Investigators have found no solid evidence that al-Qaida plotted the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, the New York Times said.
An extensive report on the run-up to the Sept. 11, 2012, sacking of the Benghazi consulate said the evidence pointed instead to Libyan militias that were notably anti-American but also did not have any known ties to al-Qaida.
“Benghazi was not infiltrated by al-Qaida, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests,” the article published this weekend said. “The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs.”
The conclusions in effect split the difference in the simmering political quarrel in Washington over the notion the Obama administration both ignored and then whitewashed the threat al-Qaida supposedly posed to the U.S. mission. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff were killed when the consulate was overrun.
“The reality in Benghazi was different, and murkier, than either of those story lines suggests,” the article said. The White House had no immediate comment on the story, CNN said.
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