(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama said the assault that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens was not just a mob action, but stopped short of calling it a terrorist attack as other members of the administration have done.
“We’re still doing an investigation. There’s no doubt that the kind of weapons that were used, the ongoing assault, that it wasn’t just a mob action,” Obama said on the ABC daytime talk show, “The View.”
“Now, we don’t have all the information yet, so we’re still gathering it,” the president continued. “What’s clear is, around the world, there are still a lot of threats out there.
“That’s why we have to maintain the strongest military in the world. That’s why we can’t let down our guard when it comes to the intelligence work that we do and staying on top of not just al Qaeda, the traditional al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but all these various fringe groups that have started to develop,” he added.
On the anniversary of the 9/11 attack, Stevens and three others were murdered at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The administration had initially blamed the attack and other attacks in the region that occurred on Sept. 11, 2012 on an anti-Muslim YouTube video. However, in the past week, administration officials have said the Libyan assault was likely a terror attack.
“The tragedy is that Chris Stevens, the ambassador who was killed there, was actually somebody who was beloved by many Libyans,” Obama said. “He’s one of the people who helped to guide our policy when we liberated Libya and got rid of Qaddafi, who had murdered not only Libyans, but also Americans.
“What’s been interesting this past week is there were these massive protests against these extremist militias that are suspected of having been involved in this attack. Libyans came out on the streets and said Chris Stevens is our friend and we’re not going to tolerate this anymore,” he added.