U.S. Intel Officials Explain Evolving Thinking On Libya Attack
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a statement to explain how officials came do understand the nature of the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
“Throughout our investigation we continued to emphasize that information gathered was preliminary and evolving,” DNI spokesman Shawn Turner’s statement said.
“It remains unclear if any group or person exercised overall command and control of the attack, and if extremist group leaders directed their members to participate. However, we do assess that some of those involved were linked to groups affiliated with, or sympathetic to al-Qaida,” he said.
At the same time, a spokeswoman for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice also sought to explain comments that Rice made early in the investigation saying there was no evidence the Benghazi attack was premeditated.
“During her appearances on the Sunday talk shows Sept. 16, 2012, Ambassador Rice’s comments were prefaced at every turn with a clear statement that an FBI investigation was under way that would provide the definitive accounting of the events that took place in Benghazi,” said Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. “At every turn Ambassador Rice provided – and said she was providing – the best information and the best assessment that the administration had at the time, based on what was provided to Ambassador Rice and other senior U.S. officials by the U.S. intelligence community.”