One week after an assault in Benghazi that killed the US ambassador and three other fellow Americans, conflicting reports into the details surrounding their death from both the White House and Libyan officials leave the facts of the raid uncertain.
The Obama administration insists that a mob stormed the consulate to show their contempt with an American-made film that insulted the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), but overseas the explanation is much different.
Some authorities in Libya say the attack on the consulate that killed Ambassador Stevens had roots with al-Qaeda, and that the White House has whitewashed the facts in order to make the explanation more favorable for American audiences on the eve of a presidential election.
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters, "We have provided information about what we believe was the precipitating cause of the protest and violence based on the information that we have had available," and that the US stands by the claim that “spontaneous” attacks on the consulate resulted in the loss of four Americans.
"[W]e do not have any indication at this point of premeditation or pre-planned attacks," said Carney, adding, however, that "we're not making declarations ahead of the facts here."
As for the Libyan authorities, “the way these perpetrators acted and moved, and their choosing a specific date for this so-called demonstration, I think that this leaves us with no doubt that this was pre-planned, pre-determined,” Libyan parliament chief Mohammad Magarief, the head of the Libyan National Congress, said Sunday, McClatchy reports.
According to a report by Radio Free Europe, Magarief went on to explain the raid as “definitely” planned, and not the spontaneous storming of the consulate that American authorities claim.
Additionally, Magarief believes that the assaults were planned by extremists, mostly foreigners, some of whom he considers “affiliates and sympathizers” with al-Qaeda.
To Fox News, an intelligence source on the ground in Libya told the outlet on condition of anonymity that the “spontaneous” protest claims were incorrect, and the attack "was planned and had nothing to do with the movie."
Meanwhile, Russia Today news website reported that both federal and private U.S. investigators alike have opened a probe into ‘Innocence of Muslims” and the filmmaker behind the flick in order to see if the amateur producer had intended to provoke mass protests, which continue one week later.
Researchers have so far uncovered a trove of information about the filmmaker, identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula of Los Angeles.