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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Filed under: Libya
soundoff (485 Responses)
  1. Foxxy12

    Well as always our president is MIA, yes this is partly his fault he is not a leader he is a follower, he is doing this country more harm everyday. All that is on his mind is winning another 4 years so he can completely ruin us, but if he wins it wont matter we will no longer be a free country and there will be no hope for us. If you Dems and Libs don't get your heads out of your asses and see him for what he is and what he is trying to do you will have no one but yourselves to blame for our destruction...

    September 13, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Obamagheddon must go

      ...he's down in the favorabilility polls too! Apparently, playing golf and being able to drink more beer than Mitt isn't winning him votes anymore! Mitt has a 3% lead in this recent CNN poll!

      September 13, 2012 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. DC Observer

    It is becoming clearer now that our State Department and our embassies around the world are really just a cover for intelligence gathering operations and likely espionage on our allies......

    September 13, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. NorCalMojo

    The state department was denying the claims when they were pushing the no fly zone. A lot of people warned that we were arming extremists. It was dismissed as partisan obstructionism.

    September 13, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • DC Observer

      The US has a horrible record whenever we intervene in the affairs of other nations –horrible

      We created Osama Bin Laden when we gave him arms in training against the russians in Afghanistan
      We supporter Norieaga in Panama
      We supported Iran against Iraq
      We supported Iraq against Iran
      We supported South Vietnam and lost 55,000+ soldiers
      We are supporting a corrupt government in Afghanistan
      We supported the Egyptian revolution only to find we have more extremists in office
      We were tossed out of Saudi Arabia and made to vacater all our expensive bases there – this from an ally
      We have no clear cut mission or vision with Israel and the Palestines
      Iran is ill defined
      North Kore is ill defined

      I do not see thatg the US has a good foreign affairs record - we buy our friends with military aid -

      September 13, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Albert Fields

      DC Observer: Would you care to explain WWII, Koren War, Granada, Contra vs. Sandinista conflit in central america or Desert Shield! ...I get the impression that you're saying we should have turned our back on Isreal during the 6 wars Islam waged on them!

      September 13, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • fiftyfive55

      @albert fields:we should have because America would be better off without anything from yhe mideast,easpecially it's people.

      September 13, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Albert Fields

      fiftyfive55; ...that's funny!

      September 13, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Me3

    There are more dumb people on this planet than intelligent people. Does that make the dumb ones right?

    September 13, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Elperro

      They would say so. And in fact they do quite vorciferously. Intellegent people are more measured and less sure, because they understand the complexities of the world far better.

      September 13, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      In a democratic society, it does.

      September 13, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      you know probably 500 people, and you are assuming the other 99.9999% Cmon, the CNN polls are even better than your point and thats SAD!

      September 13, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      No,it only makes them dumb.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • DaveYoung

      According to Joe Biden, Yes

      September 13, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • mpouxesas

      Operative word here would be 'people' because individuals can be very intelligent, but when under the psychology of the masses, then they becaue people, and people are dumb. Look at the attack on the twin towers...17 of the 19 attackers were saudis, yet bush went after irak while the people here were cheering yeaaahaawww...let me go and shoot some tow el heads too....

      September 13, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. mickey

    What do you ppl not get. We were attack again on 9/11. 4 Americans died on sovereign territory! Why is no one outraged about that... Mitt Romney went off of a statement put out by Obama's Administration and he and I feel it was an apology to the Muslims for a film that we didn't create but we should say we don't agree with the film but ppl in our country have the right to speak their truth. That statement was out for 9 hours before Pres. Obama recanted it... He can't stop campanging long enough to do his job... When I listened to Romney at his press conference he spoke with his heart you could hear that he got choked up talking about the loss of lives.. He took questions did Obama? No... The press even tried to play a gotcha game with him but he handled it with grace... Wake up ppl our Pres. is way over his head.......

    September 13, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Bellahex

      You only felt it was an apology to Muslims because you are an idiot. Its ok though, over the past few months, we've all grown to learn that Science, Math, Humanity, and the English language are NOT the Republican party's strong suit.

      September 13, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Oh no a embassy was attacked by extremists! Do I want fries with that? Sure why not. Americans are Americans, Egyptians are Egyptians, and Libyans are screwed.

      September 13, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • lynnmarie2u

      Romney issued his statement before all the facts were in. He also issued the statement based on what was tweeted by the Ambassador,not Obama. Irony is that many in the GOP have come out against Romney making the statement without the facts,and some called it pandering-look it up.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • DaveYoung

      People of The Yoke, living on the democrat plantation do as their Master orders....they are not expected nor invited to actually think

      September 13, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Go Ducks

      There shouldn't be any campaigning going on in our government. Seems like all they do now is have us pay them to campaign for us to pay them more so they can campaign again between their 6 weeks recesses happening all the time, and their utter lack of the ability or drive to actually accomplish anything that will benefit the American people. They were, however, able to add an amendment to the Bill of Rights forbidding compensation changes to their benefits or salaries.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. jhmc0302

    Fox News is to America,what a Madrossa is to the Moslems.

    September 13, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      I disagree. A Madrossa also teaches educational values.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      I mean, in addition to teaching people to hate their "enemies".

      September 13, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Go Ducks

      I'll have six-pack of Madrossa, "I'm headin' for the lake.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    This is a cancer that is pervasive in all of Islam, including Islamic terror in the Phillipines, in Thailand, in Indonesia, in Africa, and in the middle east.

    There are elements in free western countries that are also simply biding their time, to create the same violence in France, in the UK, in Belgium, and in America, as well as other countries.

    This is NOT simply a small group of terrorists. This is a fundamental belief in Islam itself, and a growing cancer that can destroy the world.

    September 13, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      You could also legitimately notice the fundamentalist streak in christianity that forms communes, takes 12 year olds as brides (U.S.), kills children that have been possessed by demons (Africa), and plans to kill federal agents and their families (U.S.).

      The reason we stop the christian groups in this country is, well, they are in this country. We also stop the muslim groups here.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • janey33

      "Edwin...We also stop the muslim groups here." No thanks to the Liberals. There are public schools teaching Islam and using the Quran. But if they dare teach the Bible, that would be terrible. And there is CAIR and other Muslim orgnaizations who want to use Sharia law and the Liberals are too ignorant to see the danger. Make no mistake, there are those who are planning to turn this country Islamic and they must be watched.There is a huge difference between Christianity (what this country is predminantly now) and Islam. Christians don't care if you share their views or not and waht to keep this country free. Radical Muslims demand that we convert or be killed.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe P.

      To Janey: Please show us the information that there are public schools teaching Islam, other than those who present is as part of a comprehensive look at world affairs.

      September 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • flagguy

      Sorry Joe, Fox didn't provide that tidbit of information.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ed

    Its funny to see how easily it is for you fools to manipulated. You even spout the exact phrases that you get fed. Simpletons. Keep getting that diaper rash over non issues while they sell your future to the lowest bidder. Put down the big gulp, I'm talking to you cleetus. It's like Pogo said, all those years ago. "I have seen the enemy..and he IS US".

    September 13, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Albert Fields

    Obama's terrible foriegn policy tactics takes us back to 1979 when our embassy was attacked in Iran, resulting in the loss of american lives with a disasterous response to the Islamo fascists from another inept president (Jimmy Carter). Our weak president is not respected both internationally and domestically and hasn't the skill or ability to resolve this problem swiftly! Romney is right, appologizing for our principles is a decisive mistake for the endeavor towards world peace! ...Romney in 2012!!!

    September 13, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      Romney should apologize for being so stupid.He has you fooled too,so what does that make you?...It makes you just like him.This is not a so called "man of religion",this is a buffoon trying to buy his way into the White House with the help of gullible,low IQ GOP voters.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Megan Grawe

      Dennis; Romney doesn't owe anyone an apology! He will soon be, but isn't the president yet! Obama on the other hand is an elected official that has broken every promise he made and has to learn that he doesn't speak for everyones views thoughts, morals and virtues! Obama is truely a dangerious man that supported the muslim brotherhood that backfired on him and it appears that this inept quissling of a president is about to get us in another war! ...take your veil off and open your arabic eyes you blind fool!

      September 13, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • janey33

      Dennis...Obama has you fooled. What does that make you????? You really need to get a brain to think for yourself and stop believing everything your liberal leaders tell you.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe P.

      Don't forget Ronald Reagan, who after 241 Marines were blown up in Lebanon, pulled our troops out instead of hunting down those responsible.

      September 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cliff

    The people of islam need to understand they DO NOT DICTATE what the rest of the world can and cannot do. There imams, clerics or what have you need to explain, that in a free society, people can say and do what they want. These actions are ridiculous at best. Is anyone going over there into their countries and doing this, NO. These films, cartoons and such are from individuals, in their own countries, and not being made by the governments, what part of that don’t they understand. Furthermore maybe we should start protesting because I sure find it offensive to my sensibilities seeing them destroy my flag, our embassy, killing our people or dancing and celebrating on the street after some whack jobs fly planes into our buildings. (I remember the celebrations being held on the streets of islamic countries when 9/11 happened.)

    September 13, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • janey33

      Cliff, that is the whole point. In Islam you either convert or are killed. That is what Islam teaches. They WANT to dictate what everyone else says and does. That is their goal.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Go Ducks

      Which is why, ultimately, there will be another holocaust, this time of the Muslims. They just can't get it through their thick skulls that this is not the way for them to spread their bronze age mythology. It can only end one way, this path that we are on.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. Albert Fields

    0bamagheddon, .....been there, done that! ...NEXT

    September 13, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. Megan Grawe

    Have you learned your lesson yet america? ...Romney 2012!

    September 13, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • pat carr

      yes we learned it from 2001-2008 Mitt is Bush 2.0

      September 13, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • MG.

      My dog has created more shovel ready jobs than 0bozo has and she's a republican too! ...Romney/Ryan 2012

      September 13, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Sftball2012

      heck yes! Romney/Ryan 2012! we need to make this change. Obama has to go.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. David Marriott

    Nobody in there right mind wants to do that again!

    September 13, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • DaveYoung

      Nobody who can spell will ever vote for Obama again

      September 13, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Blucorsair

    Stop the bleeding america, "Just say no to 0bamagheddan!"

    September 13, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  15. maneough2b

    I though 4 people died total – So far all I see is about 1 person. Perhaps he was a good person but what about the others that worked for the US. Are they not good enough for the media???? I did see one name come out yesterday but you would think they did nothing and as in most work places it is the employees under the leader that do most of the work and still get no recognition.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
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