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White House calls US consulate assault a 'terrorist attack'

Published on Sep 21, 2012 11:02 AM
 
An interior view of the damage at the US consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen in Benghazi Sept 11, 2012. The White House for the first time on Thursday described the assault on the United States (US) consulate in Benghazi, which killed four Americans, as a "terrorist attack" that could have links to Al-Qaeda. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The White House for the first time on Thursday described the assault on the United States (US) consulate in Benghazi, which killed four Americans, as a "terrorist attack" that could have links to Al-Qaeda.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meanwhile announced an official review into security at the consulate targeted during a wave of rage across the Muslim world at a film made on US soil deemed offensive to Islam.

The Obama administration had repeatedly declined over the last week to term the attack, which killed US ambassador Chris Stevens, as an act of terror, and officials said they believed it was spontaneous rather than pre-planned. But White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Air Force One that "it is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack."

Mr Carney referred to testimony on Wednesday on Capitol Hill by US National Counterterrorism Center chief Matthew Olsen, the first government official to call the Benghazi strike terrorism.

 
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