The Obama administration - in a calculated PR campaign and, in an effort to exonerate itself from blame - continues to assert that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to an American video critical of Islam, but earlier reports, and now, Mr. al-Megaryef's statements, confirm that this is not the case.
"The idea that this criminal and cowardly act was a spontaneous protest that just spun out of control is completely unfounded and preposterous," he said. "It was planned, definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago. And they were planning this criminal act since their arrival."
"They entered Libya from different directions. Some of them definitely from Mali and Algeria," he said.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Mike Rogers, told Fox News on Wednesday that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was "a well- planned, well-targeted event. No doubt about it."
"Absolutely, I have no doubt about it," he added. "It was a coordinated, military-style, commando-type raid."Gateway Pundit notes that, despite four previous attacks in Benghazi - since June - including a previous attack at the U.S. Consulate, the Obama Administration refused to provide even “standard security” at the consulate compound.
Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House intelligence committee, told Fox News the attack appeared to be an Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda-affiliated strike.
"We've been talking for years about the desire of Al Qaeda, radical jihadists to celebrate the anniversary of 9/11," he said. "All my background, all of the conversations that I've had over the last 18 hours lead many people to believe that this was just more than a mere coincidence."...
They were "fully armed and fully equipped," he said.
Hoekstra noted that Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri had recently released a video calling on militants to attack Americans in revenge for the killing of an operative in Pakistan. The message said his "blood is calling on you, inciting you to fight and kill the crusaders." ...
Two intelligence officials also said the attack looked "coordinated."
London-based think tank Quilliam reached the same conclusion, saying the Benghazi strike appeared to be a "well-planned terrorist attack that would have occurred regardless of the" film.
Also, the brother of Zawahiri was nearby during the separate protest at the American Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday...
"The timing of this on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 is more than just coincidence," Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said in a statement.
The US consulate in Benghazi, where the US ambassador to Libya died in an attack on Tuesday, was not given the standard security contract offered to many American diplomatic missions in the Middle East...The USA Today reported last week that the attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt was announced on Aug. 30 by Jamaa Islamiya, a State Department-designated terrorist group, to protest the ongoing imprisonment of its spiritual leader, Sheikh Omar abdel Rahman - before news had circulated about the aforementioned video.
The consulate’s walls were breached in just 15 minutes, guards were outgunned and overwhelmed and four US personnel were killed, including the Ambassador....
US embassies and consulates in areas of the world where they are deemed liable to attack are usually offered a formal security contract called a Worldwide Protective Services Agreement, known in the industry as a ‘Wips’.
The contract, or so-called tasking order, is between the US state department and any one of several major private military contractors such as DynCorp International and Aegis Defense Services.
Under this agreement, extensive security precautions are put in place, including low-profile armored vehicles, run-flat tyres, sufficient weapons, ammunition and trained personnel, as well as a tried and tested command and control system.
But..., on the advice of a US diplomatic regional security officer, the mission in Benghazi was not given the full contract despite lobbying by private contractors.
Instead, the US consulate was guarded externally by a force of local Libyan militia, many of whom reportedly put down their weapons and fled once the mission came under concerted attack.
But [as I noted on Thursday] President Obama - ever the smooth politician that he is - thus far, has managed to deflect attention from his epic failures in Libya and Egypt by criticizing Mitt Romney's statements on the matter. What's more, in a surprising moment of candor, White House officials even admitted that this was the case, according to the New York Times;
The Times notes that the upheaval in Libya, Egypt etc. presents the following questions:
"Did [Obama] do enough during the Arab Spring to help the transition to democracy from autocracy? Has he drawn a hard enough line against Islamic extremists? Did his administration fail to address security concerns?"
The Times goes on to say: "These questions come at an inopportune time domestically as Mr. Obama enters the fall campaign with a small lead in polls. His policies escaped serious scrutiny in the initial days after the attack that killed four Americans in Libya last week, in part because of the furor over a statement by Mitt Romney.... White House officials said they recognized that if not for Mr. Romney’s statement, they would have been the ones on the defensive."
Yep. The politician-in-chief, managed to deflect attention from his epic failures in Libya, Egypt etc. by pointing his fingers at Mr. Romney. And the cunning strategy appears to have had the desired effect; Obama's poll numbers have gone up over the last several days.