In Benghazi testimony, Petraeus says al Qaeda role known early


Susan Cornwell and Tabassum Zakaria
reuters.com
November 16, 2012

Former CIA Director David Petraeus told Congress on Friday that he and the spy agency had sought to make clear from the outset that September’s deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, involved an al Qaeda affiliate, lawmakers said.

Petraeus told the House of Representatives intelligence committee that “there were extremists in the group” that launched the initial attack on the diplomatic mission, describing them as affiliates of al Qaeda and other extremist groups, said Representative C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the committee’s top Democrat. “The fact is that he clarified it.”

Another lawmaker, Republican Representative Peter King, said Petraeus’ account in the closed-door session differed from the assessment that the CIA chief gave to Congress two months ago, just days after the September 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

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