Benghazi attackers listed as terrorist entities by Washington

Jan. 10, 2014 at 11:23 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department said Friday it was adding the group suspected of attacking the U.S. consulate in Libya in 2012 to its list of terrorist organizations.

The State Department listed Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, Ansar al-Sharia in Darnah (Libya) and Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia as three separate foreign terrorist organizations.

The Benghazi group's leader, Sufian bin Qumu, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, and his associates Ahmed Abu Khattalah and Seifallah Ben Hassine were listed as specially designated terrorists as well.

The State Department said the two Libyan entities were formed after the regime of late dictator Moammar Gadhafi fell in 2011. Both were involved in the September 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which left Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three members of his staff dead.

The White House has been accused of not taking appropriate action over the Benghazi attack. The State Department said Friday it was committed to working with the government in Tripoli to bring those responsible for the consulate attack to justice.

The State Department added it was offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone tied to the attack on the consulate in Benghazi.

The Tunisian entity, meanwhile, was blamed for a September 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis. The State Department said the group, which is affiliated with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, "represents the greatest threat to U.S. interests in Tunisia."

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