The House Intelligence Committee is planning to hold a hearing on the deadly Benghazi terrorist attack next week where top Obama intelligence officials are expected to testify, Fox News reports. Republicans and millions of Americans are hoping to finally get some answers now that the President Barack Obama is no longer running for re-election.
U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department employee Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed in the coordinated attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi. Early intelligence reports were confirmed when it was discovered that a local radical Islamist group was behind the attack.
The Obama administration has been blasted for its inconsistent and evolving story regarding the attack. The White House initially blamed an anti-Muslim YouTube video and has since stonewalled congressional investigators pressing for more information. Lawmakers also want to know why repeated calls for increased security were ignored and why more wasn’t done to protect Americans in Libya after the attack began.
More from FoxNews.com:
The House Intelligence Committee will hold its hearing on the attack on Nov. 15, Fox News has learned. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director David Petraeus and Matt Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, are expected to testify.
The Senate Intelligence Committee plans to meet the same day to discuss the Libya attack, but that hearing will be closed to the public.
Republicans, who control the House, have accused Obama officials of downplaying the attack’s terrorist nature to maintain an administration narrative that Al Qaeda is on the run. Officials initially suggested an anti-Islam video produced in the United States had motivated the attack, which U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said five days later appeared to be “spontaneous” violence after a protest escalated.
But further investigation revealed no protest outside the consulate on the night of the attack, and the attackers are thought to be members of Ansar al-Sharia, a group that isn’t directly affiliated with Al Qaeda but sympathizes with its anti-Western goals. It remains unclear how long the attackers had been planning their strike and whether they were motivated by outrage over the video.
Questions still surround the Obama administration’s decision not to attempt to save the Americans trapped in Libya. In fact, the White House didn’t even dispatch a military team at all or convene a key counterterrorism task force.
Since the attack occurred, leaked classified and unclassified cables have suggested that U.S. officials were aware in the days leading up to the Benghazi attack that Islamist extremists were a growing threat in the country and the consulate in Benghazi was particularly vulnerable to a coordinated attack.
Obama has promised the American people that the attackers will be brought to justice. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken “full responsibility” for the security failures in Libya.
So far, one of the suspected terrorists has been arrested and is being held in Tunisia. He was arrested at an airport in Turkey not long after the attack. The FBI was finally given access to the suspect last week.