Officials have already speculated that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was involved in the Benghazi attack, but CNN reports al-Qaeda in Iraq may be linked as well. AQI has been regaining strength since U.S. troops withdrew last year:
U.S. intelligence believes that assailants connected to al Qaeda in Iraq were among the core group that attacked the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, a U.S. government official told CNN.
That would represent the second al Qaeda affiliate associated with the deadly September 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. …
The latest intelligence suggests the core group of suspects from the first wave of the attack on the Benghazi mission numbered between 35 to 40. Around a dozen of the attackers are believed to be connected to either al Qaeda in Iraq or al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the government official said.
The attack had two waves: The first targeted the main compound where Stevens and another diplomatic official were believed killed. A second stage a few hours later involved an annex building approximately a mile away.
The Obama administration is still trying to slowly back away from its “spontaneous reaction” line, pivoting to the claim it was an “opportunistic attack” that didn’t require a lot of pre-planning. Whether it was “opportunistic” or not doesn’t really matter, but it’s a way for the administration to cling to a small shred of credibility after initially telling the public it wasn’t premeditated or preplanned. Either way, if there were a dozen attackers directly linked to two different al-Qaeda affiliates, as CNN reports, that’s still an al-Qaeda attack, no matter how “opportunistic” or “spontaneous” the administration wants to argue it was.
Good thing President Obama’s foreign policy has “devastated” al-Qaeda, right John Kerry?