US & Canada

FBI investigates Benghazi consulate attack in one day

A Libyan security guard holds a slogan, which reads in Arabic "Where is the security for us and for our guests" at the main entrance of the US consulate in Benghazi on 18 September 2012
Image caption Libyans have protested the attack that killed Chris Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya

The FBI has confirmed its agents were in Benghazi, Libya, to investigate last month's deadly attack on the consulate there.

A bureau spokeswoman says the team went to "all the relevant locations" in Libya's second city in one day, but did not specify what they had found.

The US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans died in the 11 September blaze.

The US defence secretary has called it a terrorist attack.

The Pentagon confirmed that US military personnel had provided support to the FBI team during the site investigation, which began on Wednesday.

Spokesman George Little said it was "a matter of days" between the FBI request to the Libyan authorities to access the crime scene and when the US military airlifted the team to the city.

President Barack Obama's administration is facing questions over the attack on the US consulate in Libya, amid reports of military preparations to target those behind it.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a commander of a former rebel unit now under the Libyan defence ministry's control told the AFP news agency: "About 20 Americans dressed in civilian clothing came and we were asked to protect them until they leave Benghazi.

"They arrived in the early morning and worked for three hours collecting evidence.

Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters on Thursday that it should not be assumed that the investigation and "all that we could do or have been doing" is restricted solely to Benghazi.

"I'm satisfied with the progress," Mr Holder said.

Law enforcement officials have said FBI agents had stayed away from Benghazi due to security concerns.

On Tuesday, a Congressional committee asked whether requests for more security at the Benghazi consulate had been rejected.

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