Libya: FBI investigators visit crime scene

On Thursday, U.S. Department of Defense personnel aided FBI investigators as they toured the site of the September 11 attack in Libya which killed four. The visit lasted approximately 13 hours.

AP Photo/Ibrahim Alaguri, File
This file photo shows Libyans walking on the grounds of the gutted U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. FBI investigators visited the scene Thursday.

A team of U.S. investigators travelled for the first time to the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Thursday to analyse the crime scene where the U.S. ambassador was killed in an attack last month, Libyan and U.S. sources said.

FBI agents were sent to Libya after the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission and on another facility in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

But, until now, they had mainly remained in Tripoli and had not visited the site of what the United States has called a "deliberate and organised terrorist attack", partly because of security concerns.

"An American team has been visiting the compound," one Libyan security source said. Another security source said: "They have been assessing the damage, collecting evidence."

The FBI team was on the ground in Benghazi for about 13 hours looking at the crime scene before leaving, two U.S. government sources said on condition of anonymity.

In Washington, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder suggested the probe had been active despite the weeks-long delay in getting FBI agents to Benghazi.

"You should not assume that all that we could do or have been doing is restricted solely to Benghazi. There are a variety of other places, in-country and outside the country, where relevant things could be done and have been done," Holder said at a news conference.

"This is a matter that's been under active investigation almost since the time of the incident, and I'm satisfied with the progress that we have made," he said.

Separately, the Pentagon said on Thursday U.S. military personnel provided support for the FBI visit to Benghazi.

"At the request of the FBI, the department provided logistic and security support to the investigation team in order to conduct work on-site in Benghazi," Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters. Department of Defence "personnel completed that support earlier today and have departed Benghazi along with the investigation team."

In Benghazi, the road leading to the compound's front gate was blocked by vehicles mounted with weapons belonging to the Libyan security forces, a Reuters witness said.

Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdel Aziz said on Tuesday that the FBI team would soon be heading to Benghazi but that Tripoli and Washington had yet to agree on how the two sides would conduct a joint investigation.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday vowed every effort would be made to try to piece together a full account of the attack "wherever that leads," but cautioned that it could take time for a complete picture to emerge.

Libyan officials say eight people have so far been arrested in connection with the attack.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.