Also on September 13, Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee were briefed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs Admiral James Winnefeld. However, senators emerging from that private briefing reported that they believed the attack in Libya was premeditated.
“It was a terrorist attack organized and carried out by terrorists,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the top Republican on the committee said, adding that about 15 “al Qaeda or radical Islamists” were armed with rocket propelled grenades and other lethal weapons.
McCAIN: This was a calculated act of terror on the part of a small group of jihadists, not a mob that somehow attacked and sacked our embassy. People don’t go to demonstrate and carry RPGs and automatic weapons.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., added. “They were not just some kind of coincidental protests to this film, this anti-Muslim film. They were a well-planned and professional terrorist attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.”1
- ABC News – Al Qaeda Took Advantage of Libyan Protest, CIA Chief Says http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/al-qaeda-took-advantage-of-libyan-protest-cia-chief-says/ ↩