Hillary Clinton’s Hacked Benghazi Emails Release
A hacker using the alias “Guccifer” was credited last week with compromising the AOL email account of Sidney Blumenthal, a 64-year-old journalist who formerly worked as an assistant to then-President Bill Clinton. Now days after the security breach was first reported, Guccifer has supplied RT and a number of other media outlets and political figures with incredibly sensitive memos that were emailed to Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary, in the wake of last year’s terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Confidential emails purportedly from former political adviser Sidney Blumenthal to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been hacked and widely distributed to politicians and news sources. Included in the hacker “Guccifer’s” distribution list are Russian news services such as Pravda, Moscow Times, and RT.
RT has released excerpts from the purported Blumenthal-Clinton memos. RT, which is a propaganda arm of the Putin regime, will have its own agenda in selecting and interpreting excerpts, which is not immediately clear. RT focuses on two of the four hacked emails, citing sensitive sources, on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
The first excerpted Blumenthal e mail, dated September 12, 2012, reports that senior advisors told the President of Libya during the day of September 11 that the Benghazi and Tripoli attacks were sparked by the Cairo demonstrations and anger over an anti-Muslim video. The President himself attributed the anti-American activity at the Tripoli and Benghazi facilities to efforts to undermine his regime by tying him to the CIA. The President warned that his enemies were working to take advantage of his suspected links to the CIA at a time when Western intelligence services are under scrutiny in Libya.
The timeline reported in the Blumenthal memo is curious. He reports the President meeting with advisors during the day of September 11. The organized attacks in Benghazi did not begin until after nine PM that evening.
Supporters of Hillary Clinton might use this information to suggest that she was being fed incorrect information as the events in Benghazi unfolded. The fact that the President met with advisors before the real attack even began might cast doubt on his interpretation of events, which seemed to suggest an attack mounted by his domestic enemies.
RT provides excerpts from a second memo from Blumenthal to Clinton dated February 16 marked as coming “from extremely sensitive sources and should be handled with care.” In this memo, Blumenthal reports a consensus among affected governments in the region that the Benghazi and Algerian gas field attacks were coordinated by Al-Qaeda related terrorist groups, financed by Sunni Muslim sources in Saudi Arabia.
At the time of the attack, Mrs. Clinton was serving her final few weeks as secretary of state under President Barack Obama, a position that she relinquished earlier this year to former-Senator John Kerry. Her knowledge of the Benghazi attack has become a frequent matter of dispute, however, since information relayed to the public in the immediate aftermath of the assault frequently contradicted other intelligence.
Initially, many high-up US sources said the storming of the consulate was in response to an anti-Islamic film that had been made in America and uploaded to the website YouTube. In the days after the assault, however, members of the US intelligence community offered a different explanation, saying the attack was not a spontaneous outburst prompted by the viral video clip but were instead a coordinated terrorist attack launched by associates of al-Qaeda.
According to the Blumenthal memos, though, even the US secretary of state was being fed disinformation directly after the attack. In the email dated Sept. 12, Sec. Clinton is told that the anti-Islamic film was likely the catalyst for the assault.
“A senior security officer told [interim Libyan President Mohammed Yussef] el Magariaf that the attacks on that day were inspired by what many devout Libyans viewed as a sacrilegious internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America,” the memo reads. “The Libya attacks were also inspired by and linked to an attack on the US mission in Egypt on the same day.”
“According to a separate sensitive source, el Magariaf noted that his opponents had often tried to connect him to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) through the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL), a group established in opposition to former dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, which el Magariaf led in the 1980s. In the opinion of this individual el Magariaf believes that he can survive potential negative publicity in this regard, but if this situation continues to develop in this manner it will complicate his efforts to establish an orderly administration in the country. Again, he stated that the attacks on the US missions were as much a result of the atmosphere created by this campaign, as the controversial video.”
Later on, “a very sensitive source” is cited as saying that the Libyan president’s enemies are likely “working to take advantage of his suspected links to the CIA at a time when Western intelligence services are under scrutiny in Libya.”
Five months later, though, another memo sent to Mrs. Clinton painted a much different picture of what was happening abroad. An email dated Feb. 16, 2013 contains the subject line “Algeria/Libya/Terrorism” and touches on possible connections between the Benghazi assault and the January 2013 hostage crisis in In Amenas, Algeria near the Libyan border. In that dispatch, links are drawn between both major incidents.
Speaking on condition of absolute secrecy,” an individual with sensitive access status spoke out on the attacks in a memo that was given to Blumenthal, sent to Clinton and eventually intercepted by Guccifer. According to that source’s claims, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika “instructed commanders of the Algerian external intelligence service (Direction Generale de la Sécurité Extérieure – DGSE) to provide Libyan intelligence chief, General Salim Hassi, with selected portions of the information obtained in the investigation of the terrorist attack on the facility at In Amenas.”
The source goes on to say that Algeria’s Pres. Bouteflika asked the DGSE officers to pass along sensitive information obtained from the interrogation of known and suspected supporters of the terrorist group Mokhtar Belmokhtar, or MBM, which would later all but confirm that al-Qaeda affiliates were involved in both attacks.
“According to a knowledgeable individual, the commanders of the Algerian DGSE reported to Bouteflika’s staff that their work confirmed their initial suspicion that the MBM attack on In Amenas was related to French military operations in Mali, as part of a loose but growing coalition of Islamist groups, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA), which was formed in mid-2012 with funding and support from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgred (AQUM).”
“In the opinion of these individuals, MBM is a key member of this group and was best placed to strike at a Western facility in retaliation for the French operations in Mali. The Algerian officials also believe that Libya’s Ansar al Sharia,” a pro-Sharia law militant Islamic group, “plays a role in the umbrella organization.”
“The In Amenas attack allowed MBM to stage an operation to keep the Algerian government off balance,” the memo continues. “These officials also stated that while Algerian members of MBM had planned and led the attack, the guerrilla force included experienced fighters from Mali, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Somali and Egypt.”
From there, the source explains that the individual with top-secret intel on the operations were instructed to keep information received from the French DGSE confidential, but that the intel “concerned the funding of the MBM operations and a possible link to the Ansar al Sharia attack on the United States Consulate in Benghazi.”
“This individual adds that this information provided by the French service indicates that the funding for both attacks originated with wealthy Sunni Islamists in Saudi Arabia. During July and August 2012, these financers provided funds to AQIM contacts in Southern Europe, who in turn passed the money into AQIM operatives in Mauritania. These funds were eventually provided to Ansar al Sharia and its allied militias in the Benghazi region in support of their attack on the US consulate. The money was used to recruit operatives and purchase ammunition and supplies.”
After the September 2012 attack, the MBM used remaining funds to organize the In Amenas, Algeria attack, the source claims. If the “extremely sensitive source” is indeed in-the-know, though, the Algerian incident might not be the last major terrorist attack that will occur in the Maghreb anytime soon.
According to the Feb. 2016 memo, the source says that Algerian intelligence agency believe that al-Qaeda and their allies “will continue to strike at Western facilities in the Maghreb, taking advantage of countries where the security structure is disorganized following the uprisings of the Arab Spring in 2011-2012.”
Previously, the hackers known as Guccifer has been linked to breaching the Facebook account of Gen. Colin Powell, who served as secretary of state under George W. Bush, and members of the Bush dynasty. Guccifer has also targeted a “US Senator, a senior United Nations official, security contractors in Iraq, two former FBI agents and a Department of Defense supervisor,” the Smoking Gun reports.
In the leaked memos disseminated to the media, Guccifer opted to copy-and-paste the correspondence into new files — images of bold Comic Sans text layered over a pink backgrounds — likely as a security precaution to cover his own tracks.
The latest batch of emails was reportedly sent from the hacked AOL account of a Hollywood actor’s wife in a further bid to obscure his whereabouts. Two IP addresses linked to Gufficer have been traced back to the Russian Federation TSG reports, though hackers regularly engage in forms of subterfuge to conceal their actual location via proxies, IP spoofing and onion routing systems such as TOR.
Guccifier, who spoke directly to the Smoking Gun, is apparently a male with a penchant for grand conspiracy theories.
“the evil is leading this f***ed up world!!!!!! i tell you this the world of tomorrow will be a world free of illuminati or will be no more,” the hacker warned.
RT contacted Mr. Blumenthal asking for confirmation on whether the leaked emails came from his private account and whether he had any comment on the revelations regarding both the Benghazi and In Amenas attacks.
At the time of writing, Mr. Blumenthal has yet to respond to our request.
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