The BBC reports that earlier today "A huge car bomb has killed at least eight people and injured 78 in central Beirut, Lebanese officials say."

Hours later, the White House released a statement condemning the "terrorist attack."

"The United States condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack today in Beirut that killed Lebanese Internal Security Forces Information Bureau Director Wissam al-Hassan and at least seven others, and wounded dozens more," said national security council spokesman Tommy Vietor. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those killed and injured in this heinous attack and with the Lebanese people, who have sacrificed greatly to overcome war and violence. Lebanon’s security and stability are vital both for the Lebanese people and their neighbors. There is no justification for using assassination as a political tool. The United States will stand by the Government of Lebanon and the people of Lebanon as they work to bring those responsible for this barbaric attack to justice and build a future where all Lebanese can live in security and dignity."

The White House's quick decision to call this bombing a "terrorist attack" shows a marked change after it took the White House weeks to call the 9/11 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans a "terrorist attack."

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