ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE - The White House said on Thursday it was "self-evident" that an assault on the US consulate in Libya that resulted in the deaths of the ambassador and three other Americans was a "terrorist attack."

"It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters traveling with US President Barack Obama. "Our embassy was attacked violently and the result was four deaths of American officials."

Carney's comments reinforced congressional testimony on Wednesday by Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counter-terrorism Center, that the consulate assault was a terrorist act.

But Carney did not go any further in clarifying whether the administration believed the attack was preplanned.

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