September 12th, 2012
01:28 PM ET

FIRST ON CNN: U.S. planning to use drones to seek out Benghazi perpetrators

From Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent

U.S. unmanned surveillance drones are expected to begin flying over Benghazi and other locations in eastern Libya to look for jihadi encampments and targets that may be tied to the attack on U.S. State Department personnel, a senior U.S. official told CNN Wednesday. The plan is for the drones to gather intelligence and hand it off to Libyan leaders, for Libyan forces to strike the targets, the official said.

In June, Nic Robertson, Paul Cruickshank and Jomana Karadsheh reported that the U.S. was flying surveillance missions with drones over suspected jihadist training camps in eastern Libya because of concerns over rising activity by al Qaeda and like-minded groups in the region, according to a senior Libyan official. But the source said that to the best of his knowledge, they had not been used to fire missiles at militant training camps in the area.

Update (2:45 p.m) from CNN's Pentagon Correspondent Chris Lawrence: A senior defense official explained, regarding drones, that the US military has been conducting ongoing drone surveillance operations over Libya for some time at least several months. What is expected is “a stepped-up, more focused search” for a particular insurgent cell that may have been behind the murder of the US Ambassador and other Americans. The defense official says he believes “the Libyans have known about it [the drone surveillance flights] for some time.”


Filed under: Africa • drones • Libya • Libya • Terrorism
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Norm

    Google "Video From Benghazi Consulate Shows Organized Attack " There was a drone over the attack for the last hour. Washington post calls it "Obama’s Libya debacle: Willful blindness"

    October 17, 2012 at 1:19 am | Reply
  2. jeff

    Fine lets stop drones and use raptor jets and bomb the heck out out them. would they feel better about that.

    September 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  3. Nana1948

    Drones, huh???? Who are they looking for???

    September 12, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  4. Nana1948

    Just bring all Americans and their money home. Let them take care of themselves. I, for one, would LOVE less taxes to pay foreign aid to someone who wants me dead. I'm sorry Americans had to die in the process.

    September 12, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  5. Guest

    Drones may be good at surveillance, but I doubt these killers are running around wearing signs that say "It Was Me!". They need to wait until the killers' bragging outs them first. If no bragging occurs; it might even have involved the new democratic government of that cesspit & their radical friends.

    September 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  6. Matt

    Perfect choice! Because drones can ask the right questions and correctly identify the murderer(s).

    September 12, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  7. Zoglet

    This is what happens when you will play regime change and destablise countires. But rather than learn from it, the knee jerk reaction will only result in more death and more hatred, I guess a totally destablised middle east over which the US maintains air control was the goal all along.

    September 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  8. PaxHominibus

    MORE drones! That will produce ANOTHER few hundred MORE terrorists to attack MORE Americans in MORE countriesat home and all over the world.

    Obama's Foreign Policyis to go to war from a distance and kill the innocent – THEN act like the Victim and go and attack more innocents! Pfffft! A 5th Grader could figure out how DANGEROUS his foreign policy is.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • OffTheWorldPolitics

      Our aid and emissaries represent the olive branch, some seem to prefer the arrows... It is important to remind them why the olive branch is a better option.

      September 12, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Reply
      • hmmm

        "In Libya, a Rothschild bank was established in Benghazi while the country was still at war." .. but no I am sure this had nothing to do with it

        September 13, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  9. saeed

    lybia should buy s400 and take down the entire airforce of usa and britain.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • MDAT

      Shut up.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  10. Earthling

    Wow... could the USA be plunged into a worse mess than it already has? If the USA is drawn into resource waisting conflicts all over the world, then we may as well say ba bye you once glorious empire.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • PaxHominibus

      Fair comment Earthling!

      September 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply

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