Washington: Testifying before the Congress on Friday, former CIA director David Petraeus said that as per classified intelligence, the deadly attack on the US Consulate in Libya was a terrorist attack.
Petraeus, however, added that the administration did not reveal the suspected role of al Qaeda affiliates in the raid in order to avoid tipping them off.
The recently resigned spy chief explained that references to terrorist groups suspected of carrying out the violence were removed from the public explanation of what caused the attack so as not to alert them that US intelligence was on their trail, news agency AP reported lawmakers who attended Petraeus' private briefings as saying.
He also said it initially was unclear whether the militants had infiltrated a demonstration to cover their attack.
The retired four-star general addressed the House and Senate intelligence committees in back-to-back, closed-door hearings as questions persist over what the Obama administration knew in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks and why its public description did not match intelligence agencies' assessments.
(With Agency inputs)
First Published: Saturday, November 17, 2012, 10:47