White House officials say it’s “too early” to tell whether Tuesday’s deadly attacks on a U.S consulate in Libya were staged by individuals with ties to terrorist groups.
Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters accompanying President Obama on his campaign trip to Las Vegas that he “would not want to speculate on that at this time.”
The question of whether the attacks were more than just the byproduct of an angry Libyan mob arose Wednesday after lawmakers with access to private national security briefings made their feelings known.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the attacks “have the markings of revenge by al Qaeda.”
Nelson cited a web video released by al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who, the Washington Times reported, “urged Libyans to attack Americans to avenge the recent death of [top al Qaeda leader Abu Yahya] al-Libi.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Capitol, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said definitively, “This was a coordinated attack, more of a commando style event. It had both coordinated fire, direct fire, indirect fire.”
WTOP News reported earlier today that “Other sources, including officials at the Pentagon and the State Department, are also discussing the possibility that it was a planned operation, and some say several developments support the possibility.”