Accessibility links

US Says Libyan Militant Groups Behind Benghazi Attack

  • VOA News

FILE - The rubble of the damaged U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens on the night of Sept. 11, 2012
The United States has designated two militant groups in Libya as terrorist organizations, and says they were involved in the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

The groups are both named Ansar al-Sharia - one in Benghazi and the other in the city of Darnah. The State Department declared the leaders of each group to be global terrorists.

The September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans. U.S. officials say the two groups have also been involved in terrorist attacks against civilians, as well as assassinations and attempted assassinations of security officials and political figures in eastern Libya.

The Benghazi attack became a prominent political issue during the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign, with Republicans criticizing the way the Obama administration handled the attack, as well as the level of security at the diplomatic outpost.

Ansar al-Sharia is also the name of a group in Tunisia. That group too was designated as a terrorist organization Friday by the State Department, which blamed it for a September 14, 2012 attack against the U.S. embassy in Tunis and an American school there.