Emails: US told of militant claim hours after Libya attack

By REUTERS
October 24, 2012 05:53

 
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WASHINGTON - Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with US spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief emails also show how US diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which US President Barack Obama and other US officials ultimately acknowledged was a "terrorist" attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al-Qaida affiliates or sympathizers.

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