WASHINGTON – U.S. counterterrorism officials have determined that several extremist groups, including Ansar al-Sharia, took part in last year’s attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador there and three other officials. They think the terrorist organizations selected the U.S. diplomatic outpost there as a potential target ahead of time.
The officials have identified numerous people involved – some new to U.S. intelligence and others who are well-known – and have issued several sealed indictments in recent months.
But on the first anniversary of the attack, there is not “anyone in custody who can tell us” specifics, including when, where and by whom the plot was hatched, and whether the Sept. 11 date was selected in advance or was a last-minute choice of opportunity, a counterterrorism official said.
“That is a huge gap,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the investigation.
Koreas agree to jointly run factory
North and South Korea agreed to restart operations at a jointly run factory park that Pyongyang shut down in April during a torrent of threats, the latest sign of easing animosity between the rivals.
Seoul’s Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, said operations at the industrial park, located just north of the heavily armed border separating the two Koreas, would resume sometime after a trial run that starts Monday.
De Blasio leads early NY mayor results
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio held a clear lead in New York City’s mayoral Democratic primary as polls closed, according to early and incomplete voting returns. It was unclear, though, whether he would top the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff.
With 87 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio has about 39.6 percent of the total vote. Former city Comptroller Bill Thompson has 26 percent, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has 15 percent. They were followed by current city Comptroller John Liu at 7 percent and Anthony Weiner at 5 percent.
In the Democratic primary for New York City comptroller, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer defeated Eliot Spitzer, ending the disgraced ex-governor’s surprise bid to reclaim his political career.
Recall vote split on 2 Colo. legislators
One of two Colorado lawmakers appeared to be in trouble Tuesday in a recall election prompted by their votes to tighten gun control laws.
Initial results released soon after the polls closed showed that early voters backed recalling John Morse, Colorado Senate president, 52 to 48 percent. That tally accounts for about 45 percent of the vote and doesn’t include voters who went to the polls Tuesday on the final day of voting.
Very limited results are available so far for Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo. Only about 2 percent of the vote has been reported, and about 70 percent of those voters were against recalling her.