Al-Qaeda Terrorists have attacked a British Petroleum Natural Gas facility in Algeria and taken dozens of foreigners hostage – including some Americans. Some reports indicate 7 Americans were captured, but other reports put the confirmed number at three:
CBS NEWS: Algeria’s government searched desperately Thursday for a way to end the desert standoff with Islamic militants who have taken dozens of foreigners hostage at a natural gas complex, as the purported militants behind the attack accused Alergian forces of wounding some of the captives.
One Algerian security official told the Associated Press on Thursday that 20 foreigners had managed to escape, including some Americans and Europeans, but the report could not be immediately confirmed.
CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan reports the State Department has only confirmed that three Americans are among those taken hostage, and that 10 in total worked at the facility.
The government was in talks throughout the night with the U.S. and France over whether international forces could help against the militants, who have said 41 foreigners, including seven Americans, were being held after the assault on one of oil-rich Algeria’s energy facilities, 800 miles from the capital of Algiers. Two foreigners, one of them a Briton, were killed. . . .
The group claiming responsibility — called Katibat Moulathamine or the Masked Brigade — said the attack Wednesday was in revenge for Algeria’s support of France’s military operation against al Qaeda-linked rebels in neighboring Mali. Militants phoned a Mauritanian news outlet to say one of its affiliates had carried out the operation at the Ain Amenas gas field, and that France should end its intervention in Mali to ensure the safety of the hostages. . . . Read More
UPDATED 1/17/13, 8:32 AM ET: Reuters is now reporting that 34 of the hostages have been killed in an airstrike by the Algerian military:
BREAKING: 34 hostages and 15 kidnappers killed by air strikes by Algerian army – ANI news agency live.reuters.com/Event/Mali_Con…— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 17, 2013
UPDATED 1/17/13, 7:58 AM ET: Reports are breaking that some of the hostages, perhaps 20 of them, including Americans, have managed to escape from their terrorist captors:
BREAKING Americans among 20 hostages to escape from terrorist captors at Algeria gas facilitynyp.st/U3sXZJ— New York Post (@nypost) January 17, 2013
CNN reports they have an email showing a security team at the U.S. Embassy in Libya requested use of a plane from the U.S. State Department – but were denied. It does not appear not having that plane had anything to do with security around U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens the day he was killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. But other investigations are underway to see what happened, and why Ambassador Stevens was even in Libya – much less Benghazi – on September 11 when there had already been recent attacks on the U.S. mission in Libya.
Here is a Fox News video report on emerging details of the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya where Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed, along with three other Americans.
In the video report, GOP Rep. Buck McKeon points out that President Obama is treating this terrorist attack as a law enforcement matter, assigning the FBI to go to Libya. McKeon calls Obama’s response to the attack “a total joke” and “an outrage.”
FOX NEWS: The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last week was a joint operation orchestrated by an Al Qaeda affiliate in North Africa and the Islamist militia Ansar Al-Sharia, an intelligence source told Fox News, citing evidence collected so far in the investigation.
About 100 attackers carried out the “coordinated assault,” intelligence sources said, further discrediting earlier Obama administration claims that the deadly attack was a “spontaneous” outburst in response to an anti-Islam film.
Fox News’ sources say the attack came in two waves and involved rocket-propelled grenades, as well as mortar fire, and both the consulate and safe house were attacked seemingly with inside knowledge.
Ansar Al-Sharia is not directly affiliated with Al Qaeda, but has sympathetic goals. Ansar has tried and failed to establish an Islamic state in eastern Libya. The militia is a name adopted by a handful of groups, including Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
A senior Arab government official told Fox News in December 2011 that it was an effort to “rebrand” because the Al Qaeda name had so much baggage.
Libyan officials are now “absolutely convinced” the attack was preplanned, sources say, adding to recent indications that Al Qaeda was involved, specifically a former Guantanamo detainee named Sufyan Ben Qumu.
Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in the strike, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. . . . Read More