‘Allah-u-Akbar‘: State Department unclassifies first official photos from aftermath of Benghazi attack, including jihadi graffiti left behind
A set of seven stunning photographs emerged Thursday, showing the first official glimpse of the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2012 terror attack on the U.S. Consulate Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya that left US. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.
The grainy, scanned pictures, released by the advocacy group Judicial Watch, were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request lodged with the U.S. Department of State. They are the first images of the Benghazi attack released by the State Department.
Three of them show Arabic-language spray paint graffiti. According to translations provided to MailOnline by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, they likely read ‘Thrones of HamzaIn’; ‘Allah-u Akbar’; and ‘Unity of ranks.’ The group’s translator emphasized that his analysis was preliminary.
‘Allah-u-Akbar’ is a familiar rallying cry among Islamist radicals, meaning ‘God is great.’
The other images show a burned-out pickup truck and piles of charred debris left outside a compound building after the attack.
Judicial Watch said in a press release that it filed its FOIA request on December 19, 2012 and received the photos on June 6.
The only other photos available publicly from the night of the attack are from press agencies that were on the scene. They are generally of better quality, and show vehicles and buildings burning.
One series of iconic photos from Reuters shows militants in front of the fires, holding their rifles aloft.
Others showed bloody handprints and a burned-out window frame where Stevens is said to have been dragged to his death.
‘The fact that it took six months and a federal lawsuit to release these few photos tells you all you need to know about the Obama administration’s Benghazi stonewall,’ said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
‘We now know that every video or photo, along with every additional piece of information we uncover, will tell us more about Benghazi – in contrast to the continued lies and spin coming out of the Obama administration about this atrocity.’
A State Department letter accompanying the images acknowledged that Judicial Watch’s FOIA request was initially ‘denied in full,’ but was later granted after the group sued in federal court