Libya: Suspects in connection to US consulate raid detained
Libyan authorities announced Thursday they had arrested suspects in connection with the investigation into the attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. This raid killed four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Al Qaeda elements are involved in this incident.
The attack occurred Tuesday, which marked the 11th anniversary of the attacks in NY. It sparked a wave of international condemnation, primarily by the United States, including President Barack Obama who has requested the collaboration of Tripoli to arrest and bring to justice the perpetrators of these killings.
Nearly a year after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, the attack has shown once again the inability of the new Libyan authorities to ensure security in the country. Ministries of "Interior and Justice began investigating and collecting evidence and some people were arrested," said Deputy Interior Minister, Wanis al-Sharef.
The official, however, refused to provide futher details on the arrested suspects, in order "not to interfere with the proper conduct of the investigation."
Earlier, the spokesman for the High Commission of Security Department at the Interior Ministry, Abdelmonem al-Horr, announced the formation of an independent commission to investigate the attack. It will be chaired by a judge and include "experts" from the Ministries of Justice and Interior.
According to the spokesman, the investigation is "very complicated" insofar as the crowd in around the consulate was "not consistent". "There were extremists, ordinary citizens, women, children and criminals," he added.
Initially it was believed that the attack was carried out by angry demonstrators against a film posted on the internet, titled the "Innocence of Muslims." However, now American intelligence sources believe that extremists have used the demonstrators protesting against the film as a "pretext" to attack the consulate with small arms as well as rocket launchers.
"There are still quite vague details, but clearly it was the signing of Al-Qaeda," said Mike Rogers, Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the U.S. Congress.