A former al-Qaeda terrorist released from Guantanamo Bay is believed to be the leader of the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the US Ambassador, it was revealed on Wednesday.
Sufyan Ben Qumu, who was reportedly once Osama bin Laden’s driver, was let out of the US military detention center in Cuba in 2007 and turned over to the government of Muammar Gaddafi on the condition he be kept behind bars.
Now, Fox News reports he may have led the attack on the American consulate that resulted in the death of Christopher Stevens — the first US Ambassador killed by violence overseas in 1979 .
Qumu is a Libyan army veteran who was jailed by Qaddafi and later escaped to Sudan, where he worked for one of Osama bin Laden’s holding companies.
According to some reports, he was bin Laden’s driver during his time at the company.
Later, he moved to Pakistan and slipped across the border into Afghanistan, where he began working at a charity that was a front for al-Qaeda in the summer of 2001.
He was arrested in Pakistan by local authorities shortly after the US invasion of Afghanistan. He was taken to the Guantanamo Bay detention center and held there for six years.
In 2007, Qumu was released from Gitmo and turned over to Gaddafi on the condition that he be kept in prison.
But, in 2010 Qaddafi freed him from the notorious Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, along with 37 other prisoners, to celebrate the dictator’s 41st year in power.
During the uprising, Qumu emerged as a leader of the rebels. He was a tank driver during his time in the Libyan army.
The report came as a senior US official called the assault on the American diplomatic outpost a ‘terrorist attack.’
It was the first time the White House has referred to the deadly incursion as terrorism and it undermines the US position that it was ‘spontaneous.’
‘Yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy,’ Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matt Olsen told a Senate hearing on Wednesday.