Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed on Wednesday that the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya was linked to Al Qaeda. The New York Times reports:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton indicated for the first time on Wednesday that there was an explicit link between the Qaeda franchise in North Africa and the attack at the American diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans, including the ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens.
She also said American intelligence and law enforcement agencies were working not only with Libya but also with other nations in the region to investigate the attack in Benghazi on Sept. 11. That indicated that the attack’s planning and execution might not have been the local, spontaneous eruption of violence that the administration had initially described.
Mrs. Clinton made her remarks at a special United Nations meeting on the political and security crisis in the swath of North Africa known as the Maghreb and the Sahel, a crisis that is particularly affecting northern Mali, which has been overrun by Islamic extremists since a military coup divided that country earlier this year.
She said Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which originated in Algeria, was now using the region as a haven to support extremism and terrorist violence in countries like Libya.
The New York Times notes that Clinton’s remarks took “intelligence and other administration officials off guard, with some saying there was not yet conclusive evidence that the operatives from the Qaeda affiliate were involved in the attacks.” The CIA declined to comment but Congressman Peter King, New York Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said, “Understandably, there was a lot of uncertainty in the days immediately following the attacks in Benghazi.”
King then added, “And while the administration was saying definitively it wasn’t a terrorist attack, those of us who believed there had to be significant terrorist involvement believed it was almost certainly A.Q.I.M. because they are such a major force, the major force, in that part of Libya. If it was terrorism, which we believed had to have played a role, it almost certainly had to be them.”
The administration appears to be dragging its feet on declaring the obvious when it comes to national security. These delayed revelations, no doubt, are systemic of an administration that purges the terms: jihad, enemy, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, caliphate, and Shariah law from its FBI training manual on the sole basis of avoiding an anti-Muslim bias in its law enforcement.