A retired military officer serving in the U.S.'s Africa Command headquarters in Germany told the House oversight committee Thursday that it was his belief at the time that the September 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attributable to an Islamic extremist group and not an internet video.
Robert Lovell was an brigadier general with the Air Force, stationed in Germany, when four Americans were killed in Benghazi. In his congressional testimony, Lovell said that his role was to focus on "attribution" of the attack.
"What do you believe they were attributable to?" asked Utah Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz.
"That they were attributable to an Islamist extremist group," Lovell responded.
"Al Qaeda?" Chaffetz asked.
"We felt it was Ansar al Sharia," said Lovell.
"Which is affiliated with al Qaeda?" Chaffetz asked.
"Yes," said Lovell.
Watch the exchange below:
Lovell also said that the attack was not attributable to a video or protests arising from such a video.