January 17th, 2013
05:07 PM ET

In wake of Benghazi, U.S. limiting remarks on Algeria attack

By Barbara Starr

The post-Benghazi controversy over who was responsible for that attack in Libya is now reaching into internal Obama administration deliberations over how much to say about the terrorist attack in Algeria.

U.S. officials, including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, were quick to call the kidnapping a terrorist attack, but the administration has resisted discussing details about what elements are directly involved.

A senior U.S. official with direct knowledge of the latest intelligence tells CNN that although "intelligence is streaming in" from Algeria, the administration will not come to a firm conclusion what specific elements of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb are responsible until it has a higher level of certainty than currently exists.

Just how gun-shy is the U.S. intelligence community about stating its conclusions on Algeria?

"The intelligence is uncertain until we build a level of confidence that allows us to say all indications are it's a particular group," the official said. "We are pretty certain we know who is responsible, but there are still streams of intelligence that conflict with what we know."

After the attack in Benghazi, the administration was skewered for avoiding blaming terrorists. Part of the hesitation came from the intelligence community, which initially said public discussion of the event should be limited to a belief that the attack came spontaneously after a protest over an anti-Muslim film. Only more than a week later did the intelligence community feel confident in the connections to terrorism.

While several U.S. officials have emphasized how sketchy information has been in the initial hours following the attack on Wednesday, the senior U.S. official said intelligence has continued to be developed and assessed from all sources. The United States is analyzing video claims by militants working closely with the Algerians, monitoring media reports, and assessing imagery and signals such as cell phone calls from satellites and drones flying overhead.

"There is a great effort to collect all we can," the source said. He also noted that some of the intelligence collected early on had resulted in other leads.

The Benghazi controversy also had again raised the question of what intelligence the U.S. might have had in advance about the threat against the BP compound in Algeria.

The official noted that the U.S. government might not be aware of specific threats against a particular commercial facility, but at this time there is not a final answer on that question.

soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Jones sabo owner is in fact upwards of annoyingly

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    April 23, 2013 at 3:13 am | Reply
  2. bonjourno

    in the awake of the events that are unfolding around the world related to the safety of AMERICANS i believe the military thats being replaced by the administration is because we may have a traitor or two who gives out information to our allies/ CHRIS STEVANS LIFE WAS TAKEN BECAUSE HE KNEW TOO MUCH/WOULENT IT BE GREAT IF BEFORE THEY KILLF HIM HE GOT THE INFORMATION OF ALL WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE RIGHT HANDS AND THEY PRINTED IT FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE THAT WILL CHANGE THINGS A LITTLE BIT

    January 23, 2013 at 12:15 am | Reply
  3. Khagaraj Sommu

    The main problem here is the Obama administration has been persistently creating the impression that it has more or less resolved the threat of Islamist terrorism as such by the assassination of Osama bin Laden and the elimination of some top Al Qaeda leaders.So,the administration is reluctant to acknowledge any terrorist incidents like Benghazi and Algeria.It just looks the other way and expects all of us to do the same.

    January 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  4. Chola Bowl

    As you will recall, India was initially broken into pieces by Arabs, Afghanis, Persians, Pakistanis, and lately by Chinese and so on. And rest assured that is not the end. India is mired in poverty and has a suppressive regime with respect to minorities. Substantial aid by the world over the years to India has failed to reverse the downward trends. We can now confirm that India has become unmanageable. If it is not imploded in a controlled manner we are afraid China will chew it up and spit it out.

    January 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  5. Duke of Deradun

    I continue to read with interest the thesis presented on CNN that India is “Too Big To Succeed” in a socio-politico context. Although experts use this in an economic sense, its geo-political connotations are indeed powerful. Empowering subjugated minorities in India by splitting it into smaller states would trigger uber economic demand for western nations who have given so much financial and technology aid to India with no return to show for the investment. I concur with this approach and find the premise to be on solid footing. Central Asian States (CAS) are a case in point on this successful approach. We need to understand that India has an unmanageable large population mired in poverty and we are spinning our wheels trying to feed it. It is also too big of a geographical unit to govern and for democracy to take traction.

    January 20, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  6. Joy Bangla

    We continue to be of the opinion that India is a zero sum event in history and that a break up of sorts is the optimum way to maximize its potential for the people. The current events in India reinforce our belief that the inevitable implosion of India has begun and the beginning of the end state is upon us. Whether that will be nirvana that most of us believe it will, is yet to be seen. But this we will say. This defragmentation of India will unleash boundless opportunities and uber economic demand that will be beneficial to US and Europe and help pull them out of current recessionary malaise. We pray for the events to unfold peacefully and in a harmonious manner for the people of India and its neighbors.

    January 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • Calamari

      The problem with India is that is built on a system of cultural and societal values based on Hinduism which is a cult. Nations built on a cult seldom survive in the long run.

      January 20, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  7. Araminta Ross

    This was not a terrorist attack. Nor was it the result of B grade video. This was merely a celebration to commemorate
    Obama's upcoming inauguration. The Algerian Ball. And the only reason why more details were not released is because Sec. Gates shook Tom Donilans teeth out over the OBL raid and he still hasn't recovered.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:09 am | Reply
  8. Chutzpah

    Always love reading the displays of vileness, ignorance and gullibility from Americans who are (check yourself!) growing tails back even as they type their gibbering nonsense.

    January 18, 2013 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • Bibi the man

      @ chutzpah . . . boy, we israelis are so smart and we have big sets of balls . . . we sure do.

      We laugh at you dumb goyim . . . .LOL . . . there is nothing better than stu-pud Americans who love to suck authority.

      Ain't that right chutzpah . . . .boy we're sure loving it, especially when these dumb cattle-like Americans send up their money.

      We are the isralies and we are smarter than dumb Americans who are our slaves.

      Yipppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

      January 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  9. jack 2

    Go ahead and lie again Obama, your liberals socialist flock gave you a free pass to lie on benghazi.

    January 18, 2013 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • GOP = American Taliban

      Eh, regarding, Algeria, exactly what lie would that be?

      January 18, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • Chutzpah

      jack... a55

      January 18, 2013 at 11:47 am | Reply
  10. jack 2

    Who would belive Obama and his administration anyway after he lied to us all about Benghazi. I know his sheep will allow him to lie but the normal person won't.

    January 18, 2013 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • BigShiz

      I bet you didn't say nothing when bush lied about weapons of mass destruction and got us in a war that costed over 4 trillion and 6000 life's. Coward

      January 18, 2013 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • Ratherbboating

        As I recall most Democrats and Republicans had reason to believe that he had WMD. He had used them before against the Iranians.
        And most everybody in Congress voted to go ahead with the war. Did you ever hear of The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 that Congress passed?
        "Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix remarked in January 2003 that "Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance—not even today—of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace." Among other things he noted that 1,000 short tons (910 t) of chemical agent were unaccounted for, information on Iraq's VX nerve agent program was missing, and that "no convincing evidence" was presented for the destruction of 8,500 litres (1,900 imp gal; 2,200 US gal) of anthrax that had been declared.["
        It is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback.

        January 18, 2013 at 11:38 am |
      • BigShiz

        Not Paul Wellstone- and they killed him for it.

        January 18, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • MommaG

      ...and the lies regarding WMDs? You were good with that? How many lives and how many billions did that one cost us?

      January 18, 2013 at 11:18 am | Reply
      • BigShiz

        Trillions and thousands of lives mamma, if you have something to say to me than leave it on my comment. By the way check G.H.W. bush.

        January 18, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • TG

      YES, we should impeach,hang i say, that lowlife who refused to send enough Marine guards to protect all those Marines in Beirut causing the death of 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers.
      OOPS.....uh, that was St. RONALD of REAGAN..........sry, my bad......move along now, nothing to see here.

      thank GOD dubya protected us from all those terrorist peeps,, AFTER 9-11...duh.
      ( not to mention the Americans who died in IRAQ to protect us from those imaginary wmd's,,,that was a world class lie ! )

      Things happen we can't predict, hindsight is always 20-20.

      January 18, 2013 at 11:37 am | Reply
  11. Bob Ramos

    I do not blame the CIA for not giving out details at this time. First, of all whatever the CIA tells us will get to the bad guys in real time and second, last time too many amateur pols had a field day when some facts did not jibe.

    January 18, 2013 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Bibi the man

      I just love dumb americans like bobbie ramos. Stay stu-pud and keep sending us your money.

      Some people's kids . . . LOL!

      Yep, we like our goyim slaves dumber than dumb.

      Remember dummies . . . believe whatever we tell you and don't question what we do. We are smarter than you.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:52 am | Reply
      • david

        Said a fake Israeli trying to stir the pot.

        January 18, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  12. Hussein O

    Obama still is clueless on Benghazi and no bought clueless about Algeria. Obama doesn't want to be interrupted while he watches Sponge Bob.

    January 18, 2013 at 10:30 am | Reply
    • SilverBack

      After reading your stupid post, it sounds like your still learning from sponge bob. Go back to watch TV.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Jim Heath

      Hussein, you are certainly being to kind to Obama, he is using the illusion of being clueless to push his agenda to destroy this country.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:58 am | Reply
  13. Rick

    Going to burn a koran in celebration, oh its so warm.

    January 18, 2013 at 10:27 am | Reply
  14. Reagan80

    Exactly what happened isn't known yet. But, George Bush appears to have been at fault. President Obama will furnish details on Bush's culpability later.

    January 18, 2013 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • BigShiz

      Actually It's Reagan's falt,if he would have took out gadaffi like he should have the extremists would have never got a grip in Libya and then gone into Mali.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:23 am | Reply
      • Reagan80

        Good point. But, I'm sure that will come out when the blue ribbon commission of Eric Holder, Colin Powell, and Chelsea Clinton finish their investigation.

        January 18, 2013 at 10:34 am |
      • Dave

        Actually it's Clinton's fault for lobbing the crusie missles at them, which did little damage and only peaved them off, when he was in office. We did more damage to ourselves as they cost over a million dollars each just to blow a hole in the sand, than we did to them. Stupicity of our Washington leaders.

        January 18, 2013 at 10:41 am |
      • BigShiz

        Don't think it matters when the tea party is getting ready to default us on our debt. Wars over sea's dont mean sh it when your country is trying to not crash.

        January 18, 2013 at 10:42 am |
      • Bibi the man

        Reagan, Bobbie and bigshiz work for us . . .we zine-0-ists are way to smart for you stupid americans.

        LOL

        Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

        January 18, 2013 at 10:53 am |
      • BigShiz

        Bibi,I thought it was a sin to be Muslim and gay. Your family must be very proud of you.

        January 18, 2013 at 11:08 am |
  15. Jeb

    "Mr. President, we've got to work fast or they'll figure out these terrorist attacks are a direct result of our meddling in Libya, Egypt, and Syria!" "Don't worry Leon. We'll just confiscate some guns from honest, law-abiding Americans and declare victory for freedom. Works every time."

    January 18, 2013 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • BigShiz

      Why dont we just do nothing about people getting guns at gun shows without background checks or 30 round clips that are for nothing but killing high numbers of human beings. So are children can keep getting massacred so you can shoot assault rifles.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:17 am | Reply
      • demovsemperor

        You are right that's exactly how we feel and you gun-grabbers are oh so right. How hard should I laugh at you?

        January 18, 2013 at 10:37 am |
      • Dave

        I like those large clips for shooting birds on the wing. I can take a while flockin group of them down without the use of a shotgun.

        January 18, 2013 at 10:43 am |
      • BigShiz

        No ones grabbing your guns. We just want to make it safe for our kids. It's a proven fact gun control works and it is our duty to make sure these mass murders that are commen place stop.

        January 18, 2013 at 10:51 am |
      • dmb

        Bigshiz, do you have any "facts" to back up your "proven fact" that gun control reduces violence. Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the nation, and there were 506 gun murders in 2012. Give us some statistics that prove how only letting the criminals have guns makes us all safer.

        January 20, 2013 at 9:04 am |
  16. iski

    Jim you may be right on the arrogance have you listened to the new emperors DEMANDS of congress.

    This country is one of checks and balances not edits from a emperor. How many executives orders has this guy put forth, wait but it is the congresses fault--leadership?????

    January 18, 2013 at 9:58 am | Reply
    • BigShiz

      Bush put out way more executive orders than anyone. Your just mad cuz the prez is black like your wife's boyfriend.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:08 am | Reply
      • demovsemperor

        The president was white, I thought, doesn't he have a white mother and grandmother? He sure fooled the libs and blacks though.

        January 18, 2013 at 10:38 am |
      • BigShiz

        Being mixed makes you black. It's racist fools like you that made it that way.

        January 18, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Dave

      The all time high on executive orders was FDR.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • MommaG

      Obama – 144 (in 4 yrs.) I think this number is prior to the most recent regarding gun control
      Bush GW – 291 (in 8 yrs.)
      Clinton – 364 (in 8 yrs.)

      FDR actually has the honor of penning the most at 3,522 over 12 years.

      You can do your own research – there's this website called Goggle, you should give it a try. However, please use caution when selecting your source(s), there is a lot of bogus information out there. Stick to .gov sites for the most accurate info.

      Seek knowledge before you form an opinion and make public statements. It's statements like your's that make American's seem ignorant in the eyes of the world!

      January 18, 2013 at 11:04 am | Reply
      • BigShiz

        G.H.W.

        January 18, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  17. Libertarian_First

    In wake of Benghazi, U.S. limiting remarks on Algeria attack

    It was that video!!

    That damn YouTube video!!

    ::eye roll::

    January 18, 2013 at 9:24 am | Reply
  18. Willie12345

    Everyone knows it was the internet video that triggered this action by otherwise peace loving protesters. Another flower blooming forth as part of Obama's Arab Spring.

    January 18, 2013 at 8:32 am | Reply
  19. Buster

    Well, it was a video that set off Benghazi, or something like that. I forget. Maybe it was a cartoon, or the fact that there's still at least one Jew living, or somebody burned a Koran once, or because of the Crusades, or somebody said something once that could have possibly been interpreted as an insult a few hundred years ago. I forget. Whatever it is, I'm sure the hostage takers have a good reason to be mad and we should respect where they're coming from.

    January 18, 2013 at 8:28 am | Reply
  20. Lola

    I knew that Benghazi would be the last thing we would hear about. We will hear almost nothing about Algeria and the next act of terrorism will not be covered at all. Thanks Obama for ruining this country completely.

    January 18, 2013 at 8:28 am | Reply
  21. empresstrudy

    Who cares? The new US policy is "You're on your own, don't complain to us about it."

    January 18, 2013 at 8:06 am | Reply
  22. jim

    It's real sad people can't hold a discussion without trying to be an expert or blaming the president. I starting to beleive us americans are becoming more and more arrogant by the day.

    January 18, 2013 at 8:05 am | Reply
    • Lori

      it's called Karma, that's biting the prez's but.
      He's the one on 9.11 who wanted to censor film-makers b/c Al Qaida raped our ambassador.
      It's on Cairo's Embassy web-site.
      And you don't want to talk about it, nor do you want others to talk about it, by labeling it "sad".
      Must be an censor yourself.
      Watch out for Karma.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:43 am | Reply
      • Lori

        9/11/12

        The Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement.
        Condemns the continuing effors by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.
        We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

        – (Cairo US Embassy's web site,9.11.12).

        You won't find that little fact on CNN either.

        January 18, 2013 at 8:51 am |
      • Lori

        after the US post that statement on our embassy's web site, I post a pic of the statement on fb.
        fb turns around and issues a "Certificate to ensure the identy of (my) a remote computer.
        His SS gathering whose posting what on fb.
        SS – THE ONES YOU CANNOT NO LONGER KNOWINGLY PROTEST IN THE PRESENCE OF, AT THE RISK OF SERVING 10 YEARS.

        January 18, 2013 at 9:11 am |
      • Dave

        Well you got to think of it this way, it was probalby the first human to human experience for the rapists. They usually use donkey's.

        January 18, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Paul

      What what it, within 24 hours of the Benghazi attack Obama was off to Las Vegas for a fund raiser? yep, he was truly in charge. And it took the intelligence community a week to figure out it might have been terrorists? I am pretty sure there was someone watching the attack real time in DC who knew what was going on in real time. And then Obama says we will get these guys. Sure, Obama can't talk to his opposition, goes on road trips a few days each week to tell us how great he is and how disgusting his opposition is. What a great man we have in Obama.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
    • iski

      Jim it seems this administration is getting better at intelligence after the embassy in libya with the security of a chicken coup.

      January 18, 2013 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • demovsemperor

      No, just the liberals and Lord Obama are arrogant, the rest of us are trying to get by their BS.

      January 18, 2013 at 10:40 am | Reply
  23. javaman

    Choom gang will need to take a couple of extra tokes to start this day...

    January 18, 2013 at 7:28 am | Reply
  24. Claire

    The intelligence community didn't realize that the Bengazi attack was of terrorist origin?? Please, Ms Starr, give the CIA a little more credit. Are you confusing the intelligence community with the State Department?

    January 18, 2013 at 7:12 am | Reply
    • Youcef

      I don't know where some folks are getting their news Claire.... Suddenly every one have become a cia expert ... I would like to know where they ae getting their news or " intelligence" from

      January 18, 2013 at 7:37 am | Reply
      • jack 2

        Look, Youcef or Joseph what ever Arab name you have. You don't have to be CIA to know someone lied to you especially when they lied so badley.

        January 18, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  25. DRinNC

    So we have Americans kidnapped and held hostage by terrorists and the story once again is about how this will effect Obama. Now that's a sad state of affairs.

    January 18, 2013 at 6:53 am | Reply
  26. mimi jacques

    Psst -don't tell Obama -but the rest of the world knows who is responsible for the Amenas,Algeria terrorist attack. Well-planned before any sniff of Mali- the DEAD tell Obama who they were .The Mokhtar Belmokhtar Brigades to boot (they are on YouTube too and no US condemnation yet either). The dead terrorists; 2 Algerians (including the Leader of the attack Tahar Ben Cheneb)- 3 EGYPTIANS (Jama'al al-Islamiya- ther al-Zawahiri old friend released by MB Pres.Morsy)-2 Tunisians- 1 Malian- 1 French (French Algerian)-2 LIBYANS (the LIFG ).There are 22 foreigners still unaccounted for and skirmoishes with pockets of terror fighters still continue. Time to put the Rubic's cube away from US Embassuy tweets when terror attack is happening should be Rule No.1 fore US/State

    January 18, 2013 at 6:34 am | Reply
    • Youcef

      Mr mimi jacques as you call yourself ... We would appreciate it if you also tell us which stupide chanel you are getting your intelligence since US intelligence community is not relable according to you

      January 18, 2013 at 7:33 am | Reply
  27. Bellapelosi

    Good morning, where are all the welfare queen, freeloading, fudge packing dumbocrats this morning. Working on another set of lies and spending packages?

    January 18, 2013 at 6:29 am | Reply
    • anarchist

      All waiting for you to bl@w them

      January 18, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
  28. Steve- Illinois

    They are keeping quiet because they still haven't found some obscure movie to blame it on. But...as soon as they do....there'll be a press conference!

    January 18, 2013 at 6:22 am | Reply
  29. demovsemperor

    The Americans in Algeria mean nothing to Lord Obama just like the 4 dead Americans in Benghazi. As long as he does his little "dog and pony" show with his little kids backdrop he is just fine. After he has his little gun-grabbing agenda to pursue.

    January 18, 2013 at 5:53 am | Reply
  30. krm1007 ©™

    Algerian and Nigerians steal credit card IDs to make living, but muslims become terrorists to make living. I am ashamed to be a muslim.

    January 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Reply
    • Bibi Your Master

      Okay . . . sometimes I hate myself because I am ashamed to be a zine-0-ist from israel . . . but I get over it real fast and then I go out and beat up a few palis just for fun. It helps my blood flow . . . yeah, I sometimes feel creepy but that's just the way we are in israel, so don't be too hard on yourself krm1007. We all have our cross to bear . . . come to think of it, if it wasn't for us, Jesus wouldn't have had to carry that cross and the saying, we all have our own cross to bear wouldn't be able to use it . . . .oh well, yeah just suck it up.

      Yippppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee . . . .we are the zine-0-ists and we rule the world!

      January 17, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Reply
      • Chooch0253

        You are not even of the Jewish faith. You just like to start trouble and are looking for attention like a simple minded child. Nobody is impressed.

        January 18, 2013 at 5:40 am |
      • stan

        ooooooooooo Mr stupidity once again posts an anti israel post on an unrelated article. desperation rules in his muslim/ palestinian household as Mr stupidity chants his palestinian mantra: "woe is me, woe is me, everyone but us is the cause of our misery".

        January 18, 2013 at 7:17 am |
      • Youcef

        You r nothing but an idiot and sometimes even idiots have more sense then what you just said.... With your little birdy brain I guess you deserve to be a zioniste.

        January 18, 2013 at 7:41 am |
  31. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos.

    January 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply

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