House Homeland Security Chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.) said this morning that authorities are closer to tracking down the perpetrators behind the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, despite the situation on the ground in Libya being “confusing.”
“That Benghazi area is one of the most confusing of all. It’s an al Qaida stronghold out there. There’s also Ansar al-Sharia, which is basically a conglomeration of jihadist paramilitaries,” King said on CNN, adding that the FBI is out in the area now.
“A lot of people have been picked up by the Libyan authorities. How guilty they really are, I don’t know,” he said. “We’re still in the fog of war. We’re in an area where we don’t have that many assets on the ground. We have a Libyan government which I think actually to give them credit, I think the Libyan government itself is trying to work with us.”
“Unlike President Morsi in Egypt, Libyans are trying. But it’s a very new government. It’s ineffective government.”
King said that without military back-up for the ambassador in Benghazi, it was “almost a no man’s land out there.”
The chairman said President Obama’s policies in the region have sent a “confused message.”
“Take Egypt. Here is a country getting $1.6 billion in aid, annual aid, from the United States. You have President Morsi for the first day, the entire day of our embassy being under attack, did virtually nothing to protect us and was actually putting out statements in Arabic where he was sympathizing with the demonstrators and those attacking the American embassy,” King said.
“What it’s done is it’s created a climate, it’s created an attitude in the Middle East where our allies don’t trust us, where those who are undecided are starting to hedge their bets and turn against us.”
“…We have nothing to apologize to the Muslim world at all,” King added. “We have not sacrificed our ideals.”