Libyan President Fingers al-Qaeda for Benghazi Attacks
September 16, 2012 • 10:22AM

Libya's interim President, Mohamed Yusef al Magariaf told Al Jazeera today that he was certain that the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday, Sept. 11, was "premeditated" and organized by "experienced masterminds" from Al Qaeda. The large protest demonstration was used as a cover for the hardcore, trained terrorists, who carried out the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. diplomats. For weeks, leading up to the Benghazi attacks, officials from the Libyan Interior Ministry had been warning U.S. officials that the security situation in the Benghazi area was deteriorating rapidly. Armed militias, many of them neo-Salafi allied with al-Qaeda, were gaining strength and had penetrated all of the relevant security institutions of the region. President Magariaf told Al Jazeera that he had ordered a crackdown on the militias and armed Jihadi groups, but conceded that it would be a long difficult fight to restore security in the Benghazi area.