By CNN Staff
The United States has "pretty good indications" that a man now held in Libya may have been involved in the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Sunday.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told CNN last week that the FBI had been able to question a man identified by sources as Faraj al-Shibli. But it was still not clear what role, if any, al-Shibli may have played in the September 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. A source briefed by Western intelligence officials said al-Shibli had recently returned to Libya from Pakistan.
"We're not sure yet," U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, told CNN's State of the Union. But. Rogers added, "we have pretty good indications that he is, at least, highly suspected of being involved."
By Matt Smith CNN
A top U.S. congressman expressed concern about the "stability" of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after months of provocative statements and behavior from the nuclear-armed communist state.
"You have a 28-year-old leader who is trying to prove himself to the military, and the military is eager to have a saber-rattling for their own self-interest," said Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. "And the combination of that is proving to be very, very deadly."
North Korea launched a satellite into orbit atop a long-range rocket in December, conducted its third nuclear weapons test in February and announced earlier this month that it was abandoning the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.
By Elise Labott reporting from Manama, Bahrain
The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on Friday warned the Obama administration it must act more urgently to prevent Syria's government from using chemical weapons.
Rep. Mike Rogers told attendees at the IISS Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrian that the United States has a moral obligation to act immediately if there is concrete proof chemical weapons are loaded and being readied for launch.
Recent U.S. intelligence suggests the Syrian government has started mixing chemical weapons compounds and loading them into bombs, though the bombs are not being moved to any delivery devices, CNN's Barbara Starr reported.
Visibly frustrated, Rogers argued the United States and the international community were way behind in acting to prevent use of chemical weapons, saying there was a robust debate in Washington on what constitutes a red line for military action - before Syrian President Bashar al-Assad moves to use weapons or after the weapons are launched.
By Pam Benson
The intelligence community - not the White House, State Department or Justice Department - was responsible for the substantive changes made to the talking points distributed for government officials who spoke publicly about the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, the spokesman for the director of national intelligence said Monday.
The unclassified talking points on Libya, developed several days after the the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, were not substantively changed by any agency outside of the intelligence community, according to the spokesman, Shawn Turner.
Republican criticism of the talking points intensified last Friday following a closed door hearing with former CIA Director David Petraeus.
Rep. Peter King, R-New York, told reporters after the hearing that the original talking parts drafted by the CIA had been changed and it was unclear who was responsible.
"The original talking points were much more specific about al Qaeda involvement and yet final ones just said indications of extremists," King said.
By Pam Benson
Senior intelligence, State Department and FBI officials can expect to be grilled next week as congressional hearings resume on the terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans.
Lawmakers want answers to many outstanding questions surrounding the September 11 armed assault on the diplomatic facility and a CIA annex in Benghazi.
Specifically, they want to know who was responsible, whether it was planned, the intelligence reporting on the threat to Libya prior the attack, and whether security was adequate.
The Senate Intelligence Committee will conduct a closed-door hearing on November 15. Scheduled witnesses include Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director David Petraeus, Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matt Olsen.
Clapper, Petraeus and Olsen will also testify behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee on the same day.
By Suzanne Kelly, Pam Benson and Elise Labott
U.S. intelligence believes that assailants connected to al Qaeda in Iraq were among the core group that attacked the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, a U.S. government official told CNN.
That would represent the second al Qaeda affiliate associated with the deadly September 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Previously, intelligence officials said there were signs of connections to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the North African wing of the terror group.
The revelation that members of al Qaeda in Iraq are suspected of involvement in the Libya attack comes at a time when there is a growing number of fighters from that group also taking part in the Syrian civil war.
An Obama administration official whose now controversial comment that the attack on the U.S. mission in Libya was "spontaneous" relied on talking points provided by the CIA based on its assessment that an intelligence official said on Friday was updated days later with new information.
The disclosure to CNN appears to offer some clarity around the Obama administration's early stage explanation of the September 11 attack by armed militants that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
But CNN National Security Contributor Fran Townsend injected a new element into the crucial time line on Friday night, reporting on Anderson Cooper 360 that senior intelligence officials had multiple conversations with senior White House officials in the first 24 hours after the attack.
Townsend, a former homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to President George W. Bush, added that "we don't know" what was said.
"But I can tell you from having lived through these crises, you're getting a constant feed of what the intelligence community understands about what is currently going on and what has happened on the ground," Townsend said.
She added that "they will caveat the information" because in the first hours there "will be all sorts of information, some of it which will turn out not to have been true."
The Cybersecurity adviser to the White House, Michael Daniel, gave a candid assessment today of the cyber risks the U.S. faces. This comes as there are rumblings that the President is getting ready to issue an executive order on cybersecurity in light of Congress failing to pass legislation on this issue. CNN's Suzanne Kelly reports on what the government is doing to protect the U.S. from the threat of cyber attacks.
By Elise Labott
Israeli officials were telling CNN's Security Clearance just a month ago that the United States and Israel were cooperating closely on intelligence sharing over Iran.
The latest U.S. assessment gave the two countries their closest understanding yet of the scope and pace of the development of the Iranian effort, the Israelis said.
But the close cooperation belies a heated policy debate – one becoming more public – about when military action would be required to take out the nuclear program.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is displaying growing impatience with what he says is a lack of clarity by the Obama administration on so-called "red lines" that Iran cannot cross if it wants to avoid war.
By Pam Benson and Carol Cratty
It may be one of the most confusing set of investigations going on. It's not just about one leak, it's at least three, all part of exclusive news reports happening within a two-week period.
We know the FBI is investigating two of the unauthorized disclosures, one involving the report about a mole who helped thwart a Yemen bomb plot targeting the U.S. and the other about how the United States and Israel were behind Stuxnet, the mysterious computer virus that caused Iranian nuclear centrifuges to spin out of control.
It is unclear whether there is an investigation of yet another story concerning the Obama administration's expansion of the drone program and how it determines which suspected terrorists will be targeted for a missile strike.