September 26th, 2012
09:32 PM ET

Sources: 15 days after Benghazi attack, FBI still not on the scene

More than two weeks after four Americans - including the U.S. ambassador to Libya - were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, FBI agents have not yet been granted access to investigate in the eastern Libyan city, and the crime scene has not been secured, sources said.

"They've gotten as far as Tripoli now, but they've never gotten to Benghazi," CNN National Security Analyst Fran Townsend said Wednesday, citing senior law enforcement officials.
Last Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that an FBI team had reached Libya earlier in the week.

"In fairness to the secretary, it may be that she wanted to be coy about where they were in Libya for security concerns. That's understandable. But the fact is, it's not clear they've been in Libya for very long," Townsend said on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°."

"They had difficulty, and we understand there was some bureaucratic infighting between the FBI and Justice Department on the one hand, and the State Department on the other, and so it took them longer than they would have liked to get into country. They've now gotten there. But they still are unable to get permission to go to Benghazi."
FBI agents have made a request through the U.S. State Department for the crime scene to be secured, Townsend said, but that has not happened.

"The senior law enforcement official I spoke to said, 'If we get there now, it's not clear that it will be of any use to us,'" Townsend said.

The FBI team has conducted interviews of State Department and U.S. government personnel who were in Libya at the time of the attack, Townsend said, but the FBI's request to directly question individuals who Libyan authorities have in custody was denied.

U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was one of four Americans slain in the September 11 assault, when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi came under attack amid a large protest about a U.S.-made film that mocked the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.

Speaking to reporters last Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the assault was a "terrorist attack."

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Filed under: Security Brief
soundoff (55 Responses)
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  3. RF Burns

    At this point, not sure what the purpose of their visit would be. The administration has repeatedly stated it was a demonstration that got out of hand to protest the stupid anti-muslim video. However, additional evidence has indicated otherwise and the media has buried it now.

    September 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  4. bill

    fOR DAYS ON END THE NEWS MEDIA FOLLOWED THE ADMINISTRATIONS LEAD ON BENGHAZI, blaming it on the video.Now the cats out of the bag & atleast to cnn,s credit they are back tracking so not to be left with no credibility & doing their journalistic jobs.The media needs to return to reporting instead of shaping the news towards there particalar bias.
    "There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press": Mark Twain

    September 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  5. dscon

    damn that bush...............i tell you as long as Obama is in office, bush will never let him accomplish anything? ;)

    September 29, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  6. fillmein

    This seems to be a point of...ignorance. This was NOT an attack on a US embassy.
    Someone here stated (not proven) that there is not even a consulate listed in Benghazi. In any event, this is not FBI territory and to let them "roam" around Benghazi is to invite for disaster. The US is not liked, nor welcome in that area, too many factions/militias who have been left out of the government.

    September 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • dscon

      someone said, not proven..............
      the only grey matter you have between your ears is the grey mold growing on that tE rd
      in your head

      September 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Reply
    • kmwittig

      All you have to do is get on the internet and go to the US State Department website and you will find where we have consulates. Or, you can go to other websites and find that we had a consulate in Benghazi.

      September 30, 2012 at 8:20 am | Reply
  7. Abu Alabed

    The mastermind is Abu Anas al Libi. Who do I contact to enlist to help capture him. As an Arab Muslim American I maybe able to get to him...

    September 28, 2012 at 5:55 am | Reply
  8. Terry Brookman

    The CIA won't let them in.

    September 28, 2012 at 12:03 am | Reply
  9. eddie2010

    Yeah there's a little thing called "jurisdiction".

    September 27, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  10. Denmond

    The ignorance displayed is astounding at times...

    I suggest folks who don't have clue about why the FBI is involved, watch a movie called The Kingdom, with Jaimie Foxx. While it's a work of fiction, it does explain why the FBI has jurisdiction. Plus you may learn a thing or two about the Middle East.

    September 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • Liberace; America's Greatest American

      Anyone stupid enough to consider anything coming out of Hollywood to be of any factual merit, deserves nothing less than scorn and ridicule.

      "Ignorance" is right.

      September 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
      • m123

        Yes, The Kingdom is a good movie.
        Pure entertainment.
        Unfortunately, many Americans are gullible enough to believe anything.
        Sad when the truth is no longer admired, only those who can lie enough to get their point the most attention are admired.

        September 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • m123

      The FBI is anxious to begin their cover up.
      Funny how it's too dangerous for armed FBI agents, yet no armed Marine security forces were on duty to protect our ambassador
      This is either criminal negligence, or plain ignorance.
      Either way, Clinton and Obama have more blood on their hands.
      Good job, NOT

      September 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  11. Pnm9pnm

    Thay all ready know who did it an what went on after we know about the cover up this is going gust as plans jihad attack of all can do you no Justus we know who an why so give up mow an we mean MOW.PNM.

    September 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  12. Pnm9pnm

    Don't be so shore about that one you don't know the fed,s that well if you think that's true.pnm.

    September 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  13. Liberace; America's Greatest American

    Never fear, America – the F*****g Bungling Incompetents are on the job.

    September 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  14. w l jones

    The question one should ask when we have a simple case of batter in this country between a group of people how long it take the police to get to the bottom of it before they make a complete report on what happen. Bless.

    September 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  15. Cadiz

    It seems very obvious from these facts that the Obama administration does not want any real investigation of this event. They know it will show their version of the story is completely wrong and don't want their credibility to be further destroyed prior to the election.

    September 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • where_is_jimmy_hoffa

      Actually, the problem here is this administration has made a policy decision to allow Afg to make some determinations on their own. It's a self-determination step in the process to allow our troops to leave. Painful, to be sure. Will cause more American deaths too.

      September 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  16. Cruddy

    I never knew the FBI had jurisdiction overseas. Seems like the CIA would be heading this.

    September 27, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • Cadiz

      CIA personnel are not trained crime investigators, FBI are. Let the adults work please.

      September 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
      • Maya

        aye? Should I even bother clearing that up for you? You might wanna do some reading about the CIA.

        September 28, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • pimplebuster

      do you even know what the CIA does compared to the FBI? Man sometimes i wish i wasn't a f';;; american, some ...f;;; that...MOST of you embarass me with you lack of intelligence

      September 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Maya

      The FBI has over 50 field offices overseas, and yes, they do have jurisdiction to investigate crimes against the US. CIA is more or less an Intelligence agency; their primary duty is gathering intel.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:28 am | Reply
  17. Treasury Department

    It seems their departure has been delayed until the best airfare ticket on travelocity can be booked and hopefully it can be booked before peek season in December.

    September 27, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
  18. dKJ

    Cuz they did it..

    September 27, 2012 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • Cadiz

      Brain dead comment.

      September 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  19. Brad

    Take a breath folks...only on CSI TV shows do things get solved in an hour. The CIA would seem a more likely investigating body outside the country, not the FBI. And there are more ways to look into matters besides those 2 units. The area is still pretty hot, what with the Benghazi-ites trying to throw rebel groups out of the city and area. To think the investigating agencies would get on TV and tell everyone what exactly is going on is pretty naive to the actual workings of actual agencies. This isn't television.This is real and we don't have a need to know yet.

    September 27, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
    • Catamount

      This is reminiscent of President Clinton's "We'll investigate and bring them to justice" paradigm in the 1990s, responding to assaults by radical extremists reactively as law enforcement instead of proactively as a war. How'd that work out? Hint: September 9-11. Bumbling Barack has created an Al Qaeda state in Libya, the Islamic Brotherhood is installed in Egypt, and the salafists are sweeping the Arab world. Complete foreign policy failure.

      September 27, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
      • Ranger830

        Over twenty years in the military and I can say one thing for sure! You dont know squat!!! Blame Obama all you like you tool. Cuz georgie boy handled things so well and the Republitard know it alls are gonna save us all and bring peace and stability to world! Right? Hurry back to mindnumbing fox news now you dont Want To miss your daily dose of propaganda! Before you start I have seven combat tours under my belt, so I think I speek for the point of been there done that and got the scars to proove it! RLTW. Obama has done the only right thing,and thats tryin to get us all the hell out of that godforsaken place. Cuz theres just no fixin stupid! So take your Obama bashing and shove it!!!

        September 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  20. Portland tony

    So what's the FBI gonna do? Round up all the usual suspects. I think the Libyans have already done this...and I'm sure the Libyan government has their ways of questioning suspects that we don't want to know about!

    September 27, 2012 at 9:15 am | Reply
    • simon

      All they have to do is swing by the CIA office to find the perp. Its the one with the RPG dust on his hands. Oh BTW Fran , how are those MEK checks you'r'e getting ? Good money huh ? Beats getting under the desk like the old days doesn't it ?

      September 27, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
  21. CNN NEEDS TO CHECK THEIR FACTS!!!

    There is no US consulate/embassy/mission in Benghazi.

    –> http://www.usembassy.GOV/ (we can even wayback this and it is not listed)

    –> http://embassy-finder.COM/in_benghazi_libya

    There are also many other links which confirm no such consulate or embassy ever existed. There is a US Embassy in Tripoli …. but that’s over 600 kilometres away from Benghazi. But how can that be? I mean, that’s where the mainstream media tell us the attack and heinous murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens (who is reported to have died from smoke inhalation) and 3 American Navy Seals, took place yes?

    September 27, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
  22. John D Lamb

    Comments please .....

    September 27, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
  23. YourRope

    Well, I am very sorry. As much as I hate muslim extremism. As much as I want hate-mongering imams out of my country. What right does the FBI have, to be anywhere in Libya but on the premises of the US embassy? It is exactly this arrogance that drives the smoke out of ears, world wide. You have no special rights to start an inquisition in another country. You may cooperate with their police, max.

    September 27, 2012 at 5:07 am | Reply
    • Maya

      It was an attack on the US Embassy, so technically it's their jurisdiction. Isn't it? Of course, the host Govt. (in this case Libya) should grant permission to carry out other investigations. But then again, that's what the CIA is for.

      September 27, 2012 at 7:14 am | Reply
      • simon

        The CIA are the ones who did this attack . Everyone knows this .

        September 27, 2012 at 11:53 am |
      • Cadiz

        Simon, have you perhaps suffered from a traumatic brain injury? Did your mom perhaps drop you on your head?

        September 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Cadiz

      It is pretty obvious that you don't know what you are talking about. It was an attack on a US consulate, the equivalent of a piece of US territory. The FBI has every right and in fact a mandate to investigate. Yes, they will cooperate with the local authorities and police. Next...

      September 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Reply
      • simon

        Did they send some troops over from gitmo to torture him ?

        September 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  24. rachni

    So CNN can get to the safehouse to recover the diary of the Ambassador but the FBI still can't get there? What is going on here?

    September 27, 2012 at 1:04 am | Reply
    • dontyouknow

      lies and coverup as usual
      the usa started it so they could get people to vote
      why else would it be done right at election time when it could have been prevented with adequate security measures to begin with.
      cnn got in and the us official investigative members can not?
      yeah – right
      what side is cnn on?

      September 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  25. rachni

    What is the FBI doing in Libya in the first place? What can they possibly do, arrest terrorists? Incompetence is an understatement for this administration.

    September 27, 2012 at 1:03 am | Reply
    • Maya

      When an American is attacked in a foreign country, FBI and State Dept. can negotiate with the host Govt. to allow access into the country for investigations. Since, this was an attack on the US Embassy, it's technically their jurisdiction. They probably will run a joint pop. with CIA in Libya.

      September 27, 2012 at 7:17 am | Reply
  26. Mark

    OMG! This is Iraq all over again like after 9-11! It's become a haven for terrorists & their organizations and a hotbed for future attacks on America! We have absolutely no presence there now, and it is a worse situation than when Mumar dictated!

    September 27, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
  27. Frank

    People of the United States of America,
    Thats how good the DOJ AG and FBI Director is overseeing the investigation,2 weeks have pasted and nything of value to the investigation is probably gone.This is all a waste of time.

    September 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Reply
  28. OffTheWorldPolitics

    The administration does not want the feds to see just how bad the situation had deteriorated. They don't want bad news to get out that, yes in fact Libya might have become a stronghold for extremists... I however would LIKE TO KNOW WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON OVER THERE?? I mean, doesn't everyone?

    September 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Reply
    • B HOTRUM

      read a story at newmediajournal,us that ambassador was captured and held and tortured for 8 hours prior to murder?
      could this be true and if so, why are we not hearing about it from media?

      September 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
      • Cadiz

        Perhaps because it is a complete fabrication and the news media at least tries to be a little objective about separating fact from complete fiction?

        September 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
      • OffTheWorldPolitics

        That's a bit of a stretch considering how the attack played out. There is a video of Steven's corpse being pulled out of a consulate building, no signs of torture. He died of asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation. That does not mean that the Obama administration is any less guilty of trying to sweep it under the rug.

        September 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

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