FBI barred from making Benghazi arrests in Libya
September 18th, 2013
07:11 PM ET

FBI barred from making Benghazi arrests in Libya

By CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott

The Libyan government will not allow the FBI into Benghazi to arrest suspects for last year's deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission, a top State Department official told a House panel on Wednesday.

Federal authorities have filed charges against suspects in connection with the September 11 attack on the mission and nearby CIA annex that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

But Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said they were shocked nobody has been brought to justice.

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U.S. Marines moved closer to Libya as 9/11 anniversaries approach
September 9th, 2013
04:19 PM ET

U.S. Marines moved closer to Libya as 9/11 anniversaries approach

Scores of U.S. Marines have been moved closer to Libya this week as part of an overall effort to beef up any potential security response, CNN has learned, as the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack approaches along with the first anniversary of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Two U.S. officials told CNN that in the past few days, 250 combat-ready Marines have moved from their base in Moron, Spain, to the U.S. naval installation at Sigonella, Italy. That would enable them to reach Tripoli, the capital of Libya, in three to four hours in the event of a crisis.
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Filed under: 9/11 • Benghazi • Libya
Following Benghazi, report finds security not State Dept. priority
September 4th, 2013
04:51 PM ET

Following Benghazi, report finds security not State Dept. priority

By Elise Labott

An independent panel has found the State Department has not overall paid enough attention to oversees security for diplomatic posts and called for it to be elevated in importance, several sources familiar with the matter said.

Led by former Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, the panel was created as part of a broad inquiry of last September's deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

A separate assessment by the Accountability Review Board, established after the Benghazi attack, criticized the department for failing to provide adequate security and made 29 recommendations.

One was the creation of the latest analysis to identify "best practices" in the public and private sectors in security intelligence, risk management and accountability, all areas where problems were identified at the State Department.

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4 U.S. State employees face reassignment
The U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya following an attack on September 11, 2012
August 20th, 2013
08:35 AM ET

4 U.S. State employees face reassignment

By Jill Dougherty

Four State Department workers who were put on leave after last year's attack on a U.S. mission in Libya will be allowed to resume work, but in different positions, a senior State Department official told CNN on Tuesday.

News of the move irked U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, one of the Republicans who've pressed the State Department to punish employees for what the lawmakers say were ignored security warnings in advance of the September attack on the Benghazi mission, which left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.

"Instead of accountability, the State Department offered a charade that included false reports of firings and resignations and now ends in a game of musical chairs where no one misses a single day on the State Department payroll," Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Tuesday.

"The Oversight Committee will expand its investigation of the Benghazi terrorist attack to include how a supposed 'Accountability Review Board' investigation resulted in a decision by Secretary Kerry not to pursue any accountability from anyone," Issa added.

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First on CNN: U.S. files first criminal charges in Benghazi attack
August 6th, 2013
04:14 PM ET

First on CNN: U.S. files first criminal charges in Benghazi attack

By Evan Perez

Federal agents and prosecutors investigating the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi have filed charges against Ahmed Khattalah, leader of a Libyan militia that officials believe was involved in the assault, people briefed on the investigation said. The charges under seal are the first criminal counts to emerge from the probe.

The investigation of the attack last September 11 that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others continues, these people said, as investigators try to build their case against Khattalah and others who authorities believe were involved.

Attorney General Eric Holder had earlier this year promised congressional lawmakers the Justice Department would soon make public what actions it would take.

With the anniversary of the attack looming, the Justice Department has come under criticism for the lack of public progress in the case.

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Filed under: Benghazi • Libya
John King: Why Benghazi matters
August 6th, 2013
10:24 AM ET

John King: Why Benghazi matters

By John King

Nearly a year later, Benghazi remains a flashpoint in Washington for two very different reasons: indefensible pre-attack policy decisions and irresistible post-attack politics.

The Obama White House, from the president on down, complains of "phony" Republican-led congressional investigations. Yet the administration's own reluctant, and at times inaccurate, responses to congressional inquiries have contributed to the GOP charge that the administration, at a minimum, has been less than transparent.

"We need to get to the bottom of what happened that terrible night, why it happened, and how we can prevent similar tragedies in the future," House Speaker John Boehner said last week in serving notice the House Benghazi investigations would continue into the fall, and include new subpoenas for documents and testimony if necessary.

Erin Burnett Out Front: Benghazi attack timeline

Program note: Was there a political cover up surrounding the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans? Erin Burnett anchors a CNN special investigation: The Truth About Benghazi, Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.

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August 2nd, 2013
02:32 PM ET

Growing chatter, rising concern and post-Benghazi caution behind threat warning and embassy closures

By Barbara Starr, Jill Dougherty and Dana Bash, with reporting from Elise Labott, Evan Perez and Gloria Borger

U.S. intelligence has been tracking a growing threat against American and Western targets from al Qaeda’s affiliate organization in Yemen for the last several weeks.

But in recent days, there has been additional intelligence about a potential attack in Yemen, as well as threats against U.S. interests in the Middle East and North Africa, leading to the Obama administration’s decision to shut down U.S. embassies and warn publicly of the threat, U.S. officials tell CNN.

Based on the intelligence, officials say, there is particular concern about the U.S. Embassy in Yemen between Saturday and Tuesday. Sunday, one of the holiest days in Islam, marks the end of Ramadan, and officials say they are concerned about attacks on that day.

The threat against the U.S. Embassy in Yemen was a primary concern, but it was ambiguous and could indicate threats against other U.S. and other Western targets in the Mideast and North Africa, another U.S. official told CNN.

The officials say the threat is linked to al Qaeda, rather than emanating directly from al Qaeda’s traditional stronghold in Pakistan.

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Exclusive: Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack
August 1st, 2013
06:40 PM ET

Exclusive: Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack

CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya.

Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.

CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency's Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.

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Filed under: Benghazi • CIA • Libya
Former general: Knew early that Benghazi was terrorist attack
July 20th, 2013
07:06 AM ET

Former general: Knew early that Benghazi was terrorist attack

By Elise Labott

Editor's note: This is one in a series of stories and opinion pieces surrounding the Aspen Security Forum currently taking place in Aspen, Colorado. Security Clearance is a media sponsor of the event, which is taking place from July 17 to 20 in Aspen, Colorado.

The former head of U.S. forces in Africa said the September 11, 2012, attack on the American mission in Benghazi quickly appeared to be a terrorist attack and not a spontaneous protest.

It was clear "pretty quickly that this was not a demonstration. This was a violent attack," former Gen. Carter Ham told the Aspen Security Forum on Friday. Ham is the former chief of U.S. Africa Command, commonly known as AFRICOM.

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From Benghazi to Boston: The state of the jihad
July 16th, 2013
12:58 PM ET

From Benghazi to Boston: The state of the jihad

By Peter Bergen

Editor's note: This is one in a series of stories and opinion pieces previewing the upcoming Aspen Security Forum. Security Clearance is a media sponsor of the event, which is taking place from July 17 to 20 in Aspen, Colorado. Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst and the author of "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad."

Every July in the lush, green mountains of Aspen, Colorado, many of the top present and former U.S. national security officials and other experts gather to discuss how the war against al Qaeda and its allies is going.

Ahead of last year's Aspen conference, I wrote a piece for CNN provocatively titled "Time to declare victory: Al Qaeda is defeated." And I then spoke on a panel at Aspen where I tried to make the case for this position.

I'm not sure too many of the folks in Aspen were convinced. (If they had been, it would hardly seem necessary to travel back to Aspen again this year!)

Since last year's Aspen conference, a group of men only very loosely aligned with al Qaeda attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing four U.S. diplomats and CIA contractors.

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Filed under: Aspen Security Forum • Benghazi • Boston Bombing • Terrorism
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