Susan Rice: No regrets on Benghazi involvement
February 23rd, 2014
03:43 PM ET

Susan Rice: No regrets on Benghazi involvement

By Chloe Sommers

In her first Sunday talk show appearance since her use of Benghazi “talking points” set off a political firestorm in 2012, National Security Adviser Susan Rice was asked point-blank whether she has any regrets about her involvement in informing the public of developments regarding the violence before, during and after the attacks on a U.S. post in Libya.

"No," Rice bluntly told David Gregory on NBC's "Meet The Press.”

He noted that many believe the controversy over the accuracy of Rice's talking points cost her a chance at becoming secretary of state.

“This information I provided, which I explained to you, which was what we had at the moment, it could change,” Rice said. “I commented this was based on what we knew on that morning was provided to me and my colleagues and Congress, by the intelligence community, and that's been well validated in many ways since.

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Filed under: Benghazi • Susan Rice
Military strike in Somalia targeted Al-Shabaab leader, U.S. officials say
January 28th, 2014
03:13 PM ET

Military strike in Somalia targeted Al-Shabaab leader, U.S. officials say

By Barbara Starr

A U.S. military strike in southern Somalia Sunday was targeting Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of Al-Shabaab, the Somali-based group with ties to al Qaeda, according to three US officials.

A drone operated by the U.S. Defense Department fired a Hellfire missile at a vehicle killing those inside, the officials said. But as of Tuesday, the Pentagon was unable to confirm whether Godane was killed, although he was the intended target.

The military was authorized to try to kill Godane because of current intelligence indicating he posed an "imminent threat" against U.S. interests in the region, one official said.

"We have to be able to prove he was in the process of planning additional attacks," the official said. The official would not elaborate on what the intelligence might be.

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U.S. points to group led by Guantanamo detainee in Benghazi attack
January 9th, 2014
12:23 AM ET

U.S. points to group led by Guantanamo detainee in Benghazi attack

By Elise Labott

The State Department will soon designate a militia led by a former Guantanamo Bay detainee as a terrorist group and connect it to the deadly 2012 Benghazi attack, U.S. officials familiar with the decision told CNN.

Officials said militants under the command Sufian bin Qumu took part in the armed assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Qumu is the leader of the group Ansar al-Sharia in the eastern Libyan city of Darnah, one of several militias believed to be responsible for the attack.

The group also has branches in Benghazi and Libya. Officials said the State Department is expected to designate all three branches as foreign terrorist organizations in coming days. FULL POST

Kenyan mall attack shows low cost and ease of a terror attack
Smoke rises from Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall during September's attack
December 10th, 2013
08:01 PM ET

Kenyan mall attack shows low cost and ease of a terror attack

CNN's Evan Pérez and Shimon Prokupecz

The terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, cost as little as a couple thousand dollars to pull off, according U.S. law enforcement sources.

Far from the portrayal of a sophisticated attack in the weeks after the September attacks that killed 67 and wounded 200, U.S. officials say the attack was relatively simple and cheap. Authorities believe the attackers were affiliated or inspired by Al-Shabaab, the Islamist terror group based in Somalia.

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Peacekeeping mission steps up in CAR
December 9th, 2013
01:24 PM ET

U.S. military aircraft to aid Central African Republic mission

By CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr

American military aircraft will fly African and European peacekeepers to the Central African Republic, which is in the midst of a bloody internal conflict between various proclaimed Christian and Muslim militias and other rebel factions.

The decision announced the Pentagon was followed by a statement from President Barack Obama, who called on the country's citizens to reject violence and urged the transitional government to join "respected leaders" in Muslim and Christian communities in calling for "calm and peace."

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December 6th, 2013
07:53 PM ET

Slain American teacher in Libya devoted to his faith

Ronnie Smith believed in three things: teaching, Libya and Jesus Christ.

The 33-year-old educator from Austin, Texas, was gunned down Thursday as he went on a morning jog outside his home in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

No one has claimed responsibility for the slaying. Libyan authorities have pledged to investigate the killing, the latest in a series of assassinations in some Libyan cities. There have been near-daily targeted killings in Benghazi and Derna, with the victims mainly security forces, activists and members of the judiciary.

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December 5th, 2013
08:27 PM ET

Analysis: Pro al Qaeda militants seen as lead suspects in American teacher’s death

By CNN's Paul Cruickshank and Nic Robertson

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the shooting death of American teacher Ronnie Smith on a morning jog in Benghazi Thursday, but a leading Libyan terrorism analyst believes it was most likely the work of groups linked or sympathetic to al Qaeda.

Libya’s Interior Ministry said four unidentified assailants in a black Jeep opened fire on Smith, killing him instantly.

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December 5th, 2013
03:08 PM ET

American teacher slain in Libya

By Elise Labott

American teacher Ronnie Smith has been shot and killed in Benghazi, according to the Facebook page of the international school in Libya where he worked.

The U.S. State Department confirmed the killing, and identified the educator as Ronald Thomas Smith II.

"The untimely death of Ronnie Smith has been felt by the whole school community," the International School Benghazi posted on its Facebook page. "He was a much loved teacher who supported students in their learning and always had time to help when asked. Ronnie was a professional who gave his time freely and without question. We do not understand why this has happened and it is extremely difficult for his students and his colleagues to accept."

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November 17th, 2013
11:18 AM ET

Commander: U.S. to help train Libyan forces

By CNN's Barbara Starr and Joe Sterling

Libya and its fledgling security forces, overwhelmed by militia violence and unrest since the overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi two years ago, are going to get some help from the U.S. military, a top American commander said.

Adm. William McRaven, head of the U.S. Special Operations Command, said Saturday the United States will train 5,000 to 7,000 conventional troops as well as counterterrorism forces.

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U.S. offers up to $10 million reward over Benghazi
November 15th, 2013
02:58 PM ET

U.S. offers up to $10 million reward over Benghazi

By Jamie Crawford

The United States has a reward of up to $10 million on the table for information leading to the arrest of anyone involved in the deadly terror attack last year on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, the State Department disclosed for the first time on Friday.

While U.S. authorities have filed charges in the case, no one has been arrested, prompting outrage in Congress.

Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack by armed militants in September 2012.

The reward has been in effect since January but never publicized.
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