State Department says Benghazi militants were not al-Qaida

Dec. 30, 2013 at 5:13 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The United States has no evidence al-Qaida carried out the 2012 attack on its Benghazi, Libya, diplomatic mission, a State Department spokeswoman said Monday.

Marie Harf said at a Washington news briefing, though, that those who carried out the attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, may "have taken inspiration from al-Qaida ideology, certainly, [and] that's what the investigation is looking into."

She added the FBI is continuing the investigation.

Her comments came after the New York Times, in an article Sunday, reported there was no link between al-Qaida and the militants who stormed the mission.

"We do know, as we've said from the beginning, that extremists were involved. These folks don't carry ID cards. They don't come out and wear a T-shirt that says, 'I belong to al-Qaida,'" she added.

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