Hillary Clinton: al-Qaeda Behind Libya Attack

Sources say US intelligence knew that 'within 24 hours'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 27, 2012 10:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton appeared to draw a line from al-Qaeda to the attack on the US consulate in Libya yesterday, further complicating the administration's somewhat muddled account of events. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and "other violent extremists" are trying to "undermine the democratic transitions under way in North Africa, as we tragically saw in Benghazi," Clinton said during a high-level UN meeting, the New York Times reports.

The administration has resisted calling the consulate attack "terrorism," drawing criticism from the right. (The Washington Post has a full timeline of the administration response here.) But sources tell Fox News that US intelligence knew within 24 hours that al-Qaeda affiliates were behind the attack. The Daily Beast had a similar report yesterday, indicating officials could even pinpoint who was responsible and where they were. "There was very good information on this in the first 24 hours," one official said. "These guys have a return address."

Hillary Clinton speaks at a conference in New York, Sept.  26,  2012.
Hillary Clinton speaks at a conference in New York, Sept. 26, 2012.   (AP Photo/David Karp)
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