IT’S ALL very vague at this point, with few details about those under arrest.
The report from Hoda Abdel-Hamid of Al Jazeera English, see video above, that was broadcast on Thursday is riveting and tells the story about how the commando style raid and assassination went down.
The White House continues to contend that that the attack was somehow spontaneous, which belies all available reports to date.
They told Politico: “This is absolutely wrong. We are not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.”
The categorical denial given to Mike Allen was also meant to rebut a “blaring” story line in the Independent:
The killings of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were likely to have been the result of a serious and continuing security breach, The Independent can reveal.
The UK Independent contends:
According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and “lockdown”, under which movement is severely restricted.
From Al Jazeera English on the arrests:
A “big advance” has been made in the investigation into the deadly attack, Mustafa Abu Shagur, the Libyan prime minister, told the AFP news agency in an exclusive interview.
“We have made a big advance,” Abu Shagur said in his first interview since his election as premier on Wednesday night.
“We have some names and some photographs. Arrests have been made and more are under way as we speak.”
The new prime minister did not elaborate on how many suspects were in custody or what groups, if any, they were connected to.
“We don’t want to categorise these people until we know all the facts,” he said.
From Hoda Abdel-Hamid, how the attack went down:
“We still don’t have an official version of who is behind the attacks, but I did speak to several eye-witnesses and all of them told me that four vehicles entered the grounds of the US consulate, and there were heavily armed men. One witness said they had black flags, meaning the flags of al-Qaeda, and that the protesters were really outside of the grounds of the consulate.
The consulate consists of four one-storey buildings inside a vast compound, and all four of them are completely torched.
There are holes from rockets on the walls of the buildings, especially the one where the ambassador was holed up in. We understand the attackers concentrated their attacks mainly on that building.
Eye-witnesses also told us that it was only afterwards that the protesters came in, and smashed the windows and grabbed the ambassador from inside, and got him out from the room [he was holed up in]. We were told he was alive then, and that he died either on his way to the hospital or at the hospital.
From the amount of destruction around, it seems to be a well co-ordinated attack.”
The destroyer USS Laboon was moved off the coast of Libya earlier this week, with the USS McFaul en route, with the total of 5 Navy destroyers now in the Mediterranean.