By Barbara Starr
U.S. intelligence and the Pentagon have begun assembling preliminary information about potential targets and militant personnel in Libya that could be struck if President Barack Obama ordered such action.
A senior U.S. official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information, confirmed details to CNN, noting the United States would likely seek cooperation from Libya before launching any military strike.
Some of the details were first reported by the New York Times.
The stepped up effort is in response to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
U.S. intelligence has said it believes the attack was "a deliberate and organized terrorist assault carried out by extremists" affiliated or sympathetic with al Qaeda.
CNN reported previously that U.S. drones have been collecting intelligence in eastern Libya for weeks, and that American intelligence agencies are eavesdropping and intercepting suspected insurgent communications. FULL POST
By Deirdre Walsh and Gregory Wallace
The State Department's rejection of "repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi" came amid "a clear pattern of security threats" in the five months leading up to the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya, a Thursday letter from House Republicans obtained by CNN reads.
"The attack that claimed the Ambassador's life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012," the letter from Reps. Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reads.
The Republicans demanded answers to several questions and testimony at a hearing next Wednesday – the only hearing on any matter scheduled so far in the 35 days remaining until Election Day.
By Barbara Starr
A deadly assault on American forces in eastern Afghanistan over the weekend stokes fears of a disturbing new form of "insider attack" - an assault on coalition forces by an Afghan military unit rather than a lone attacker.
U.S. forces apparently took fire on Saturday from several Afghan troops shooting at them from several directions, according to a U.S. military official familiar with initial results of the investigation.
NATO and Afghan officials investigating the Wardak province assault are expected to make their findings public soon, maybe as early as Wednesday, the official said.