[Ed. – In other words, some reporters had already learned that the Obama administration was lying about a number of things related to al Qaeda. The reporters knew this back in 2013 or before. Would we ever have heard about that, if Trump hadn’t released the 470,000 bin Laden records?]
When Callimachi was covering West Africa in 2011, Obama administration officials and others told her that al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which had just taken over the northern half of Mali, “was actually not really connected to al Qaeda.”
“The narrative I would get is that . . . it had opportunistically taken the al Qaeda name in order to have prestige and scare people, and that in fact those people were just criminals,” she said.
In 2013, after AQIM had been cleared out of the area, Callimachi began sorting through thousands of files that had been left in the city of Timbuktu. She discovered evidence that “central” al Qaeda commanders were actually “micromanag[ing]” the Malians who the Obama administration had said had no ties to al Qaeda.
“Suddenly, my worldview, which had been informed by officials . . . started to fall apart,” she said.