News24

Libya attackers linked to al-Qaeda: US

2012-09-29 09:20

Washington - The US intelligence community said that a deadly assault on a US consulate in Libya was a planned attack linked to al-Qaeda, but stressed that "many unanswered questions" remained.

"It remains unclear if any group or person exercised overall command and control of the attack, and if extremist group leaders directed their members to participate," Shawn Turner, spokesperson for the office of the director of national intelligence, said in a statement on Friday.

"We do assess that some of those involved were linked to groups affiliated with, or sympathetic to al-Qaeda."

President Barack Obama's administration has offered varied explanations as to who may have been behind the September 11 attack on the US diplomatic mission in the eastern city of Benghazi, drawing criticism from Republican opponents weeks before a US presidential election.

US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the assault.

Assessment ‘revised’


Both Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and top US diplomat Hillary Clinton have called the assault a "terrorist attack," with the Pentagon chief also suggesting that it took days for the US government to conclude extremists had launched an orchestrated assault.

"As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organised terrorist attack carried out by extremists," Turner explained.

According to US media reports, the militants involved in the attacks belonged to a group called Ansar al Sharia. Its members were reportedly in contact with an al-Qaeda offshoot known as Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

Some Republican lawmakers have alleged that the Obama administration knew almost immediately afterward that al-Qaeda was involved in the Benghazi attack, which killed the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

But Turner stressed that despite "progress" made in the investigation, "there remain many unanswered questions".

On Thursday, Panetta said it was too soon to say whether al-Qaeda or groups linked to them had a role in the incident.

No warning

The US military's top officer, General Martin Dempsey, also said there had been no warning of a direct threat to the American mission in Benghazi before the attack.

"There was a thread of intelligence reporting that groups in the environment in... eastern Libya were seeking to coalesce, but there wasn't anything specific and certainly not a specific threat to the consulate that I'm aware of," the general said.

The state department initially said the attack arose out of a spontaneous protest against an amateur anti-Islam internet video made in the United States.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, on September 16 described it as a "spontaneous attack" that took place on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 2001 terror strikes on the United States.

On Friday a top Republican congressman called for Rice to resign, charging that she misled Americans over the assault by dismissing suggestions that it was a planned terror operation.

"I think Susan Rice should resign. She is America's foreign policy spokesperson to the world as ambassador to the UN," Congressman Pete King of New York told National Review Online.

But earlier this week the White House dismissed Republican criticism as mere politics.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney said the information given to the public about the attack was based on "the best intelligence we've had."

Comments
  • squeegee.pilot - 2012-09-29 09:50

    This is blowing up in Nobama's face. They lied and it is becoming big news in the US.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-09-29 10:09

      Agree completely - do you see the word-smithing they use: "affiliated with, or sympathetic to..." That doesn't mean it IS. From a spontaneous amateur attack to a full blown coordinated militant strike. Yah whatever.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-29 10:45

      The violent loony left, just makes up their own stories. Thats all thery are good at; Entertaining each other !!!!

      jean.rossouwsa - 2012-09-29 11:24

      Yip so correct and the liberal news media in usa is just as guilty! Only interested in re-electing the anointed one!, even if it means that they lie and create stories!

      morgaenart.farto - 2012-09-29 16:37

      Obummer....one-term president :-))))

  • morgaenart.farto - 2012-09-29 09:53

    Obummer is an incompetent, affirmative action, spineless, useless piece of rubbish and is 100% responsible for the debacle in the Middle East. We are soon going to have Iran as a nuclear power, have lost israel as an ally, have islamofascits running amok in the so-called "arab spring"... The world will rue the day that the americans voted this african into power....

  • gieljam.gomtor - 2012-09-29 10:02

    America must learn that the majority of the so called third world and specific these Arabs who will milk them dry and always be waiting for their support and hand outs simply cannot be trusted .

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-29 16:09

      Vox talking Gaddafi-sponsored nonsense again. The chances of the Dollar not being the currency of exchange is less than zero. Moreover, twenty years from now the US will import zero oil from the Middle East. This is OPEC's own projection and one of the main drivers of the Arab Spring.

  • zaakiro - 2012-09-29 10:54

    Al Qaeeda, created by the US simply as a scapegoat....like a parent blaming their child for any sin the parent commits

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-29 16:12

      More nonsense. The US did not create Al-Quaida. What are you thinking. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in the 1980's as part of its ongoing plans to impose Soviet Communism on the rest of the world. The US assisted Afghan fighters to repel the Soviets. It was successful in doing so. Most of the Afghans were from the Northern Front, unconnected to the Taliban and Jihadists. Some Taliban and Osama Bin Laden, who had been ejected from Saudi Arabia because of his ultra-extreme views, were however among those assisted by the US. Osama Bin Laden then went on to form Al-Quaida several years later. The US had long left Afghanistan. Bin Laden declared war on the West because Saudi Arabia had allowed Nato to use its bases to repel Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. That was in 1992. For years the US did virtually nothing, allowing Al-Quaida to get stronger, even after being directly attacked several times, such as in the first World Trade Center bombing, and the bombing of the US Cole. Al-Quaida carried out suicide attacks in various other parts of the world, including Africa. 9/11 happened and the US and much of the world was then spurred into action. To suggest the US created Al-Quaida is like saying Soweto High School is responsible when one of its chemistry students plants a home-made bomb at a shopping center.

  • wallace.outkast - 2012-09-29 11:38

    oh so now there are terroristes in lybia

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-29 16:15

      Jihadists are present in almost all countries of the Middle East. Best to inform yourself first before arriving at conclusions.

  • greg.quinn.353 - 2012-09-29 11:58

    Yeah yeah.. just like the 9/11 attacks on the world trade center were also 'linked' to Al Queda and Osama bin Laden when passports were 'found' at the crash scenes but black boxes and entire plane parts were totally destroyed. And if you think that's BS watch the free online documentaries 'Zeitgeist' and 'Loose Change'.. which go into these events and the flaws in their 'official stories' extensively.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-29 16:16

      The ultra-looney fringe speaks again. The US attacked itself on 9/11. Yeah right. :)

  • robbie.crouch - 2012-09-29 13:17

    Took Obama's advisors a while to work that one out! It was pretty obvious toe the rest of the sane world that it was a very well orchestrated plan to commemorate 911 by the fanatics.

      morgaenart.farto - 2012-09-29 16:36

      It was an MSM and liberalist cover-up to protect incompetent Obummer from being impeached or losing the election by an even bigger margin were the American public to realise he was negligent

  • Siyabonga Mkhwanazi - 2012-09-29 13:34

    'Oh what a tangled web of lies we weave...' And i can also 'link' that Adam and Eve really did exist and they were black.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-29 16:17

      "Oh how detached from reality some can be".

  • joseph.motloung.3 - 2012-09-29 16:05

    This serves as a reminder that importing foreign terrorists into a sovereign country has consequences beyond the short term sinister objective. Last year they had an objective to remove from power Col Gaddaffi through violent means and install a puppet regime that would be friendly to their interests. They even violated their resolution 1973 by sending guns to Libya to achieve that goal. They now have killed Gaddaffi along with 30000 other Libyans and made that country ungovernable. It's odd that the same people whom they were calling revolutionaries last year are being labelled terrorists. They knew that the people who they were supporting had links or ties to Al-Qaeda. These are the consequences of meddling in other countries affairs. THE CHICKENS HAVE COME HOME TO ROOST

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-29 17:22

      Joseph, What a load of crap !! ""and install a puppet regime that would be friendly to their interests"" WHAT INTERESTS??????????????????????????????????????.

      joseph.motloung.3 - 2012-09-29 18:17

      @Anthony I'm glad you asked. I will let tell what interests since I clearly know way more than you. Muammar Gaddaffi proposed not to accept the US dollar as payment for oil sales in Libya because he had realized that the US was flouting basic economic fundamentals by printing dollars without the necessary gold to back their currency. Let me give you a lesson on economics, when a country prints money they should have at least 25% of the value of that money in gold reserves held by their central bank. EG. if the government wants to print a R10 note they should have R2.50 of gold reserves to back that money they intend to print. The last person to suggest that US dollars should not be used as payment for oil was Sadaam Hussein and we know what happened to him after that. The US knows that if their worthless paper dollars are not used in the international markets they will loose lots of money in foreign reserves.

      jans.opresser - 2012-09-29 19:56

      aaahhh..well anthony 21st century african from the future et.al.....wrong way fred,I TOLD YOU THIS DAY WAS COMING DIDNT I?all of your lies over the past year have come back to bite you in thr behind. as I told you last year,the rebels are AL-QAEDA!IBRAHIM BIN QUMU was NEVER fighting to remove gadafffi for western democracy! and now he himself (BIN QUMU)who LED THE REVOLT against gadaffi has been fingered for the killing of stevens!dont feel sorry for stevens either,he knew all along that the rebels were al-qaeda,he chose to go along with the obama lies about an arab spring that he knew never existed. he was KILLED by the same people that he had lied for! anthony,america's interest are the new american companies that are now operating in libya who were not allowed to operate there under gadafffi. those corporations include PIZZA HUT,KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN,CINNABONN,BURGER KING AND NUMEROUS AMERICAN OIL COMPANIES......AND I CANT FORGET MCDONOLDS!! but they will all get kicked out very soon! the al-qaeda rebels simply betrayed the US before the US could betray them! you seem to have forgotten that they tried to kill stevens back in june of this year after america killed a high ranking al-qaeda member who happens to be from libya? its over anthony and fred,all of your lies are about to roost along with your chickens!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-29 23:11

      Joseph, Your hatred for the West, gets your mind so confused, its mind boggling!! Your fanatsy story re the US dollar and oil sales, is only for some gullible loonies of the violent left. you will not find one economist of any standing, who believes in this crap. It is the same with this BRICs countries suggestion to put up a development bank; its only political BS fantasy, and again, you won't find not even ONE economist, who believes, there is any merit in this !! But, thank you for the lesson, you certainly entertained your radical buddies. They LOVE stuff like this !!!!!!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-29 23:25

      Jans, aka, thatpathethicliarfromnewyork, I knew you bloated full with anti Western HATRED, and that you were pretty crazy,but this comment makes me aware you have lost it completely!!! All this Al-Quada/ Libya / gaddafi / BS, only plays in your violent fantasy mind. You just make up all this crap , as even ,a disturbed person like you, had to shut up about Libya, as for 18 months, you talked the biggest load of BS, ever commented on, these sites. And than one gets a terrorists attack in Benghazi, and you start all over again. Surely, even your radiacl buddies, can't take you serious any longer, and even for them, you become a booooooooooooooooooooooooooore. But, now the funny part; The USA got rid of gaddafi,sothat ......................... Kentucky Fried Chicken could open up three outlets in Libya. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahaahahaahahhaahhahahahaaahhahahaahahahaahahaahaahaahahaahahahahahahahaahahahahaahah You ARE crazy!!!!!! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahaahahahahahaahahaahahaahahahaahahaahahahahaahahaahaahahahaahahahaahahahaahahahjahaahaahahahaahahaahahahaah

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-30 08:36

      ""AND I CANT FORGET MCDONOLDS!!"" They ALSO wanted to open a few branches in Libya ??????????????????????/ Ahhhhhhh, no wonder gaddafi had thousands of his country men killed........... He obvious does not like 'take away food' you are not only the most violent person on threse sites, but also the craziest!!!!!!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-30 19:15

      DELUSIONAL IDEAS BEING SPOUTED AGAIN

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