September 14th, 2012
07:43 PM ET

In attack aftermath, disagreement over how it began

By Adam Levine

As the investigation into the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, continues, there is disagreement about whether the violence was a result of a mob gone awry, a planned terror attack or a combination of the two.

The White House said Friday there was no indication before the attack in Libya this week that something was in the works beforehand.

"We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent," presidential spokesman Jay Carney said.

The comment came as a top Libyan official and some within Congress and other aspects of the U.S. government said there are signs now that the attack on the consulate that killed the ambassador and three other Americans was not a spontaneous outgrowth of a mob angered by an anti-Muslim film.

A U.S. official told CNN's Suzanne Kelly that American intelligence was sufficiently concerned about the attention the movie was receiving online to warn the embassy in Egypt in a bulletin a few days before protesters stormed that compound in Cairo on Tuesday, the same day the consulate in Libya was attacked by armed militants.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Congress • Libya • White House
US intelligence warned embassy in Egypt of concern about anti-Muslim film
September 14th, 2012
12:40 PM ET

US intelligence warned embassy in Egypt of concern about anti-Muslim film

By Suzanne Kelly

Concerned about the reaction to an anti-Muslim film that was gaining attention online, the U.S. intelligence community sent a cable to the embassy in Egypt warning of the concern, a U.S. official told CNN. It was sent 48 hours before the protests in Cairo and Benghazi in Libya, the official said.

The cable did not discuss any specific threat, the official said. It warned instead about the existence of the movie being posted on the internet and the fact that it was gaining attention. A seven minute portion of the movie aired on an Egyptian TV talk show the weekend before the protests started, according to a Department of Homeland Security/Federal Bureau of Intelligence memo obtained by CNN on Thursday.

The cable was not sent to the embassy in Tripoli, Libya or the consulate in Benghazi. US officials have said there was no intelligence ahead of the attack in Benghazi, which intelligence officials still believe was not planned. The White House spokesman Jay Carney said Friday there was no "actionable intelligence" indicating an attack was being planned.

There are hundreds if not thousands of cables sent each day, the official said, and there was no specific threat attached to this one, because a specific threat was not known.


Filed under: Egypt • Intelligence • Libya • Middle East
Official: Four arrested in connection with attack on US consulate in Libya
The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames Tuesday, September 11.
September 14th, 2012
05:50 AM ET

Official: Four arrested in connection with attack on US consulate in Libya

By the CNN Wire Staff

Four people have been arrested in connection with the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead, the president of the parliament's top aide said Friday.

Those arrested were not directly tied to the attacks that resulted in the deaths, Monem Elyasser, the chief aide to Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur, told CNN by telephone.

The announcement came as the United States is struggling to determine whether a militant group planned the attack that killed the four Americans.

Elyasser did not release the identities of the suspects nor did he detail the allegations against the four people in custody.

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Filed under: Libya • Terrorism
September 14th, 2012
03:43 AM ET

Riot police, protesters clash outside US Embassy in Cairo

By the CNN Wire Staff

Riot police advanced on protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo shortly after dawn on Friday to quell a violent demonstration that raged through the night.

Police armed with shields and batons, backed by an armed personnel carrier, rushed a group of several hundred protesters, a move that came after U.S. President Barack Obama warned that relations with Egypt will be shaped by how the country responds to the violence.

"I don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy," Obama told Telemundo in an interview that aired Thursday night.

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Filed under: Egypt