The Obama administration this week will designate as terrorists a group led by a former Guantanamo Bay detainee that has been linked to the Benghazi attacks killed four Americans on Sept. 11, 2012.
The group, Ansar al-Sharia, has been tied to the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, including two former Navy SEALS, died, The Washington Post reports.
The group is led by Abu Sufian bin Qumu, 54, who was released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2007 and sent to Libya. The government there detained Qumu before releasing him in 2008.
According to the Post, witnesses have told U.S. officials that Qumu’s militiamen were in Benghazi before the attacks. Ansar al-Sharia is based in the city of Darnah in eastern Libya, a drive of several hours from the Benghazi compound, the Post reports.
Qumu’s group is expected to be tied to the Benghazi attacks and designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department this week, the Post reports. It will be among three branches of Ansar al-Sharia — in Darnah, Benghazi and Tunisia — to receive the identification.
Qumu and two others — Ahmed Abu Khattala and Seif Allah bin Hassine — are to be identified as "specially designated global terrorists," according to the Post.
The classification allows the United States to freeze their financial assets and to bar American citizens and companies from conducting business with them, the Post reports.
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