Several US officials including State Department, White House and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are issuing denials of a report that they had advanced knowledge of the attacks on the US embassy in Egypt and the Consulate in Benghazi, which killed the US Ambassador and several others.
The reports have centered around Britain’s The independent, which claimed the State Department had “credible information” 48 hours ahead of the Benghazi attack but gave no warning to anyone involved.
The White House says there is “no actionable intelligence” related to the attack and was certainly no advanced warning. The DNI office termed the newspaper’s report “absolutely wrong.”
Indeed, even at this point officials say they don’t have any positive evidence that the Libya attack was preplanned, though some officials have been speculating for days that this was the case, citing the method of strike.
Some officials are still maintaining that they were warned “there could be trouble” but that there was no specific threat warned about beyond the fact that the trailer for some movie was “gaining attention,” apparently referring to the Innocence of Muslims trailer causing protests nationwide.
The White House’s primary interest seems to be insisting that the attacks have nothing to do with their own policies, and that they are entirely a function of anger over the movie trailer. Though this appears to be the case in Egypt, the speculation about Benghazi’s attack remains that it was planned well before the trailer even came out.