Criticized for initially downplaying the role of terrorism in the September attack in Benghazi, the White House on Friday wasted no time in labeling Friday’s assault on the U.S. Embassy in Turkey as a terrorist attack.
Asked by a reporter if the attack by a suicide bomber in Ankara was a terrorist act, White House press secretary Jay Carney said it was “an excellent question.”
“A suicide bombing on the perimeter of an embassy is by definition an act of terror,” Mr. Carney said. “It is a terrorist attack.”
The bomber detonated his explosives at an entrance inside the U.S. Embassy grounds, killing himself and a security guard.
In September, when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, came under attack, administration officials initially focused the blame for the episode on Muslim outrage over an anti-Islam movie filmed in the U.S. Four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, died in the attack that was coordinated by extremists with ties to al Qaeda.
U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice removed her name from consideration to become secretary of state after Republican lawmakers criticized her initial explanations of the Benghazi attack. Mrs. Rice said she was simply relaying the best available U.S. intelligence at the time.