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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs