As the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community investigate the attack in Libya that killed four American diplomats, debate rages over whether it was a planned attack or spontaneous violence.
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, maintained on Sunday that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was not planned by terrorist groups. She said the attack spun out of protests, which were sparked by an anti-Islamic video produced in the U.S.
"This was not a pre-planned, pre-meditated attack," she said on Fox News Sunday. "What happened initially was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video. People gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent. People with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons — which, unfortunately, are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya — and that then spun out of control."
However, Rep. Mike Rogers, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, said the evidence pointed in the other direction, citing the style and coordination of the attack.
"I think it's too early to make that conclusion," Rogers said on the same show. "The way that the attack took place, I have serious questions. It seemed to be a military-style, coordinated. They had indirect fire coordinated with direct fire, rocket attacks. They were able to launch two different separate attacks on locations there near the consulate and they repelled a fairly significant Libyan force that came to rescue the embassy."