Still Wondering: Planned or Unplanned
The State Department confirmed in briefings that the Benghazi consulate attack constituted a “terrorist attack” but refused to agree with Libyan officials or take a definitive stance on whether the attack was premeditated.
Yahoo News’ Olivier Knox reports:
The head of the U.S. National Counter-Terrorism Center told lawmakers on Wednesday that the deadly attack on Sept. 11 that claimed the lives of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three aides was a “terrorist” strike. But the official, Matt Olsen, said evidence so far suggests it was not planned in advance.
Olsen told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that investigators were “looking at indications” that some of those who carried out the bloody assault on the American consulate in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi had “connections” to al-Qaeda, including a regional offshoot, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three aides “were killed in the course of a terrorist attack,” Olsen told the committee.
But “what we don’t have, at this point, is specific intelligence that there was significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack,” he said. “The best information we have now, the facts that we have now, indicate that this was an opportunistic attack.”
Still, he said, investigators are looking for any sign that the attack was planned.