News / Middle East

Clinton Cites Al-Qaida Link to Benghazi Attack

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius before a meeting of the Security Council during the 67th United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius before a meeting of the Security Council during the 67th United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 26, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists may have been part of this month's attack on the U.S. mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.  
 
Secretary Clinton says al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and other terrorist groups are using instability in Africa's Sahel region to expand their operations. "Now with a larger safe haven and increased freedom to maneuver, terrorists are seeking to extend their reach and their networks in multiple directions.  And they are working with other violent extremists to undermine the democratic transitions under way in North Africa, as we tragically saw in Benghazi," she said. 
 
U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in Benghazi following protests against an Internet video mocking the Prophet Muhammad that was produced by an anti-Muslim filmmaker in California.
 
The Obama administration says the Benghazi killings were a terrorist attack, but Secretary Clinton's comments are the first to link the violence to affiliates of the al-Qaida network.

She told a U.N.-organized meeting on instability in the Sahel that the United States is stepping up counterterrorism efforts across the region.

"We’re working with the Libyan government and other partners to find those responsible for the attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi and bring them to justice.  But we are also expanding our counterterrorism partnerships to help countries meet their own growing threats.  We’re taking aim at the support structure of al-Qaida and its affiliates - closing safe havens, cutting off finances, countering their ideology and denying them recruits," she said. 
 
Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf also says the attacks were carried out by what he calls "al-Qaida elements who are hiding in Libya."
 
President Magariaf and Secretary Clinton met privately on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.  A senior State Department official says the Libyan leader discussed two fundamental threats to Libyan security: extremists with their own agendas and remnants of the former government of Moammar Gadhafi.
 
Secretary Clinton says strengthening democratic institutions is at the heart of Washington's counterterrorism strategy. "It is democracies that offer their citizens constructive outlets for political grievances, create opportunities for upward mobility and prosperity, and are clear alternatives to violent extremism.  And their success offers a powerful rejection of the extremist ideology of hate and violence as we also saw in Benghazi last week," she said. 
 
She says civilians in Benghazi who demonstrated against that violence reclaimed the honor and dignity of what she calls a courageous city.  She says the people of the region deserve better from their leaders and deserve better from the international community.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Robert Birdwell from: USA
September 28, 2012 7:47 AM
Obama and Clinton supported and helped finance the "Arab Spring" catastrophe and now bitch about how violent and dangerous that part of the world is to western interests. What incredibly evil people Obama and Clinton are.

by: Briny from: USA
September 27, 2012 3:38 PM
Secretary Clinton's PR apparat has spent two weeks stridently denying this story, and suddenly they completely change their direction to make it appear as if they knew it all along. A glaring symptom of the incompetence, incapacity and incoherence of an individual promoted far above her abilities.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More