Libya President Says Consulate Attack Was 'Preplanned,' Eyes Al Qaeda Link

September 16, 2012

Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif said he believes Al Qaeda is responsible for the deadly attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans and said roughly 50 people have arrested in connection with the violence, according to two broadcast interviews Sunday.

Megarif, president of the Libyan National Congress, also reportedly differed with the Obama administration's position that the attacks Tuesday were sparked by an anti-Islamic video on the Internet.

In an interview with NPR, Megarif said foreigners have been infiltrating his country over the past few months, which has been undergoing major changes since the uprising against the late dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. 

Megarif says the attackers, who he believes are connected to Al Qaeda, used the protests at the consulate as a cover to attack the U.S. Consulate on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"We firmly believe that this was a precalculated, preplanned attack that was carried out specifically to attack the U.S. Consulate," Megarif told NPR.

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