In response to the attack on the US consulate building in Libya on Tuesday night, now widely considered to have been planned by al-Qaeda, the Obama administration has ordered drones to fly over the country, additional US Marines to guard diplomatic buildings, and warships to the Libyan coast.
The administration on Wednesday announced sending drones to fly over Benghazi and other locations in eastern Libya in search of jihadi encampments that may have been involved in the attack, which killed four Americans. The fact that additional US Marines and warships, which carry Tomahawk missiles, have been included in the reaction could spell airstrikes in the near future.
These policies, as well as an extensive FBI investigation into the incident, appear to be the beginnings of what CBS News called “a terrorist hunt in Libya, as evidence mounts assault was perpetrated by al-Qaeda affiliates in Libya.
Al-Qaeda’s resurgence in Libya came as a direct result of the US-led NATO mission there which unseated former dictator Muammar Gadhafi and left a dangerous power vacuum in the country. It’s possible that some of the same rebel militias the US assisted in ousting Gadhafi have now used their renewed prominence against Washington’s interests in Libya.