Entries in Terrorist attacks (4)


Obama Considers Libya Assault A ‘Terrorist Attack,’ White House Says

STR/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed on Wednesday that President Obama believes the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a “terrorist attack” -- a term the president has not yet used in his characterization of the violence.

“It is our view as an administration, the president’s view, that it was a terrorist attack,” Carney told reporters.

The administration, which is still investigating the attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, initially suggested the assault was linked to broader protests fueled by an anti-Islam movie.

Last week, Carney said it was “self-evident” that the violence was a terrorist attack.

“It is, I think by definition, a terrorist attack when there is a prolonged assault on an embassy with weapons,” he reiterated on Wednesday.

On Monday, the president told ABC’s The View that “there is no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the on-going assault, that it wasn’t just a mob action.”

Asked why Obama has declined to use the term “terrorist attack,” Carney said “there’s no reason that he chose the words he did beyond trying to provide a full explanation of his views and his assessment that we need to await further information that the investigation will uncover.”

Republicans, including GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have criticized the president and his administration for not leveling with the American people.

In a letter to the president, eight House Republican committee chairmen on Wednesday said they are “disturbed” by the administration’s statements that would “lead the American public to believe this attack was a protest gone wrong, rather than what it truly was -- a terrorist attack on the United States on the anniversary of 9/11.”

“This seems like a pre-9/11 mindset -- treating an act of war solely as a criminal matter, rather than also prioritizing the gathering of intelligence to prevent future attacks,” the lawmakers wrote.  “Moreover, given that violence in the region continues unabated, what actions are we undertaking to deter terrorists from capitalizing on the successful Benghazi attack, or launching similar attacks elsewhere in the region or in the homeland?”

Carney said on Wednesday that the administration has provided as much information as possible.

“We made clear that our initial assessment and interim reports were based on information that was available at the time,” he said.  ”It continues to be the case that we provided information based on what we know -- not based on speculation, but based on what we know -- acknowledging that we are continuing an investigation that will undoubtedly uncover more facts, and as more facts and more details emerge we will, when appropriate, provide them to you.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


McCain Admits Americans Won't Allow Another Middle East War

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Americans suffering from war fatigue won't permit more U.S. military involvement in the Middle East, according to Sen. John McCain.

The Arizona Republican told Fox News Sunday that he still supports the decisions made by the previous Bush administration to invade Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks and remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power.

However, McCain admitted, "I also think we learned a lot of lessons, and frankly, I don't think you're going to see the United States of America in another war in that part of the world."

"I don't think American public opinion would stand for it," the 2008 GOP presidential nominee conceded.

McCain believes that the U.S. had no choice but to go after al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan when America was attacked 10 years ago.

Yet, "whether it's mismanaged and whether we underestimated the enormity of the challenge we faced, I think historians will judge," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


How 9/11 Led to President Obama

Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ten years ago Sunday, a little known Illinois state Senator was driving his car down Lake Shore Drive on his way to a legislative hearing at the James R. Thompson Center, the state building in the middle of Chicago’s Loop.  He turned the dial on his radio and heard the news that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

Like many Americans, Sen. Barack Obama assumed it had been a small plane with mechanical difficulties.  By the time he got to the hearing, however, a second plane had crashed into the other tower.  It had become clear that the crashes had been intentional and that there would likely be thousands of casualties.

Thompson Center was evacuated, and Chicagoans -- including Sen. Obama -- were fearful that Chicago’s Sears Tower might be next.  He went to the law offices of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, where he was of counsel, and with his fellow attorneys, watched the twin towers fall.

That night, Barack Obama held his daughter Sasha, who had turned 3 months old the day before.  He had night duty so his wife Michelle could get some sleep.  As he stayed up late tending to Sasha’s needs, he wondered what kind of world she would be inheriting.

Sasha Obama is now 10, and in her short life her father has gone from obscurity to leader of the free world.  On issues ranging from the War Powers Act to the indefinite detention of accused terrorists, the former constitutional law lecturer has certainly showed a certain willingness to get beyond the theoretical and make decisions his advisers call “practical.”  In this, the responsibility of the presidency is what may have changed him, not 9/11.

The attacks, according to sources close to the president, hastened his political career, causing him to feel a stronger sense of urgency that he needed to emerge on the national stage.  That’s because the issues brought to the forefront of the political debate -- the importance of national unity, the wisdom of going to war in Iraq, the balance between liberty and security -- are ones that the then-University of Chicago constitutional law lecturer found so compelling.

In short, 9/11 in many ways compelled Barack Obama to become a national leader.

Though his political career had suffered a humiliating setback the year before when incumbent Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., crushed him in the Democratic primary, Barack Obama within months of the terrorist attacks began sounding out themes for the post-9/11 world that ultimately led to him to become the 44th president of the United States.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


9/11, Remembrance and Renewal: Recalling President Bush's Reaction

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The nation is marking 10 years since the attacks of 9/11. ABC News White House Correspondent Ann Compton recalls being on the road with President Bush that tragic day.

"I was with President George Bush in a Florida classroom as an aide whispered the chilling news," Compton says.

"As soon as he was informed of the attack President Bush wanted to get back to Washington. But he could not.  Nor could those of us with him," she says.

The Pentagon had been struck too, making the nation's capital a target and challenging the White House to ensure that its Doomsday scenario can survive in a new era of powerful terrorism.  But the president would soon get his wish.

"This is Ann Compton.  We are on board [Air Force One].  Doors are shut and I am told we are flying back to Washington," Compton reported on Sept. 11, 2001, hours after the attacks.

"President Bush flew half way across the United States to find safety and communications," Compton recalls.  "Now, 10 years later, Air Force One has secure video conferencing equipment, satellite television capability, linking the President to American officials all over the globe. "

Today, Compton says, "the Doomsday scenario is still in place to protect not just the man, but the line of succession to the presidency."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio