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Chris Stevens Hit List? U.S. Ambassador To Libya May Have Feared Al Qaeda Security Threats

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CHRIS STEVENS
AP

Ambassador Chris Stevens feared he was on an al Qaeda hit list before his death in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last Tuesday, according to a CNN source. The CNN source also said Stevens had mentioned al Qaeda's increased presence in the country.

The report comes after U.S. official Matthew Olsen on Monday told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the attack on Stevens was likely "opportunistic."

"What we don't have at this point is specific intelligence that there was a significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack," Olsen said.

To date, U.S. officials and the Libyan government have offered different -- though perhaps not contradictory -- accounts of whether or not the deadly U.S. consulate attack was planned.

On Thursday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns arrived in Tripoli to meet with Libyan government officials.

Read the full report from Reuters below.

TRIPOLI, Sept 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns arrived in Tripoli on Thursday, a week after a deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

Burns flew into the Libyan capital where he was due to meet new Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagour and Mohammed Magarief, head of the national congress, Libyan government officials said.

He was also scheduled to attend a ceremony commemorating U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, who died in last week's consulate attack in Benghazi, they said.

Stevens and three other Americans died when gunmen attacked the U.S. consulate and a safe house. The attackers were part of a crowd that blamed the United States for a video posted online that mocks the Prophet Mohammad.

A top U.S. counter-terrorism official told Congress on Wednesday the assault on the consulate was a "terrorist attack" that may have had an al Qaeda connection. (Reporting by Tripoli bureau; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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