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‘Benghazi attack was act of terror’

‘Benghazi attack was act of terror’
The deadly attack on a US consulate in Benghazi was an act of terror, a top intelligence official on Thursday said even as a media report claimed it was carried out by a former Guantanamo detainee linked to Al Qaeda.

‘I would say yes. They were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy,’ said Matthew Olsen, Director of the US National Counterterrorism Center.

This is the first time the attack has been described that way by the administration.

During a Congressional hearing, Olsen said investigation into the attack is ongoing and facts are being developed continually.

‘The best information we have now, 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,’ Olsen said.

‘The well-armed attackers seized on the opportunity presented, as the event unfolded that evening into the morning hours of 12 September. We do know that a number of militants in the area are well armed and maintain those arms,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Fox News quoting unnamed US intelligence officials said ‘Sufyan Ben Qumu is thought to have been involved and even may have led the attack’ that killed four Americans, including the US Ambassador to Libya bya Chris Stevens.

Qumu was let out of the US military detention center in Cuba in 2007 and turned over to the government of Muammar Gaddafi on the condition that he be kept behind bars.

His Guantanamo files also show he has ties to the financiers behind the September 11 terrorist attacks. The declassified files also point to ties with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a known Al Qaeda affiliate, the report said.


The deputy US secretary of state has met senior Libyan officials in Tripoli and is expected to attend a memorial service for the American ambassador and three consulate staffers killed in an attack last week.

William Burns is the most senior US official to visit Libya in the aftermath of the September 11 attack on the consulate in Benghazi and comes as Washington is still working to piece together how its top diplomat there, Ambassador Chris Stevens, was killed. Libyan officials said Burns and the commander of the US Africa Command Gen Carter F Ham met on Thursday with the foreign minister and senior Libyan military officials. Saad al-Shalmani, a foreign ministry official, said Minister Ashour bin Khayal told Burns Libya is ready to cooperate in investigating the attack.    


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