On October 18, 2012, Barack Obama told supporters,
“Al-Qaeda’s on the path to defeat.”
But one month earlier, shortly after the attack on our consulate in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, a phone call was made from Benghazi that linked the attack to Al-Qaeda.
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Shortly after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi last September, a phone call was placed from the area.
Whoever made the call was excited. “Mabruk, Mabruk!” he repeated, meaning “Congratulations” in Arabic.
Two sources with high-level access to Western intelligence services have told CNN the call was made to a senior figure in al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM. There is no proof that the call was specifically about the attack, in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed, but the sources say that is the assumption among those with knowledge of the call.
One of the sources says the phone call was discovered when a Western intelligence service trawled through intercepts of communications made in the wake of the attack. That source told CNN that the call was made specifically to Moktar Belmoktar, leader of an al Qaeda faction based in northern Mali.
CIA officials told CNN they had no comment on whether any call had been intercepted.