Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked group in Libya, has released a six-minute-long video showing its spoils won during a recent battle against forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar. The group claims to have captured tanks and heavy armaments during a Dec. 26 raid on one of Haftar’s camps.Images of armored vehicles and weapons captured during the jihadists’ operations have become commonplace. But the new video includes scenes of two Ansar al Sharia leaders, both of whom are particularly noteworthy.
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The first is Wissam Ben Hamid, a jihadist who was a key figure in the security failures surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi Libya.
“By Allah’s grace, today our heroes have achieved victories…they took these tanks and machines as booty from them and killed the soldiers of tyranny that were here at this axis,” Ben Hamid says while standing in front of vehicles captured from Haftar’s camp.
In the aftermath of the September 2012 attack in Benghazi, Ben Hamid admitted during press interviews that he was on the scene but did not intervene. He traveled to the airport in Benghazi, where he reportedly met an American security team that was dispatched from Tripoli to provide assistance during the assault on the US Mission and Annex. The security team was mysteriously delayed at the airport for three and a half hours. It is not known if Ben Hamid played a role in the delays.
Ben Hamid also met with State Department officials on Sept. 9, 2012 to discuss security in Benghazi. He portrayed himself as a key security official during the meeting.
Ben Hamid has appeared in a number of Ansar al Sharia videos and photos since earlier this year. Ansar al Sharia fighters were among the coalition of al Qaeda jihadists who overran the US Mission and Annex, killing four Americans in the process.