zzzzz

    I still have no idea, why the USA and western alies removed Ghaddaffi from power.
    We had an old score to settle, but that has been water under the bridge and he was a working with the west.
    I never agreed with removal of Saddam either.
    They were tirans, but it was much easier to cage a "barking dog" than hunderds of terorists organizations that are snakes.

    Obama has little control over what the neo-con set in motion in terms of foreign policy between 2001-08 and killed the deilcate balance Kisinger created in the middle east; believing it woul help, first Saudies, our firend Israel, and us.
    And we'll be paying for it.

    If Ghaddafi was still in power, we could have gone after him; when now we are in a bind of supporting " democraticly elected goverment" and looking for the responsible people, which may be connected indirectly or directly to the "goverment".

    Thx to GW Bush and his "superbrain" Cheney, Middle East will be messy for many yeras to come for any presindent.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Derek Wildstar

    Humpman is right everyone should watch the movie, "Idiocracy". It makes Nostradamus look like a an amateur

    September 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Andy

    bank derugulation began uner Clinton. Glass-Stegal repealed. Bush didn't fix it.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JOSH P.

    Stealing oil sure ain,t cheap,stop sticking our nose in a country,s internal problem by providing weapons to thugs and paid mercenaries to take down a president we don,t like.This used to happen to the British and the French over-there,but now that we are the invaders and occupiers it,s happening to us,simple as that,Stop stealing their Oil at cheap prices.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tony in St. Louis

    Looks like a bunch of Faux News commentors have migrated to CNN. I now understand why they shut down their comments section. I heard they brought it back, ...please go home. Thanks!

    September 13, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    They just look for a reason to kill people. They tried to do the same thing to Dr Emmit Brown!!!! They kill in the name of Mohammed. Funny enough, that is what will send them straight to hell.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phillip

      11/5/85. RIP Doc Brown. We will never forget!

      September 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Richard

    As long as the West is stupid enough to depose benign secular dictators (who cares what Gadaffi was doing IN his country, he hadn't been a threat to the West since the 1980's) and then allowing them to be replaced with groups like the "Muslim Brotherhood" they are going to pay for that kind of mistake.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Aurora Chuck

    I think I saw a lot of OWS protestors at these embassies.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Susie

    Typical, can't stand to hear any other person's view but their own. Sure are weak minded.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rick B

    No Bibles can no longer be sold at military base exchanges.

    *Christian chaplains are now forbidden to pray in Jesus' name.

    *No Bibles can be taken into Walter Reed Hospital when visiting patients.

    *The Cross on a base church-tent in Afghanistan was taken down because it offended Muslims.

    *Obama said that the Islamic call to prayer, the Adhan, was the most beautiful sound at sundown he could ever hear on earth.

    *May 6, 2010 – Obama's administration ordered the Army to cancel an appearance by Evangelist Franklin Graham on the National Day of Prayer.

    *Obama is on video mocking the Bible.

    *Obama contradicted the Bible and Jesus many times in an interview by a Chicago newspaper about his faith.

    *Obama has show ZERO interest in the persecution, enslavement, torture, and murder of his "christian brethren" throughout the Muslim world. The Coptics in Egypt in particularly are being targeted.

    "It is not nonsense to think that Obama is a Muslim. He has supported and facilitated Islamist takeovers of Egypt and Libya, and soon Syria. He has engaged in Muslim apologetics, and tried to blur the divide between the Christian West and Muslim Sharia. He has provided media and rhetorical cover for pro-Sharia Muslims in the United States.

    The list goes on. Obviously the man has embraced Sharia and rejected the Christian ideals of the West,

    September 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • dopray777

      Nailed it!

      September 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Liar! "Last week, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) found out that all four branches of the military have now revoked permission from Holman Bible Publishers, a subsidiary of LifeWay, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, to use the official U.S. armed forces branch emblems on their military Bibles."

      September 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Aurora Chuck

    Welcome to the USOI....."United States of Islam". I feel sorry for Isreal if we don't have their back!

    September 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Aurora Chuck

    I agree with GO DUCKS about another civil war/revolution in these United States. This country is BROKE and there's no way to get out of the 100 trillion dollars of debt and unfunded liabilities! I say invest in gold and oil your guns!

    September 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. RillyKewl

    Wow. He knew. He saw it coming, and he gave a warning in '08.
    Then he stayed + worked to help Libya, including Benghazi + Tripoli.
    Thanks for your work, Chris Stevens. RIP.
    Also, thank you, WikiLeaks!!

    September 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
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