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Chambliss: there is no doubt Al-Qaeda affiliates carried out Benghazi attacks

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga) spoke on FOX News' "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" program on Wednesday about the Senate Intelligence Committee's final report on the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The report was released earlier on Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) speaks about the Benghazi report on Capitol Hill, January 15, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The bipartisan committee concluded that the Benghazi attacks were preventable and that four different Al-Qaeda affiliated groups carried them out.

The report also found that warnings of violence against Americans were ignored by the State Department but not the CIA, which beefed up security in weeks leading up to the attack.

U.S. Ambassador John Christopher Stevens and three other American servicemen were killed when the U.S. consulate in Benghazi came under attack.

When Van Susteren asked Chambliss, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, if Al-Qaeda was involved in the attacks, Chambliss said that there's "no question about it," however he did emphasize that they can't say it was "an Al-Qaeda" attack.

"We do know that there were several principal Al-Qaeda leaders who were leaders of the group that headed up the attack, so there is no way not to characterize this as Al-Quada being involved in an Al-Qaeda attack," he said.

When Chambliss was asked when did the Administration know it was an Al-Qaeda attack, Chambliss alluded that they knew almost immediately.

"I can tell you that within hours, Saxby Chambliss as the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee knew that it was a terrorist attack," he said. "And within 24 hours knew that there was a suspected Al-Qaeda leader involved and maybe even more than one individual involved with an Al-Qaeda affiliate involved. So as for what the White House knew, surely they knew more than I did, quicker than I did."

Chambliss said that he doesn't know why the President didn't just admit that this was a terrorist attack, instead alleging that the attack was spontaneous and a result of an anti-Islam video.

"The video in and of itself really played no role in this, according to everything from out intelligence community," he said.

The Georgia senator also said that the Administration and the President knew for months ahead of 9/11/2012 that Benghazi was a high security risk.

Chambliss said that there were about 20 different attacks on "western interests" in Libya leading up to September 2012, including an attack on that same U.S. consulate complex in Benghazi when a bomb was thrown in over the wall causing significant damage.

Chambliss also spoke about a partially classified cable that Ambassador Stevens sent to the Administration on August 16 about a rapidly deteriorating situation in Benghazi.

Stevens mentioned in the cable that there are at least ten Al-Quada training camps located inside of Benghazi (not all of Libya), emphasizing that if there was an attack on the U.S. complex, there would be no way for Americans to defend it.

Chambliss also said that some documents and interviews related to Benghazi that the Intelligence Committee asked for from the State Department they did not receive.

"If they [the Administration] really wanted to get to all of the answers, and remember Greta, this was an American ambassador that was killed, that just doesn't happen every day in the world, it happens about every 50 to 60 years," said Chambliss. "It was that serious and yet it didn't seem that the White House really wanted to get to the bottom of it to explain to these families what happened."

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