Evidence suggests that the Benghazi attacks were the work of two separate militant groups, commanders involved in the U.S. response to the attacks told the House Armed Services Committee in testimony released on Wednesday. The deadly 2012 attacks killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
We already knew that there were two separate waves of attacks on the diplomatic compound: the first attack killed Stevens and a second American at the consulate. But as the Associated Press explains in their advance look at the testimony, a second attack had the markings of a different group of militants. That group killed two American security contractors. The AP explains:
The second attack in the eastern Libyan city, which killed two American security contractors, showed clear military training, retired U.S. Gen. Carter Ham told Congress in closed-door testimony released late Wednesday. The assault probably was the work of a new team of militants, seizing on reports of violence at the diplomatic mission the night before and hitting the Americans while they were most vulnerable, Ham said.
Ham went on to say in the testimony that the second attack had "a degree of sophistication and military training that is relatively unusual and certainly, I think, indicates that this was not a pickup team. This was not a couple of guys who just found a mortar someplace." Officials also told the committee that they weren't entirely sure what started the first attack, which began with an assault from a group of men who seemed familiar with the premises, before the compound was overtaken by a disorganized mob.