U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said there was no actionable intelligence prior to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last week that resulted in the death of its envoy to Libya.
“With all of our missions overseas, in advance of September 11, as is done every year, we did an evaluation on threat streams. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has said we had no actionable intelligence that an attack on our post in Benghazi was planned or imminent,” Ms. Clinton said in a press conference on Tuesday.
In the aftermath of the attack, the U.S., besides reviewing its security postures, is taking “aggressive steps” to protect its citizens, consulates and embassies around the world, Ms. Clinton said, adding that Washington was working with different countries to acquaint them with U.S. security needs.
She further said Washington was working closely with the Libyan Government to bring the perpetrators of September 11 attack to justice.
“The FBI has joined the investigation inside Libya, and we will not rest until the people who orchestrated this attack are found and punished,” she said.
The security at the Benghazi Consulate included a unit of host government security forces, as well as a local guard force of the kind that the U.S. relies on in many places around the world, said Ms. Clinton.
“In addition to the security outside the compound, we relied on a wall and a robust security presence inside the compound,” she said.
Ms. Clinton noted that in a number of places where protests have turned violent, there is a hand of extremists who are trying to “exploit people’s inflamed passions” for their own agendas.
People of Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia, however, are not prepared to “trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob” as they want a “strong” partnership with the U.S. besides “better opportunities” for themselves and their children, Ms. Clinton said.
Ms. Clinton said extremists are working to take advantage of broad outrage in order to “incite violence and specifically incite violence” against Americans and American facilities.
“These extremist efforts are a threat to the people of the societies and governments of those societies as well as to the region and the U.S. I think it’s important at this moment for leaders to put themselves on the right side of this debate -- to speak out clearly and unequivocally against violence, whoever incites or conducts it,” she said.
Ms. Clinton said the U.S. supports those who are fighting for values like democracy, freedom, universal rights, justice and accountability, and it will continue to work with its partners to help bring security to these nations.