Menu
Share
Share this story
Close X
 
Switch to Desktop Site

State Department admits it knew Libya attack was terrorism

Despite statements after the September 11 killings of four American diplomats that the attack was related to an incendiary anti-Muslim video, the State Department is now acknowledging that it suspected from the beginning that the ambush was pre-planned.

Image

This Sept. 12 file photo shows Libyans walking on the grounds of the gutted US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after the attack that killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Ibrahim Alaguri/AP

About these ads

The State Department said Tuesday it never concluded that the consulate attack in Libya stemmed from protests over an American-made video ridiculing Islam, raising further questions about why the Obama administration used that explanation for more than a week after assailants killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

The revelation came as new documents suggested internal disagreement over appropriate levels of security before the attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S.

Briefing reporters ahead of a hotly anticipated congressional hearing Wednesday, State Department officials provided their most detailed rundown of how a peaceful day in Benghazi devolved into a sustained attack that involved multiple groups of men armed with weapons such as machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars over an expanse of more than a mile.

RELATED: In Libya, a patchwork of militias keeping the peace, and straining it

But asked about the administration's initial — and since retracted — explanation linking the violence to protests over an anti-Muslim video circulating on the Internet, one official said, "That was not our conclusion." He called it a question for "others" to answer, without specifying. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter, and provided no evidence that might suggest a case of spontaneous violence or angry protests that went too far.

Next

Page 1 of 4


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Loading...