Libyan PM: ‘It Is Not a Spontaneous Thing That Took Place That Night, No;’ U.S. Strike at Perps Would ‘Throw This Country in Chaos’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 23, 2012 | 10:55am EDT


U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns meets with Libyan President Mohammed El-Megarif in Tripoli on Sept. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Abdel Magid al-Fergany))

( - Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur, who was elected Sept. 12, 2012, the day after the attack on the U.S consulate in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, told CNN in an interview posted online on Friday that the Benghazi attack was “not a spontaneous thing,” that the Libyan government had thus far arrested eight people who were involved in it, and that he opposed a U.S. military strike against those responsible because it “would really throw this country in chaos.”
“So far, we have detained about eight people who have been part of the attack on that night,” Abushagur told CNN Senior International Correspondent Arwa Damon. “And we have identified some of the leaders who right now we're pursuing.”

Damon asked Abushagur: “Were there any foreigners amongst them ties to groups like Al Qaeda?”

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“No, they're all Libyans,” said Abushagur.

“Have you then determined this attack was preplanned?” asked CNN.

“Oh, I think it is. I think it is. Because the way it has taken place, the way they have done it, it's clear this group has planned it,” said Abushagur. “So, It is not a spontaneous thing that took place that night, no.”

Abushagur met with U.S. Deptuy Secretary of State William Burns on Thursday in Libya. CNN’s Damon asked the Libyan prime minister about that meeting.

“In your meetings with the Deputy Secretary of State William Burns what did you discuss and, also, did you ask the United States for help?”  Damon asked.

“It is technical, it is intelligence,” said Abushagur. “And also at the same time clearly we want to train our new army, our police force, equipment for them. These are types [of] assistance, and also planning and strategy.”

CNN's Damon asked: “Since this attack took place there has been an increase in drone activity. The U.S. has moved its naval warships. Has there been any discussion about a possible U.S. military strike and what is your position on that?”

Abushagur responded: “We are against any effort to be taken by any foreign country in Libya, because this will cross our sovereignty, and we are prepared to really to handle this situation. And, I think, the administration, they know very well what we can do, and our effort, and are very grateful for what we have done so far. So, I think we might need help in the investigation itself. But, clearly, for having a strike that would really throw this country in chaos if that ever happened.

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