Source: Al Qaeda central not behind Benghazi attack
September 13th, 2012
04:19 PM ET

Source: Al Qaeda central not behind Benghazi attack

By Suzanne Kelly

The United States intelligence community does not believe the core of al Qaeda was behind this week's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, a U.S. intelligence official told CNN Thursday.

The official said the picture is becoming clearer within the intelligence community as to what group or groups were responsible for the attack. Given what officials know about al Qaeda in Libya, U.S. intelligence believes it is very unlikely that core al Qaeda was behind the attack. But the official said the intelligence does not rule out that the attack was perpetrated by al Qaeda sympathizers.

Blog: Arrest and violence updates

The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee told CNN on Thursday that the strike "has all the hallmarks of an al Qaeda operation or an al Qaeda affiliate."

"One of the things that we've noticed over the last six or seven months is that al Qaeda in the Maghreb, northern Africa, have said they're really eager to strike northeastern targets. We've seen cells in Libya and Egypt starting to develop," Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, on said CNN's “Starting Point.”

A lot of intelligence had come in over the previous 24 hours, a U.S. official said Thursday, and as they sift through that information, American intelligence agents continue to believe the attack was not premeditated.

However, other U.S. officials are not as sure. A congressional source said State Department Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy told congressional staff members he briefed on Wednesday that, because of the extensive nature of the attack and the "proliferation" of small and medium weapons, his opinion is the attack was planned.

Analysis: In Libya, militias 'running the show'

soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. NYC Fitness Event

    Nobody has still bene arrested for this right? I'm I correct? What a scam.

    January 31, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  2. RP919

    WE SALUTE YOU PAKISTAN !!!!!
    THANK YOU …. THANK YOU…. THANK YOU!!!!
    FOR MAKING USA SAFE FOR MAKING THE WORLD SAFE>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Since Sep 11, 2001, 21,672 Pakistani civilians have lost their lives or have been seriously injured in the war against terror.

    The Pakistani Army also has lost 2,795 soldiers while 8,671 soldiers have been wounded. More than 3.5 million have been displaced while the country has lost $68 billion due to terrorism.

    Despite sacrifices, Pakistan was still engaged in 'the war for world peace”.

    September 13, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Reply
    • ant301

      I am holding off on my salute, until the doc that helped us get bin Laden is out of jail. Than, OK, I'll salute.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  3. Booz

    Was the missile strike on American embassy a Mossad operation ?

    September 13, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Reply
    • aitreyan

      go to hell.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
      • Paul Ryan says SIEG HEIL!

        Awwwww!..........did he hit a nerve, darlin'?

        September 15, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • ant301

      Yes it was. It is a part of their plan to strip all support from Syrian resistance and keep Assad in power. Wait, that would be Iran! Sorry…

      September 13, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
      • aitreyan

        Syrian rebela are alqaeda...no to FSA terrorist.

        September 13, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  4. Don WV

    I guess our president thinks if we give them enough money, we can buy the cooperation. Why would Egypt need 1.3 billion dollars for submarines? German subs are not a defensive weapon! I would bet this money will get Americans killed, it will find it's way into our enemies hands!

    September 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
    • Don WV

      It was reckless to leave the Benghazi consulate protected by half a dozen Libyan guards of dubious loyalty. Last month, the State Department warned US citizens to avoid Libya for all but essential travel, describing it as place of political violence and militia battles. Only the State Department appears to have failed to heed to its own advice.

      Even more seriously, the Obama administration – with France and Britain taking the lead – engineered regime change in Libya without much thought for the future. Libya provided a steady supply of jihadists to fight in Afghanistan, including Al Qaeda's second in command after Osama bin Laden died, Abu Yahya Al Libi, killed by a US drone in June.

      His death was confirmed in an Al Qaeda video on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. This video could have been the signal for the old jihadist's comrades-in-arms to attack the consulate. Ex-members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group have plenty of grievances against the US and Britain, which conspired to turn over captured suspects for torture in Muammar Qaddafi's jails before the uprising.

      September 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Wrong! The politicans will pocket this money, deposit it in a Swiss bank and live happily everafter!
      We Americans are simply too niave!

      September 14, 2012 at 12:55 am | Reply
    • Paul Ryan says SIEG HEIL!

      1.3 billion isn't even enough to run the US for one day.

      September 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  5. rocinante

    CNN – you really have to fix your blog's filter. It rejects most comments even when they contain no actual bad words. I don't know what its keying on, but I typically have to rewrite my comments multiple times before they finally pass the filter.

    September 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  6. grrthgf

    just a bunch of non belivers who don't even pray like they are supposed to they should be ashamed of themselfs for being such bad muslims

    September 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  7. JC

    Whew, good thing it wasn't the core...someone might have gotten hurt. I just hate it when I read stupid statements

    September 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  8. Cleanup Philly

    Israel can fight its own battles. I'm not sure Obama is doing much to help them, quite the reverse.

    September 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Reply
    • JC

      Ya, but the only way Israel can defend itself against everyone who hates them is by going nuclear. They are not capable of sustaining a prolonged "traditional" conflict...

      September 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Reply
      • Cleanup Philly

        Which is why we should have their back as a plan for peace, wouldn't you say, instead of trying to mollify and coddle raging Muslim hordes? Here's the Obama State Dept. Tweet:

        We condemn the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—
        US Embassy Cairo (@USEmbassyCairo) September 11, 2012
        11 Sep 12

        September 13, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • StanCalif

      Israel must forget about using military force every chance they get! This is insanity!
      All they can think about is waging war (of course with US backing). We, in the US, are sick of this! Go steal some more land this weekend, blame it on Palistianians then expect the US to support you! What fools!!! Israel really "sucks"! I am very happy that Obama ignores you!

      September 14, 2012 at 12:36 am | Reply
    • StanCalif

      Thank God! Obama keeps Isreal at arms length! The current Israeli government wants war, nothing else! We, in the US, are sick and tired of stupid wars! A war with Iran, for the sole benefit of Israel, is just plain stupid!!!

      September 14, 2012 at 12:50 am | Reply
  9. fubarack Obamadinejad

    If our intelligence says Al Qaeda is not responsible, that means they are responsible. Our PC gov gets everything wrong, even in the face of evidence. Ft Hood for just one example.

    September 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  10. dscon

    well since "terrorist" has been PC'd out of the english language then this didn't happen?

    September 13, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  11. NFPerception

    Then the company thinks that al-Zawahiri's communication the morning of was just a coincidence?

    September 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • Cleanup Philly

      Exactly. Obama is blaming the flimmaker, the film, but no not ever AQ, because that would show that Obama dropped the ball.

      AQ and the Shumook was doing just that, calling for attacks on embassies, four days before, see Memri.org:

      http://www.memrijttm.org/content/en/blog_personal.htm?id=6234&param=GJN

      The want to release the blind sheik, and prevent sacrilegious democracy. Check with the AQ head and the videos posted of Adam Ghadahn also.

      But Obama missed it because anyone who says Muslims call for violence is a bigot and not a true Muslim, and most Muslims are good and true Muslim who will refuse the siren call of terror.

      Big blind spot there, O.!

      September 13, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  12. Rob

    Obama's weakness allows this to happen. He must leave the White House!

    September 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • Sean

      I'm a Libertarian.... you also mean that George Bush weakness allowed 9-11 to happen? And how come he was a two-term president? Stop making excuses for disliking a president by making assumptions. If you GOP likes consertivism so much, how come you guys didn't want Ron Paul?

      September 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Reply
      • Cleanup Philly

        Except that OBAMA is the president now, not BUSH. OK? All caught up? Good stuff.

        September 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • raul

      These new generation of Al Q. nuts are what to be's or copy cats that are following Bin Laden principles. These nuts are everwhere incuding the USA...

      September 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
    • reACTIONary

      Obama is a kick-ass commander in chief and has not shown any weakness at all. I think you mistake intelliegence and deliberation for weakness – WRONG.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Reply
      • Cleanup Philly

        Please when Muslim radicals attacked the Cairo embassy, Hillary said we are so sorry a movie upset Muslims! Oh, mea culpa, stand by for Obama's next apology tour!

        September 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
      • StanCalif

        But Romney wants to make a profit here somewhere! Just like good ole George W.! Iraqi oil will repay us – HA, HA, HA! Romney could use some "community organizer" skills, he is only interested in making the wealthy even more wealthy! Everyone else is "on your own"! He actually believes his rich friends will create jobs for the middle class in America! What a fairytale! We have seen this before.

        September 14, 2012 at 1:10 am |
      • bspurloc

        the apology of the film happened BEFORE ANY attacks...u know the film made by an Egyptian Coptic
        U per usual FAIL at .... what is that thing again? ARITHMETIC.

        September 14, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • StanCalif

      Obama has accompished much more than George W ever did!
      Bin Laden is gone, Bush never tried to get him! Many other Bin Laden followers are also gone! What did George W ever accomplish??? NOTHING!

      September 14, 2012 at 12:41 am | Reply
    • bspurloc

      mittens weakness allowed this to happen

      September 14, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
  13. El Capitan ♠

    Besides emerging as a regional power, the time has come for Pakistan to take the leadership role in the Islamic World and lead them to the path of progress, prosperity and glory. The only nuclear nation in the Islamic World, Pakistan has shown the world that it can stand up to the nuances of world politics on principles and partake in global affairs. Also, that it can equally contribute to the progress of this planet called Earth. The sacrifices of the Pakistani nation in making this world safe are unmatched and deserves a seat at the table of the permanent members of The UN Security Council.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • Fearless Freep

      Pakistan is a third world hellhole.

      September 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
    • Cleanup Philly

      Are you smoking that AfPak heroin? Pakistan is more unstable and more prone to extremism than even the Magreb.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Reply
    • JC

      Pakistan has demonstrated that they are just a terrorist holding area.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    • Butch

      I agree. The region needs a strong nation to lead this charge. Pakistan has stood up to the bullying of India (10 times its size) for the past 60+ years and has proven it is capable.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Reply
    • Shami S

      GOD BLESS PAKISTAN,
      Land that we love.
      Stand beside her, and guide her
      Thru the night with a light from above.
      From Kashmir to Karachi and onto New Delhi,
      And to the oceans, white with foam
      GOD BLESS PAKISTAN, Our home sweet home.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
      • aitreyan

        baluchisthan wants freedom from pakisthan

        September 13, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  14. Marco

    Israel Is Striving For Its Own Recognition To The Arab World In The Middle East Only By Blood And Not Diplomatic Means. But It Should Not Use The Americans As Scapegoats!

    September 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
    • Cleanup Philly

      Hmm, except that the guys with the guns and bombs attacking the embassies are not Israeli. Good stuff to know.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  15. xfiler93

    not the core? wow, what a relief!!!

    September 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • Cleanup Philly

      I know, right? They use smaller bullets. Good to know.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    • JC

      How about it....if the "non-core" is firing rocket propelled grenades thru windows over a movie....what the heck is the "core" capable of? Didn't the administration just say that we broke the back of these boneheads and that they could no long function effectively? Seemed pretty efficient on Tuesday

      September 13, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Reply
    • zelskid

      the terrorism is a cancer that has metastatized

      September 13, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  16. A

    Of course it wasn't al Qaeda. It was Israeli Mossad trying to cause unrest and drag the United States into another war.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • Mop

      Nut case.
      The Mossad is hiding behind your couch.
      B O O !!!!!!!

      September 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • Broadcasting

      Thank you! The Mossad is famous for "false flags".

      September 13, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Reply
      • Cleanup Philly

        Yes, Adolf, it's das Juden. Mossad has an interest in destabilizing Egypt still further. Pluck yourself in the head and say "DOINK DOINK DOINK."

        September 13, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • aitreyan

      Libyans are ungrateful pathetic people.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply
  17. bspurloc

    Mittens is flying out to Polan to observe Russian troop movements as a response to this.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  18. NOZOZO

    Is this another CIA damage control operation ????

    September 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
    • Cleanup Philly

      Or is it who it looks like on TV, more Muslim fanatics who are brainwashed into hating the US? Yep, looks like that.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  19. t3chn0ph0b3

    Come on, everyone. This thing broke two days ago – on 9/11. It was an obscure, poorly made, badly edited, badly dubbed, badly translated video that no one was watching that suddenly somehow broke around the entire world on 9/11. It's not a coincidence. This was planned and the middle eastern terror factions have their fingerprints all over this mess.

    I just hope that it comes out that some fundamentalist muslims made the film just to get this kind of reaction and that their own governments execute them for blasphemy.

    September 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • Cleanup Philly

      It came out months ago. AQ has been using it as an organizing tool. It's a video on youtube. How much Muslim hate propaganda is on youtube, and how many embassies have been burned by non-Muslims? It's AQ trying to signal to their loyalists to destabilize new democratically elected regimes, because they hate democracy and think it is a sin against Islam.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  20. T. Pilley

    My hunch is to check these guys out.

    TERRORIST GROUPS IN INDIA

    • RASHTRIYA SWAYAM SEWAK SHANG (R.S.S.)
    • VISHWA HINDU PARISHAD
    • HINDU MUNNANI
    • ARYA SAMAJ
    • SHIV SENA
    • BHARATIYA JANATA PARISHAD
    • SANT SAMITI
    • HINDU MAHASABHA
    • BAAJRANG DAL

    LEADERS: L.K. Advani/ Ashok Singhal/ Bala Saheb Devaras/ Bal Thackeray/ A.B. Vajpayee/ Savarkar/ Baikunnth Lal Sharma “Prem”/ Balraj Madhok/ The Shankaracharya of Puri, Niranjan Dev Theerth/ Rama Gopalan/ Variyar – Vishwan Hindu Parishad/ Dharmalinga Nadar/ Cho Ramaswamy

    September 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Cleanup Philly

      And Indians would care why?

      September 13, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  21. d0nj3nko

    This was an Israeli mossad job, they either did it themselves or used paid puppets! Thats the truth, it is netanyahu retalliating. God bless us all.

    September 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • bspurloc

      Israel is trying HARD to make US their military arm. we r not to shed AMERICAN blood for Israel....I dont care how many politicians Israel infiltrates...... Lieberman included...

      September 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • Taskmaster

      Israel doesn't need anyone for their military arm! They have alreadt kicked the living crap out of 7 muslim sand piles in 6 days and with no help from anyone. As amatter of FACT if it had not been for the U.S. and the U.N. the Star of david would be flying over the whole middle east right now. The next time they are attacked I don't thik they will stop until the job is completed.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Reply
    • Cleanup Philly

      That is pure jibberish. This is Fubarack messing up, causing his own State Dept. to stand down from threats because they refuse to be honest about the threat extent of radical Islam.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Reply

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