The curtain slowly starts to move...
Wall Street Journal 9/19/2012 wrote:WASHINGTON—U.S. intelligence officials are investigating indications that al Qaeda's North African affiliate is connected with militants involved in the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya, the top U.S. counterterrorism official said, providing the first public acknowledgment of the extremist movement's possible involvement in the deadly assault.
The acknowledgment of a possible al Qaeda role came at a congressional hearing in which government officials were peppered with questions about the adequacy of security at the U.S. Consulate in Libya, where the Sept. 11 attacks killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other State Department officials.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that U.S. intelligence officials were examining evidence that operatives for al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb had a series of conversations with members of Ansar al-Sharia, a local militant group sympathetic with al Qaeda, on the day violent protests broke out in Cairo.
Testifying before a Senate committee on Wednesday, Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said intelligence officials are examining the possibility of such links. "We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to al Qaeda or al Qaeda's affiliates, in particular, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb," he said, calling the assault on the consulate a "terrorist attack."
It may be the case that both local militants and an overseas al Qaeda affiliate were involved in the attacks, he added. "The picture that is emerging is one where a number of different individuals were involved," he said.