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by Joseph DeMaio, ©2016

A recovery scene following the 1993 World Trade Center explosion orchestrated by Omar Abdel-Rahman

(Aug. 19, 2016) — [The following is the fourth and final installment in a series by Joseph DeMaio which contemplates that the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya was intended to effect the kidnapping of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and his eventual “rescue” by the U.S. in a prisoner swap with Egypt of Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as “the Blind Sheik.”

Abdel-Rahman has been imprisoned since 1995 since his conviction on terrorism charges, although it has been reported in April 2013 that his relatives were maintaining active social-media accounts in his name to “rally for his release from prison” and to continue to disseminate “his teachings.”

In a January 28, 2013 article, The Washington Post reported that after Abdel-Rahman was “branded a political outlaw in his homeland” of Egypt in 1990, he was allowed entry to the United States and began “preaching” at mosques in the New York City and New Jersey areas.  In 1995, Abdel-Rahman was convicted of “conspiring to ‘levy a war of urban terrorism against the United States'” for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing which killed six people; he received a sentence of life in prison.

The Post further reported:

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi assumed office with a pledge to press the United States for Abdel Rahman’s release.

In October, al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri released a video in which he called on Egyptians to kidnap Americans to exchange for the blind sheik.

Abdel-Rahman’s family and other “Islamists” have petitioned the U.S. to release him for medical reasons; as of this writing.

The September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi killed Stevens as well as Air Force veteran and Information Management Officer Sean Smith and two former Navy SEALS working as CIA agents at the time, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.  Subsequent inquiries and congressional hearings have demonstrated that the Obama regime initially misrepresented the cause of the attack as an obscure internet video.

Various and changing explanations have been offered for why a rescue attempt was not made when word of the attack was received in Washington and at military bases in the region.  At a January 23, 2013 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Benghazi, Clinton’s response to Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s questioning as to why four Americans were killed in the attack was:

With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”

Earlier this month, two individuals who lost sons in the attack filed a lawsuit against Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, alleging “wrongful death” and “defamation” after Clinton claimed that their statements about what she said to them during the ceremony at which the victims’ bodies were returned to the U.S. were inaccurate.

The preceding three installments of this series can be accessed here, here and here, respectively.]

5.       The Abu Khatallah Interview

The only person yet captured, indicted and awaiting trial for the deaths of the four Americans allowed by their government to perish in the Benghazi attack is one Abu Khatallah.  Khatallah is believed to have been the leader of a local militia affiliated with the Ansar al-Sharia terrorist group and is awaiting trial on a federal 18-count indictment relating to crimes arising out of the Benghazi attack, including being responsible for the murders of Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Sadly and ironically, despite the fact that four Americans were murdered and despite the fact that the statutes under which Khatallah is being charged allow for seeking the death penalty (18 U.S.C. §§ 1111, 1114 and 1116), the regime’s “Justice Department” has determined that it will not seek the death penalty.  After all, what difference, at this point, does it make?

This fact is disclosed in a document – the “Additional Views of Representatives Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo” – which accompanies, but is not made a formal part of, the 2016 House Select Committee on Benghazi Final Report.  This “Additional Views” document is also the only one which even tangentially raises the issue of a potential kidnapping of Ambassador Stevens.

Yet the critical point to be addressed here is a New York Times article dated October 18, 2012, several weeks after the attack and several weeks before the 2012 general election.  That article, among other things, quotes Mr. Khatallah from an interview he gave to NYT reporter David Kirkpatrick at a hotel in Benghazi prior to his arrest and spiriting back to the United States to stand trial here.

In the interview, when asked who he thought should be assigned to finding and apprehending the attackers, Mr. Khatallah “smirked” at the notion that the Libyan government could do it.  He then accused the “leaders of the United States” of “playing with the emotions of the American people” and “using the consulate attack just to gather votes for their elections.” (Emphasis added).

What?  Really?  Khatallah is quoted in the “newspaper of record” – the source for “all the news that’s fit to print” – that “leaders” in the United States (and who, you might ask, could those people have been at that point in time?) were trying to capitalize on the attack for political gain by using the tragedy to garner additional votes?  Would anyone actually think that a U.S. “leader” or politician could stoop so low?

Ask yourself this: who would have stood to gain more from a successful “sham” kidnapping of Ambassador Stevens and “swapping” of the beleaguered diplomat for the Blind Sheik just before the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney or BHO?  Then ask yourself this: what incentive would Khatallah have to lie?  He was, after all, sitting a free man at a hotel in Benghazi chatting with reporters and sipping a strawberry frappé.

Finally, with comical irony, the NYT published a “correction” to its interview of Khatallah the following day to clarify its prior story.  The correction addressed the fact that the beverage Khatallah was drinking during the interview was, in fact, a strawberry frappé instead of the “mango juice” he had ordered.  Kirkpatrick’s prior story had stated he was drinking mango juice.  Go ahead, scroll to the end of the article and check it out.

If a correction that trivial in nature was deemed necessary or appropriate by the NYT, one can only assume that by not “clarifying” or “qualifying” Khatallah’s remarks about the use of the attack by U.S. “leaders” to garner votes for political gain, the NYT must be seen as ratifying the statement and, at minimum, certainly not contradicting it.  You can’t make this stuff up.

Finally, while Khatallah’s statement might have been hyperbolic, it might on the other hand have been a factually-accurate slip of the tongue carelessly blurted out based on information only he possessed.  Either way, the statement would seem to support rather than undermine the conclusion that a “safe” sham kidnapping could well have been the objective of the attack.

6.       Where is Abdel-Rahman?

Following his trial for criminal sedition and conspiracy to detonate five bombs in New York City within a ten-minute span – which bombs were intended to destroy the United Nations building, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the George Washington Bridge and a federal building housing the FBI –  Omar Ahmed Ali Abdel-Rahman, the “Blind Sheik,” was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole in the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina.

The Butner Federal Correctional Facility is, in essence, a low-to-medium-level security medical facility and is where several notable felons are now housed.  Without re-hashing the reasons set out by Egyptian President Morsi underlying his desire to have Abdel-Rahman freed, there are some anomalies associated with his sentence and incarceration.

First, the sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole has been asserted as being accompanied by incarceration in solitary confinement.  That Internet encyclopedia entry, in turn, sources the “solitary confinement” assertion to a book, “The 9/11 Encyclopedia” which does, in fact, assert (p. 19), that Rahman was sentenced by a jury to life in prison without possibility of parole and “in solitary confinement.”

The problem with this assertion is that nowhere in the U.S. District Court trial ruling or in the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals appellate decision (United States v. Rahman, 189 F.3d 88 (2nd Cir. 1999)) is there any mention of the term “solitary confinement.”

In the normal course of events, while prisoners serving life sentences are allowed in the general population, where they can be seen by and interact with other prisoners, those facing the death penalty are kept in solitary confinement, where no other prisoners can see them or speak with them.  Cf. United States v. Johnson, 495 F.3d 951, 981 (8th Cir. 2007).  Abdel-Rahman was not sentenced to death: his sentence was “life without possibility of parole.”

So is he or is he not in solitary confinement?  Indeed, is he or is he not still incarcerated?  We do not know.  One potential explanation is that he may be in solitary confinement as a result of his misbehavior in prison after being incarcerated, an enhanced punishment determined by the warden at Butner rather than a jury in New York.  On the other hand, if he is not in solitary confinement and remains free to mingle and interact with other Butner prisoners – including, for example, one Bernie Madoff – then his professed goal of spreading jihad and other mischief would be facilitated.

Moreover, even if he remains incarcerated, his ability to interact with other people, albeit fellow felons, could be seen as a test of his “good behavior” to determine if his sentence might at some future date be commuted.  Bear in mind that a sentence that is commuted to time served eliminates and moots the question of parole.

And as we have recently seen, BHO has little trouble with commutations of prison sentences, including the largest single mass commutation in the history of the Republic.  The usurper plainly seems to care a lot more about releasing terrorists from Guantanamo and convicted felons from prisons than he does about protecting Americans from recidivists and sworn radical Islamist savages.

And if that were not enough, do not rule out as a final slap in the face to the nation – as BHO oozes out of office next January – a mass pardoning of felons, including Abdel-Rahman, if he is still incarcerated at the Butner facility.  A pardon is a far more significant legal act than a mere commutation.  Recall as well that the presidential power of the pardon for all crimes against the United States is virtually absolute.  Perhaps Bowe Bergdahl gets a pardon, too, if it looks as if he might actually be convicted of desertion in his court martial.  After all, we can’t make a deserter look bad, can we?

Second, the Federal Bureau of Prisons prisoner locator website indicates that, in fact, while a 78-year old inmate named “Omar Ahmad Rahman” is still imprisoned there, the Blind Sheik’s full name is: “Omar Ahmed Ali Abdel-Rahman.”  This is the name under which he was prosecuted and convicted.  See United States v. Omar Ahmad Ali Abdel Rahman, et al., 189 F.3d 88 (2nd Cir. 1999).

While it is unlikely that someone other than the Blind Sheik is named “Omar Ahmad Rahman,” given the various spellings and misspellings of Abu Khatallah’s surname, that potential cannot be ruled out.  Stated otherwise, if there is still an individual imprisoned at the Butner facility who the regime wants us to believe is the Blind Sheik, it should at least correct the inmate’s name as posted on the Bureau of Prisons website.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons facility at Butner, NC is a specialized medical prison

Moreover, the “confirmation” that Abdel-Rahman remains at the Butner facility is sourced to: the Internet.  The Internet, of course, is the same platform for BHO’s claimed “confirmation” that the image of his birth certificate posted there is genuine, thereby purportedly making him constitutionally eligible to the office as a natural born citizen.  Like the dumb blonde said in the TV commercial: “You can’t post anything on the Internet if it isn’t true, can you?”

So what this section of the post boils down to is this: is the Blind Sheik still incarcerated at the Butner Correctional Complex or not?  If so, is he in solitary confinement or not?  If one were interested in making sure that a kidnapping plot, particularly a botched one, was never revealed, might it make sense to go ahead and pardon, then release, Abdel-Rahman as a goodwill gesture to Morsi for the failure of the Americans at Benghazi to comply with the “stand-down” orders, thereby torpedoing the plot, in exchange for absolute silence on the plan?  Might that already have been done under threat from Morsi?

After all, with Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty all dead, and with BHO’s victory in the 2012 election now long past, if the Blind Sheik were to be pardoned and released, to quote HRC, what difference, at this point, does it make?

The likelihood is that Abdel-Rahman is still incarcerated here, somewhere, even if not at Butner, North Carolina.  But given the venality and propensity of this “never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste” regime to lie, cook books and alter videos for political gain, the possibility that Abdel-Rahman’s whereabouts and status today might be different than appears on the Internet cannot be dismissed.

Victoria Nuland is still employed at the U.S. Department of State, according to its website

7.       The Victoria Nuland Assurance

On January 16, 2013, a group of radical Islamic terrorists besieged an oil refinery in Algeria, taking many foreign nationals, including several Americans, hostage.  The siege lasted for a week, with the terrorists demanding as part of the attack the release of Omar Abdel-Rahman from prison, for which they would exchange their American hostages.  A representative of the BHO regime, one Victoria Nuland of the State Department, was quoted as saying in response to that hostage-swap offer: “The United States does not negotiate with terrorists.”  Right.

Point one: the statement that the United States “does not negotiate with terrorists” is laughable on its face, as evidenced by the negotiated swapping of Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl for five (5) hardened Guantanamo Islamic terrorists and by the only recently-discovered January 2016 “dead-of-night-unmarked-airplane-foreign-currency-only” payment of $400 million to the world’s pre-eminent sponsor of global terrorism, Iran, resulting in the contemporaneous, yet purportedly only “coincidental” release of four Americans held captive in that sorry excuse for a nation.

That payment was not “ransom” in the same sense that HRC is not a liar.  If hypocrisy and lies did not already exist, HRC and the BHO regime would invent them at breakfast just to survive until lunch.

Point two: recall that Victoria Nuland was the same person who earlier this year admitted – after the State Department had been caught red-handed – that the agency had engaged in the editing of a video to cover up the lies that it had proffered to the Congress and the American people regarding the treasonous Iran nuclear “deal” that the regime had forged (an apt term) with the global terrorism sponsor.

In the context of the Benghazi attack and the potential that it was, at bottom, a sinister plot “gone bad” because Americans who were expected and told to “stand down” fought back instead, the Nuland comment may provide useful insight into the truth.

Specifically, despite the obvious fact that the regime does in fact negotiate with terrorists and terrorist nations, perhaps Nuland’s remark in January 2013 was intended to convey another meaning.  Perhaps it was intended to mean that, although the regime would like to negotiate a trade of the Blind Sheik for the Americans held hostage at the oil refinery in Algeria, if Abdel-Rahman were no longer imprisoned in North Carolina and had already been clandestinely released and returned into hiding – luxurious hiding, of course – somewhere back in the Middle East or even back in his native Egypt, the United States no longer possessed the “quid” for the “pro quo.”  We’d like to trade, but no can do… we no longer have Abdel-Rahman… but we can’t tell anybody that.

Ask yourself this: when is the last time that anyone from outside the regime confirmed publicly that Omar Ahmad Ali Abdel-Rahman was still incarcerated in the Butner Correctional facility?  Follow-up question: any chance of doing a word-search for “Butner” in the NSA’s archive of HRC’s “destroyed” e-mails?

8.        The Vile Video Diversion

Finally, let us assume, just for the sake of argument, that the foregoing points might support the theory that the Benghazi disaster was, in fact, a consciously-designed but botched plot to abduct Ambassador Stevens to be later exchanged for Abdel-Rahman for political gain.  What role, then, might the “vile video” have played in the charade?  Might it have been a diversion?  Might it have been a convenient ploy utilized to focus attention on a false, but highly distracting controversy, channeling media and public attention away from a far more nefarious scheme gone horribly bad?

In matters of warfare – and make no mistake, political campaigns are merely warfare without live bullets – it is frequently a tactic of the warring camps to utilize deception and disinformation in order to mislead, confuse or distract an enemy to the gain or advantage of the one employing the distraction.  Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese General and author of “The Art of War,” maintained that “all war is based on deception” and that “a wise commander takes measures to let his opponent only react to the wrong circumstances. Diversionary attacks, feints, decoys; there are thousands of tricks that have been successfully used, and still have a role in the future….”

Prior to the tragic failure of the attack on the compound at Benghazi, it had been reported that violent protests against an Internet-posted video had broken out in Cairo, Egypt.

When it became clear that a structured abduction of Ambassador Stevens had failed and that the “asset” to be later swapped for Abdel-Rahman was now deceased, panic mode must have set in.  If a fallback “blame-the-vile-video” Plan “B” had not been designed before the attack, it is likely that in the minutes and hours and days immediately following the attack, regime operatives and apparatchiks were feverishly cobbling one together.

We do know that within five days after the attack, just in time for then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to cough the story up on five (5) Sunday morning news programs, the regime had conjured up the narrative that it was a “vile video” that had triggered the event.

And again, by the way, do we yet have any idea whatsoever where BHO was during the period of the attack?  Was he on a golf course?  Was he on Air Force One jetting to Hawaii?  Or was he somewhere in D.C. feverishly trying, through surrogates and operatives, of course, to contact Morsi (or his surrogates and operatives) to find out what the heck had gone wrong?   We may never know.  Implement Plan “B” immediately!

Then again, if the NSA can capture and archive, as many believe, all electronic communications that might traverse cyberspace over the Internet, encrypted or not, then perhaps a word-search there for the same terms discussed earlier might shed some light on his whereabouts.

Returning to the “vile video” Plan “B” that might have come into play, what better way to hide a botched kidnapping plan than to start spinning the crisis with a diversionary distraction?  Stated otherwise, which would you prefer: (a) criticism and derision for continually yapping about a video viewed on the Internet by approximately 42 people; or (b) being called upon to explain why, against the backdrop of the foregoing facts and inferences from those facts, the Benghazi attack was, in reality, something other than a designed plot to kidnap Ambassador Stevens for future exchange for Abdel-Rahman to bolster polls, but which went horribly wrong?


People believe what they want to believe.  Your faithful servant wants to believe that the truth will eventually come out.  With any luck, that will happen before this November.  If it does not, perhaps it will come out in 2017…, assuming the NSA archives still exist in 2017.  Vote carefully.

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