09/27/2012 11:31 am ET

Libya Attack Linked To Al Qaeda, Clinton Suggests

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hinted on Wednesday that the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi may have been linked to al Qaeda affiliates.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, Clinton made the remarks at a U.N. meeting on instability in the Sahel, reportedly saying that violent extremist groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb are "working with other violent extremists to undermine the democratic transitions underway in North Africa, as we tragically saw in Benghazi.”

The New York Times reports that Clinton's remarks "did not offer any new evidence of a Qaeda link, and officials later said the question would be officially settled only after the F.B.I. completed a criminal inquiry, which could take months."

It was the first time Clinton has admitted any explicit al Qaeda link.

Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the White House's response to the attack "unbelievable" on Thursday morning. CBS reports:

The senator maintained there is no way that it was a spontaneous attack. "Like they say, 'Come on honey, bring your mortars, we're going to a spontaneous demonstration," McCain said of the claims that the violence escalated from an impromptu demonstration outside of the consulate building.

The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Read the full story at the New York Times.



Chris Stevens Photos