Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf claims Tuesday's attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, which left a U.S. ambassador and three State Department employees dead, was pre-planned.
In an interview with Face the Nation on Sunday, Magariaf said "It was planned, definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their arrival. The way these perpetrators acted, and moved … and they’re choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, I think we have no, this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned, determined…predetermined,”
Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, disagreed with Magariaf's assessment, telling ABC News“Our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo.
We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to – or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo and then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons… And it then evolved from there.”
Magariaf continues to contend that the attack was premeditated and said the suspects are connected to al Qaeda, or are affiliates and sympathizers. He went on to say:
"We don't know what are the real intentions of these perpetrators are. They entered Libya from different directions. Some of them definitely from Mali and Algeria," He also called for the US remain distant for now and allow Libya to investigate, telling Reuters"It may be better for them to stay away for a little while until we do what we have to do ourselves."
Sen. John McCain seems to be siding with Magariaf. The Washington Post reports McCain as saying: ”Most people don’t bring rocket propelled grenades and heavy weapons to a demonstration. That was an act of terror, and for anyone to disagree with that fundamental fact, I think is really ignoring of the facts."
FBI investigators plan on traveling to Benghazi to investigate exactly what did happen during the attacks.