Benghazi Attackers Tried to Kick Their Way In

Video footage is 'far more confusing than clarifying': official
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2012 10:06 AM CST
A man looks at documents at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.   (AP Photo/Ibrahim Alaguri)

(Newser) – More than 100 hours of video surveillance exist from the September 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, and officials have who viewed the footage aren't emerging with a ton of definitive answers. What it does verify: There is no evidence of a protest beforehand. What it doesn't: Whether al-Qaeda led the charge. The surveillance cameras had limited scope and no infrared lenses, but what they were able to capture indicates that the attack was not, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, "substantially preplanned."

The attackers had "no idea where they were going" and it "didn't seem like they brought the right tools" for the job, says a senior official who saw the raw footage and spoke to the Journal. To wit, they're shown trying to kick in locked doors, rather than using explosives or other weapons to gain access, notes the official. And once they got in, some seemed most interested in looting. "The video left folks scratching their heads, saying, 'That's not what we would have expected an organized attack to look like,'" he says. "It's far more confusing than clarifying." (In other big Benghazi news, a new report blast the State Department.)

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