News / Middle East

    New York Times: No Al-Qaida Role in 2012 Benghazi Killings

    Burnt house, car inside U.S. embassy compound following overnight attack, Benghazi, Sept. 12, 2012.
    Burnt house, car inside U.S. embassy compound following overnight attack, Benghazi, Sept. 12, 2012.
    Kent Klein
    An investigation by The New York Times newspaper has raised new questions about the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans on September 11, 2012.
     
    The Times says it spent months talking to Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the assault on the U.S. consulate there and the circumstances surrounding it. None of the sources produced any evidence that al-Qaida was behind the rampage in which the angry mob killed the four Americans — including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
     
    In the immediate aftermath, the Obama administration said the deaths were the result of an anti-West demonstration that got out of control.
     
    At the time, Muslims around the world were angered by a crude video made in the United States that ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad, and some news media reports said that the attack was organized by an al-Qaida-linked terrorist group.

    The Obama administration came under harsh criticism from Republicans in Congress for the alleged failure to detect and prevent the attack, with many placing blame directly on then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
     
    The paper's new investigation adds fuel to the largely partisan debate in Washington about the Obama administration's response to the killings, saying the attack was led by local fighters who had benefited from NATO support during the uprising against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
     
    According to the paper, the assault was intensified in part by anger over the amateur video that was seen as insulting Islam. That finding appears to partially support a statement by then-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, on a television talk show five days after the incident.
     
    "We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people, came to the embassy ... to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo," she said in the 2012 television appearance. "And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists."
     
    Some members of Congress, mostly opposition Republicans, charged that the assault was not a spontaneous reaction to the video, but a planned attack by terrorist groups, which was covered up by the White House.
     
    Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain questioned Susan Rice about the incident in the days that followed, and said they were not satisfied with her answers.
     
    The debate intensified in the weeks before the November 2012 presidential election. President Barack Obama was said to have been considering appointing Rice to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in his second term, but as criticism mounted, Rice withdrew her name from consideration.
     
    Meanwhile, Clinton responded angrily to tough questioning from senators about what happened in Benghazi.

    Clinton: Benghazi Attack Part of Broader Terrorist Challenge in Africai
    X
    January 23, 2013 8:35 PM
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says last September's attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi was part of wider terrorist insecurity across North Africa. As VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports, Clinton testified before Congress Wednesday about what she is doing to prevent such an attack in the future.
    CLICK TO EXPAND VIDEO - Clinton's Benghazi Testimony
    "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans," she told legislators. "Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again"
     
    According to The Times investigation, threats from local militants have multiplied throughout the Middle East, and the focus on battling al-Qaida may be distracting the United States from protecting its interests.
     
    The report was released hours after the State Department said the Libyan government released four U.S. military personnel it had briefly detained.
     
    A State Department spokeswoman said the four had been taken into custody near Sabratha, where they were participating in "security preparedness efforts."
     
    David Kirkpatrick's report says the central figure in the September 11 attack in Benghazi was anti-Gadhafi militia leader Ahmed Abu Khattala.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 3
     Previous   Next 
    by: George from: Boston
    December 28, 2013 10:01 PM
    This is laughable journalism. Can one of these reporters explain how reports by on the ground foreigner intelligence agencies, Arab, Spanish, Russian and Israeli got it all wrong and the New York Times has it right?
    How could you print such rubbish???

    by: B. Montgomery from: USA
    December 28, 2013 10:00 PM
    Well, say what you want - "president" Hussein is definitely not a Christian... there are doubts about whether he is even an American... and reading the angry responses here - this country is definitely disintegrating... "yes we can..." - idiots
    our economy is in the toilet, we betrayed all our allies and friends... there are more intrusive surveillance on our citizens... Iran is mocking us... "yes we can..." LOL
    In Response

    by: jay from: whatever
    December 28, 2013 10:54 PM
    yes we can... LOL... good one!!!

    by: cybersense from: maryland
    December 28, 2013 9:48 PM
    Your article if full of crap, and don't think because you printed this article it is what everyone will believe. Your paper is pathetic.

    by: Anon from: Washington
    December 28, 2013 9:48 PM
    How comical to read the comments to this article - talk about humor! Most comments represent right wing wackos who think the Times is potitical propaganda machine, the president is a Kenyan - or that he wants Americans to die. Seriously? You only show how dumb you are by these hilarious statements. I guess Fox News is more legit, huh?
    In Response

    by: B 17 from: usa
    December 28, 2013 10:19 PM
    you really think this is some sort of humor..?? i really doubt that it is... solyndra, Obamacare, Benghazy, Muslim Brotherhood, Iran... the list is too long... "ah ah ah ah let me be clear..." idiot!!!
    In Response

    by: TDonovan from: NY
    December 28, 2013 9:55 PM
    Please respond with thought and care.

    Al Queda was NEVER considered the issue in Benghazi...this is a 3-card monty article to get the reader's attention....the purpose of this was to whitewash for Hillary.

    The Times re-submitted the complete nonsense (the Lybian leader at the time said this to anyone who would listen) that there was NO MOVIE INFLUENCE....and he was being paid by the U.S. Please this is about telling the truth....so pay attention to the 3-card monty dealer at the NYTimes...

    by: TDonovan from: NY
    December 28, 2013 9:42 PM
    The interest in whitewashing Hillary out of responsibility for what occured in Benghazi is nearly criminal, but run-of- the-mill for the Ivy League post-America crowd. Obama will need her in power to give him the pardon he's likely to need.

    Sure......it was a "movie" that hardly anyone in the world saw until the administration talked about it.....psst...wanna buy a bridge?

    The NY Times has long since ceased being reputable when dealing with Obama's international policy, just look at the situation in Egypt that Hillary supported and Obama created. One of the world's great and courageous society's thrown under the Muslim Brotherhood Bus.....and the US cut and ran.....this is disgusting if not dangerous to America and our children .

    Cover the dismissals of military leaders during this administration if you want credibility, until then please just publish the complete articles and advertising and leave your spin out.

    by: gunner from: boston
    December 28, 2013 9:24 PM
    It is the cover up and the inaction. We had eyes in the sky and could see this real time. This could have been stopped in a few ways. Instead Obama decided to let Americans die. He said he gave the go ahead on the kill shot in other events like he was the calling all the shots. Now he doesn't know where he was or what he was doing. The is so much BS I can't deal with it anymore or the NYT. God Bless America and God Damn the American Media. Right, Left or on the fence vote them out!!!
    In Response

    by: wonderYrednow from: Venice
    December 28, 2013 9:33 PM
    More lies from your Tee Vee, Fair and Imbalanced as usual.

    by: Jas
    December 28, 2013 9:21 PM
    Good on the NYT to investigate and report. I hardly think they'd risk their reputation by fabricating their findings. Less partisanship and more working together as Americans to get to the bottom of this.
    In Response

    by: Bruce Evans
    December 28, 2013 10:29 PM
    What reputation? Oh you mean the one where they are the lap dogs for the Obama and Clinton cabal. There is very little honesty coming out of the New York-Clinton Times.

    by: Errol Davidson from: California
    December 28, 2013 9:20 PM
    How can you believe anything written by the New York "CRAP" Times
    In Response

    by: Bruce Evans
    December 28, 2013 10:35 PM
    I find it hard to believe the NYT would cover for Hillary, after all this is a woman who even her husband did not respect. Since I am sure he knew her better than anyone in the world there must be reasons for not respecting her. I know I see them everyday. Barabra Walters thinks she is the most fascinating person in 2013? My God, someone has completely sold out or has gone senile.

    by: charliedog2 from: Oregon USA
    December 28, 2013 9:04 PM
    It's time for the NY Times to shut down. I can't believe they are printing propaganda that we have already heard from Susan Rice who we remember is part of the Obama administration. Democrats and Republicans will not forget the Hilary comment, " What difference, at this point, does it make? I will not forget hearing the mother asking about the bloody prints on the wall. We cannot put Benghazi behind us....not yet.

    by: Chris Thomas from: Philadelphia
    December 28, 2013 8:21 PM
    Propaganda at its finest. It's not obvious. It presents what could be considered believable. It doesn't sound partisan, but it is.
    In Response

    by: Chris Thomas from: Philadelphia
    December 29, 2013 7:19 PM
    JR, I find people such as yourself who live in San Francisco to be particularly tiresome. Anything that threatens your precious president is a witch hunt and a fantasy. This NYT “report” offers no way to verify its claims, which sound a lot more like the president and administration’s line of bull the first month than anything he or others have said afterward. Was he lying at first? Or later? He’s taken both positions, so this article actually confirms he is a liar.
    In Response

    by: JR from: S.F,
    December 28, 2013 9:09 PM
    Over $50 million spent on a witch hunt, every report to Congress, and they find it was a local gang that did this and all the evidence is ignored and called propaganda. Denial at it's most obvious.
    Comments page of 3
     Previous   Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.