Official Review of Benghazi Attacks Announced
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced an official review of security at the U.S. mission in Libya following attacks that killed four Americans. “I will advise Congress … I am launching an accountability review board that will be chaired by Ambassador Thomas Pickering,” Clinton told reporters, before closed-door briefings to discuss the U.S. “security posture, before and during the events and the steps we have taken since.”
The announcement came a day after the Obama administration officially called the Benghazi event a terrorist attack. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), speaking with reports, suggested there was evidence of al-Qaeda or radical Islamist group involvement in the attacks, but the ranking member of the House Armed Service Committee, Adam Smith (D-WA), told reporters that “they’re still piecing it together, obviously still trying to figure out who perpetrated the attack. It’s clearly a terrorist attack, but who exactly perpetrated it is the question.” In a new paper by Frederic Wehrey, Salafi militancy and fighting between ethnic groups in the Barqa region, where Benghazi is located, are highlighted as fueling growing insecurity in the region.
In other news, newly-elected Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur will attend the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York City with Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi and U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon. The three-day meeting will include sessions aimed at solving pressing world problems, along with speeches by President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The event begins September 22.