NATO authorities and a majority of international media claimed that the Taliban attacked the Halmand base camp from outside, while Taliban sources claimed that they entered inside the base with full information and maps and tried to abduct the British prince and had a direct fight with foreigners and blew up 6 jets before the Taliban suicide bomber blew up themselves.
This situation is not different from the Benghazi US Consulate attack drama. Again, US authorities and mainstream international media gave a different story, while local networks of militants are giving entirely different details.
French daily, Le Figaro, reported Sunday that only US Ambassador Christopher Stevens perished – from smoke inhalation – inside the US consulate premises, while at least three other people, including two US Marines, were killed in a house – sometimes called “a farm” by Libyan sources – about a kilometer away from the US consulate premises, further claimed Le Figaro.
Sources also claimed that attackers tried to grabbed the dead body of the US Ambassador Christopher Stevens when they sensed that the US Marines were moving his body to airport.
The body of the US ambassador to Libya was extracted from the consulate around 1:00 am and had been taken to the hospital in a private car minutes later, according to witnessed reports, the newspaper reported.
According to Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis Al-Sharif, while interviewing with an international daily hours after the attack on the consulate had started, US commando units arrived from the capital of Tripoli to evacuate the consulate staff from a Benghazi safe house, and it was supposed to be a secret place; we were surprised the armed groups knew about it. Sharif’s account of a US commando unit arriving from Tripoli, as well as the deaths of two US personnel in a second Benghazi location, matches the sequence of events.
If true, the reports suggest that the assault had been planned in advance by a group – or groups – with access to sensitive security information.
Details of the September 11 attack have been sketchy, with senior US officials warning reporters against jumping to conclusions while investigations are still underway. But over the weekend, senior US officials appeared to backtrack from earlier statements that the assault on the US consulate in Benghazi was premeditated.
“People gathered outside the embassy (consulate) and then it grew very violent, and those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya and that then spun out of control,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told Fox News Sunday, “But we don’t see at this point signs this was a coordinated plan, a premeditated attack.” Her comments, however, were in stark contrast to the assessments of senior Libyan officials, as well as militia sources in Benghazi.
“The way these perpetrators acted, and moved… leaves us with no doubt that this was pre-planned, determined, predetermined,” Mohammed al-Megaryef, President of the Libyan National Congress, told CBS News.
Meanwhile in a phone interview with FRANCE 24 from Benghazi, a fighter with the Shuhada Libya al-Hurra brigade, who declined to be named, said he witnessed the assault on the US consulate, and he was sure it was a planned attack.
“They knew the embassy (consulate) very well. They came with heavy weapons, and they overtook the place very fast, it was very quick. You can’t do something like that without planning,” he said.
According to the Shuhada Libya al-Hurra brigade fighter, he was unable to get near the consulate premises due to the heavy fighting Tuesday night. Instead, his group of fighters were stuck a few blocks away from the by-now burning building, vainly awaiting orders from their commanders.
“It was a mess, there was very heavy fighting. I didn’t understand what was going on. The people attacking the consulate looked like Islamists, they were not at all like the fighters from my katiba (brigade). It was obvious that they had planned this before, and they now had a good pretext to attack the embassy (consulate),” he said.
The timing of the assault – on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the US – has also raised questions among security experts. In a message posted on Jihadist sites before the attack, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called on Libyans to target Americans in order to avenge the death of his former deputy, Abu Yahya al-Libi, who was killed on June 4 by a US drone in Pakistan.”
In a statement released over the weekend, the Yemen-based al Qaeda affiliate AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabic Peninsula) said al Libi’s killing “increased the enthusiasm and determination of the sons of (Libyan independence hero) Omar al-Mukhtar to take revenge upon those who attack our prophet.”