The Straits Times
Published on Sep 13, 2012

US investigates: Attacks coordinated to mark 9/11?


WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration, roiled by the first killing of a United States (US) ambassador in more than 30 years, is investigating whether the assault on the US Consulate in Libya was a planned terrorist strike to mark the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks and not a spontaneous mob enraged over an anti-Islam YouTube video.

President Barack Obama declared in a White House appearance that the US would "work with the Libyan government to bring to justice" those who killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The attack on the Benghazi consulate was "a planned, coordinated, well-executed military style event," White House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said.

In a show of force, the Pentagon moved two warships to the Libyan coast. Officials said one destroyer, the USS Laboon, moved to a position off the coast on Wednesday, and the destroyer USS McFaul was en route and should be stationed off the coast within days, increasing the number of Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean from four to five.

Officials said the ships, which carry Tomahawk cruise missiles, do not have a specific mission. But they give commanders flexibility to respond to any mission ordered by the president.