Benghazi suspect escapes ambush

AFP-JIJI, AP

A former Guantanamo inmate and chief of the disbanded Ansar al-Shariah (Partisans of Islamic Law) group in Libya has escaped an assassination attempt, a security official said Monday.

The official said the attack on Sufyan bin Qumu, a former inmate of the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, took place Sunday in a suburb of the eastern town of Derna.

“Bin Qumu was ambushed while he was returning home in Derna on Sunday night,” the security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “One of those with him was hit in the shoulder.”

Bin Qumu was handed over by the United States to the Libyan authorities in 2007.

The security source speculated that a tribe that had accused the militia chief of killing one of its members last week was behind the ambush.

Also known under his nom de guerre of Abu Fares, bin Qumu fought alongside al-Qaida in Afghanistan before being detained in 2004 by the Pakistani authorities and handed over to U.S. forces.

After holding him for three months at Guantanamo, he was handed over to Libya, which was then ruled by Moammar Gadhafi, and was freed along with other Islamists in August 2010.

Bin Qumu was an Ansar al-Shariah member suspected of involvement in last year’s Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that left U.S Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.