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FBI Sidestepping Terror Group in Benghazi Probe, GOP Charges

Republican lawmakers voice concerns about the dragging pace of the probe of the attack on the U.S. Consulate at Benghazi, Libya.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 8/1/2013, 12:55 PM

Damage inside the burnt consulate building in Benghazi
Damage inside the burnt consulate building in Benghazi
AFP/FIle

Republican lawmakers are voicing increasing concerns about the dragging pace of the investigation of the terror attack on the U.S. Consulate at Benghazi, Libya that ended the life of an American ambassador and three other diplomats on September 11, 2012.

Eight GOP legislators sent a letter on Wednesday to newly-confirmed FBI director James Comey demanding he make the probe a priority, saying they expect a status report within 30 days.

“Rumors continue to swirl about the whereabouts of suspects involved in the attack. The FBI continues to add pictures of potential assailants to its website and asks the Libyan people to assist with identifying the alleged perpetrators. We struggle to understand why we don't know more about those who attacked two U.S. compounds and murdered four brave Americans," they wrote. 

"It has been more than 10 months since the attacks. We appear to be no closer to knowing who was responsible today than we were in the early weeks following the attack. This is simply unacceptable. We encourage you to be aggressive in your investigation to properly hold accountable those who attacked our compounds in Benghazi." 

The move follows an attack by Al Qaeda-linked terrorists that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomats in a conflagration that the State Department at first claimed was touched off by an amateur anti-Islam film produced in the United States. When it became obvious that the film had nothing to do with the attack, the While House switched gears and delivered assurances that an investigation was being launched into the incident.

The lawmakers expressed outrage that investigators have yet to interview key individuals connected with the Al Qaeda linked Ansar al-Shari’a terrorist organization that was involved in the attack. 

“Our FBI has never talked to these people, and that’s just wholly unacceptable,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told Fox News. “This is a pathetic effort to bring people to justice,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), said in a separate interview with Fox.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday the Obama administration considers the controversy over the Benghazi attack to be among the “phony scandals” President Barack Obama has referred to in recent speeches.