E-mails: White House knew of extremist claims in Benghazi attack
The US Consulate in Benghazi Libya after an attack that killed four Americans. (CNN Photo)
October 24th, 2012
09:50 AM ET

E-mails: White House knew of extremist claims in Benghazi attack

By Elise Labott

Two hours after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the White House, the State Department and the FBI were told that an Islamist group had claimed credit, government e-mails obtained by CNN show.

One of the e-mails - sent from a State Department address to various government agencies - specifically identifies Ansar al-Sharia as claiming responsibility for the attack on its Facebook page and on Twitter.

The e-mails raise further questions about the seeming confusion on the part of the Obama administration to determine the nature of the September attack and those who planned it.

The attack left U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.


soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Mary-Anne

    Still hiding the story! Shame on CNN

    October 28, 2012 at 10:32 am | Reply


    October 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
    • Name*Teeitlo


      October 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  3. Silver

    It certainly looks like the White House was purposely hushing up the nature of the attacks on its embassy/consulate. That this practice went on for more than 2 weeks makes it hard to believe it was simply fog or war or some sort of prudent waiting for details to surface. If you wait 2 weeks to warn people that Al Qaeda is actively attacking and planning further coordinated attacks on US global assets you are putting other lives at risk. I suspect the Obama people did not want to be seen as allowing the first successful Al Qaeda attack on US assets since 9/11.

    October 25, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
  4. Teeitlo

    CNN, you are a insult to the idea of free press. yes you have the right to pull a story, however you have a moral obligation to the country re informing the public. The first amendment is not because you were loved, it was intended for you to report to us.

    October 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • Teeithi

      Right on

      October 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  5. Clint

    Wow. Journalism at it's best. This is why your ratings stink! I came to your website to see how far back you hid it.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  6. Neva Skom

    CNN shame on you!!! It took you more then 15 hours to post this important story and now it is buried. I am Democrat, but Mitt Romney will get my vote this time.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  7. Leon

    Free Press is dead. The attack is over, Terrorists once again put a black eye on the American people and what we do.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  8. NS Bingo

    From the Second Debate:

    The suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, governor, is offensive," Obama said. "That's not what we do. That's not what I do as president, that's not what I do as commander in chief."

    No Mr. President. What you and your administration have done is highly offensive.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  9. Wanda Harkness

    BREAKING NEWS NOT. I cannot believe that CNN lead with this headline at this sensitive time. Someone told me about this "breaking News" and so I went to CNN for an objective report. I am so disappointed. So many people, like some who posted here, just read the headline. Reading the article tells you that the information in the email conveyed that a terrorist group had POSTED ON FACEBOOK credit for the action. Then with responsibile journalism, did add that it is common for several groups to claim credit for criminal actions.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  10. NS Bingo

    Well, what do you know...the story has magically reappeared on the homepage (US Edition). Just saw it at 2:56 EDT. Enough complaints?

    October 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Terry

      Like magic..look at that! Not quite as important as Lance Armstrong apparently.....

      October 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  11. Terry

    Where in the world can an average American go for solid and unbiased information anymore?

    October 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      Mexico is one place for that, Terry. You can buy almost any Mexican newspaper and get unbiased information as well as listen to Mexican radio and television. Here in America, almost all news media is on the right or right leaning so it's almost impossible to obtain accurate information on anything anymore!!!

      October 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
      • Terry

        I guess in my naivete I thought that certainly CNN would have this news front and center.

        October 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  12. NS Bingo

    In the first 90 minutes that the story was up on the front page, top left, there were over 5,000 comments posted! Most were critical of the double-talk coming from the Obama WH. Amazing how fast the story was buried. Now it is 3 clicks away and harder to find. Well, at least CNN ran with it for awhil. Nary a word on NBC. Censorship in this country? Nah

    October 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • NS Bingo


      October 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Reply
    • mick

      sure enough, didn't take long to bury the story, wonder who called?

      October 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  13. Terry

    Looking for information on this and cannot believe that it is not on the Homepage.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  14. Nina Capps

    Why isn't this story being told about or explained on CNN. I used to respect you guys. Whats happened to you? Whats going on?

    October 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  15. celeste75


    October 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      And don't forget celeste75, that the White House in turn is controlled by the M.I.C.(military-industrial-complex) in Washington as well as the majority in both houses of Congress!!!

      October 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  16. celeste75

    CNN took off the breaking news headline about the WH knowing about the attack on Benghazi!


    October 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  17. Hannah Weinbrod

    Why isn't this story the main headline on your site CNN? This is BIG and people should be able to see it clearly and not have to do a search to find it.

    October 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • tavernvoice

      It was up until about 1-2 hrs ago. They pulled it. Pulled the copy of the email too. Me things the state department and WH made a call to the editors and said are you nuts.

      October 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply

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