Who was the CIA chief in Benghazi

Petraeus suspected terrorists behind the Benghazi attack

It was the first appearance of David Petraeus since his resignation from the top of the US secret service CIA. Behind closed doors, he answered questions before the secret service committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Petraeus reached the congress through underground passages, shielded from the public and away from all cameras.

Republican MP Peter King reported that Petraeus had stated that after the deadly attack on September 11th in Benghazi, Libya, information had been contradicting itself. "Right from the start," however, the involvement of terrorists was clear. The specific references to terrorist groups had been removed from the final report of the CIA, said Petraeus, according to information from participants in the hearings.

CIA under pressure

The CIA had come under fire for its handling of the Benghazi attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, a diplomat and two Navy Seals commandos. The secret service allegedly provided the administration of President Barack Obama with inaccurate information about the background. Members of the Obama administration described the attack as a reaction to the "Innocence of Muslims" video produced in the US, apparently referring to a CIA report. Only later did the government unanimously agree that it had been an "act of terror".

Fire broke out after the fatal attack on the US consulate in Benghazi

The Republicans accuse Obama of initially hiding the terrorist background for electoral reasons. They also criticize the fact that the consulate in Benghazi was not adequately protected despite the deterioration in the security situation. The Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia, which is based in the east Libyan city and is said to have contacts with the terror network Al-Qaeda, is held responsible for the attack.

Obama: So far no betrayal of secrets

Petraeus resigned from the CIA a week ago because of an extramarital relationship with his biographer Paula Broadwell. The authorities also investigated whether the former four-star general could have passed on confidential documents to Broadwell. Both rejected this. The CIA has since opened an investigation into the scandal surrounding Petraeus' extramarital relationship. The investigation joins similar investigations by the Federal Police FBI and the Department of Defense, said a spokesman for the service.

Obama told journalists on Thursday that, to the best of his knowledge, there had been no betrayal of secrets in the Petraeus affair. The former four-star general had taken his hat because he had not lived up to his own standard of conduct, stressed Obama.

Stumbling block for Susan Rice?

The dispute over the Benghazi attack is also about the possible nomination of the American UN ambassador Susan Rice as Obama's future foreign minister. Some Republicans accuse her of covering up the true nature of the Benghazi attack. They are therefore determined to prevent the necessary approval for Rice in the Senate. Rice is considered a candidate to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton is also due to testify on Benghazi in a congressional committee in December.

kle / haz (afp, dapd, rtr, dpa)