Benghazi, 6 June:
A brigade of Islamist militants has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi. On . . .[restrict]Tuesday night, an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated outside the gates of the mission, although nobody was injured in the blast.
According to the Benghazi-based Corina newspaper, the Omar Abdel Rahman brigade reportedly left publications at the scene of the bombing, which threatened US interests in Libya and claimed the attack was in retaliation for the assassination of the Libyan Al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahah Al-Libi by a US drone strike in Pakistan on Monday.
The group is named after the blind Egyptian terrorist Omar Abdel Rahman, who is currently serving a life sentence in the US in connection with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York.
However, American officials have claimed that no such evidence was discovered at the scene in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, and doubts have been cast as to the authenticity of the group’s claim.
“Until recently, the Omar Abdel Rahman brigade was largely unknown in Libya, and this claim may well be opportunistic”, an informed source told the Libya Herald. “It is not unknown for generally inconsequential groups like this to claim responsibility for these kinds of incidents in order to raise their public profile. It has happened before.”
The group also claimed responsibility for the attack on the Benghazi headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on 22 May.
Earlier today, a US embassy official said that it had received no information about the identity of the perpetrators, and refused to speculate on whether or not the attack was linked to Al-Libi’s death. [/restrict]