Emails to White House show militants claimed credit for Libya attack

A man walks the grounds of the U.S. Consulate in Bengazi after the attack. A man walks the grounds of the U.S. Consulate in Bengazi after the attack. Mohammad Hannon/AP
Within two hours of the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, emails from the State Department to officials at the White House show that Islamic militants had claimed responsibility for the attack, according to Reuters.

The emails, which show that a group called Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility, were sent from the State Department's Operations Center to multiple offices, including the White House, the Pentagon, and the FBI on the afternoon of Sept. 11, according to Reuters.

One email, sent at 6:07 p.m. Washington time, had this subject line: "Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack." The body of the email reads: “"Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli."

Reuters reported that one of the recipients of the email was the White House Situation Room, the president’s secure room.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that for more than a week after the attack, the president was advised in his daily intelligence briefing that the attacks were spontaneous and had been inspired by an anti-Muslim video.

“I think somebody latched onto what they wanted to hear in intelligence that was provided," Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN's Starting Point on Wednesday, adding that, "somebody saw something that they thought was the way that they wanted to talk about it, versus what the facts on the ground were."
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