Transcript for Libya Attack: Terror Link?
Now, to an explosive headline about the 9/11 attack in libya that killed four americans, including america's ambassador, chris stevens, the white ho. The white house described it as a mobile riot, talk bed, officials called it a terrorist attack, highly engineered and de deadly. Abc's jake tapper has the details. Reporter: That's right, george, and this 180 comes on the heels of criticism that the white house downplayed this terrorist attack, less than two months before the election. Secretary of defense leon panetta today acknowledged that the attack that killed four americans in benghazi, libya, on the anniversary of 9/11 was not only carried out by terrorists, it was premeditated. As we determined the details of what took place there and how that attack took place, that it became clear that there were terrorists who had planned that attack. Reporter: The white house first suggested that the benghazi attack was spontaneous. The result of that anti-muslim video inciting mobs throughout the region. Jake, let's be clear, these protests were in reaction to a video that had been spread to the region. Reporter: What happened at benghazi -- we certainly don't know. We don't know otherwise. We have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack. Reporter: But sources tell abc news that intelligence officials on the ground immediately suspected that the attack was not tied to the movie at all. Arousing their suspicion? The fact that the attackers knew where to get ambassador stevens after he'd fled to a so-called safe house, half a mile away. The building was hit with insurgent mortars, suggesting the terrorists knew what they were doing. Some administration sources tell abc news they were concerned after the white house began pushing the line that they attack was spontaneous and not the work of terrorists. The white house says assessments have changed over time as intelligence has been confirmed. President obama has repeatedly said the investigation is on to find the killers and bring them to justice. And george, abc news has confirmed that the fbi, which has been dispatched to libya to lead the investigation, has not even reached benghazi yet, 16 days after the attack, largely due to safety concerns. Now, officials worry, by the time the officials from the fbi get to the site, it will have been picked clean, george. Such a dangerous situation right now. Okay, jake, thank you. And at the united nations
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