The White House and State Department are coming under fire after word broke that they were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11. The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks. The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama ultimately acknowledged was a terrorist attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.

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