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Unrelenting! Attack on Benghazi embassy was terrorist act, intelligence sources say

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 20th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was directly tied to Al Qaeda, which left four Americans dead, some intelligence sources now say, was a terrorist attack. According to Fox News, there was a former Guantanamo detainee involved in the attack on the Libyan consulate September 11.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said during a Senate hearing this week described the deadly assault as a "terrorist attack." It marked the first time a high-ranking member of the Obama administration had described the event.

"Yes, they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy," Olsen said, becoming the first top administration official to call the strike an act of terrorism.

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Sufyan Ben Qumu is thought to have been involved and even may have led the attack, Fox News' intelligence sources said. Qumu, a Libyan, was released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2007. He was then transferred into Libyan custody on the condition he be kept in jail. He was released by the Qaddafi regime as part of its reconciliation effort with Islamists in 2008.

Qumu's Guantanamo files also show he has ties to the financiers behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The declassified files also point to ties with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a known Al Qaeda affiliate.

Olson also acknowledged the attack could lead back to Al Qaeda and its affiliates.

"We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda's affiliates, in particular Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb," Olson said at the Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing.

Olsen said "the facts that we have now indicate that this was an opportunistic attack on our embassy, the attack began and evolved and escalated over several hours," Olson said.

Administration officials have maintained that the embassy attack was spontaneous and done without planning. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said hours earlier that there still is "no evidence of a preplanned or pre-meditated attack," which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

"I made that clear last week, Ambassador Rice made that clear Sunday," Carney said at a daily White House press briefing.

The attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans was had been sparked by an early protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, over an anti-Islamic video.

"It was a reaction to a video that had nothing to do with the United States," White House Press Secretary Susan Rice told Fox News. "The best information and the best assessment we have today is that this was not a pre-planned, pre-meditated attack. What happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo."

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