White House knew 2 hours after Libya attack
Posted in the Washington, DC Forum
#1 Oct 24, 2012
White House knew 2 hours after Libya attack that Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility, emails show
By Larry Margasak
Associated PressAssociated Press
Posted: 10/24/2012 10:08:19 AM PDT
October 24, 2012 5:8 PM GMTUpdated: 10/24/2012 10:08:20 AM PDT
WASHINGTON -- Two hours after the U.S. Consulate came under attack in Benghazi, Libya, the White House was told that a militant group was claiming responsibility for the violence that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
A State Department email sent to intelligence officials and the White House situation room said the Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter, and also called for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.
The document may fuel Republican efforts to show that the White House knew it was a terrorist attack, even as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was saying -- five days afterward -- that it appeared to be a protest gone awry.
The Obama administration's account of the Benghazi events has become a campaign issue, with Republican challenger Mitt Romney and GOP lawmakers accusing the White House of misleading Americans about the nature of the attack.
The Associated Press and other news organizations obtained the unclassified email and two related emails from government officials who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about them publicly.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the emails represented just one piece of information the administration was receiving at the time.
"There were emails about all sorts of information that was becoming available in the aftermath of the attack," Carney said. "The whole point of an
intelligence community and what they do is to assess strands of information and make judgments about what happened and who is responsible."
Carney, traveling with President Barack Obama Wednesday on Air Force One, said the emails were unclassified and referred to assertions made on a social media site.
There were a series of three emails sent by State Department officials in Washington as events unfolded on Sept. 11. Among the recipients was the White House situation room.
The first email said that the State Department's regional security officer reported the mission in Benghazi was under attack, and that "20 armed people fired shots." It said that Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack, was in Benghazi, and that Stevens and four others were in the compound's safe haven.
Forty-nine minutes later, an email said that the firing at the consulate "has stopped and the compound has been cleared," while a response team was attempting to locate people.
The next message, one hour and 13 minutes after the second and some two hours after the attack began, a message reported that Ansar-al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the attack.
"Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Faceboook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli," it said.
Ansar al-Sharia bragged to members of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb that it was responsible for the attack, according to recordings of phone calls intercepted by U.S. intelligence. But the group has publicly denied having anything to do with the attack.
Associated Press writer Matt Lee contributed to this story.
Follow Larry Margasak on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LarryMargasak
#2 Oct 24, 2012
Head in sand. La la la. Nothing to see here.
#3 Oct 24, 2012
"Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibilty for Benghazi Attack,"
TWO HOURS AFTER ATTACK
#5 Oct 26, 2012
Obama needs to tell the whole truth ASAP on this.
#6 Oct 26, 2012
A new element has been discovered and a lot of people in D C have been exposed to it. Only one cure vote out Fienstein,listen to Conservatives and vote for romney. This is the new element.
#7 Oct 26, 2012
Blow on this Gabriel
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