Sen. Nelson alleges al Qaeda ties to US embassy attack

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonTrump's NASA nominee advances after floor drama Senate blocks bill that opponents say weakens water pollution rules The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Fla.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said Wednesday the embassy attack could be tied to al Qaeda operatives in Libya seeking retribution for the death of the terrorist group's second-in-command. 

Abu Yaha al-Libi, al Qaeda's No. 2 leader, was reportedly one of 15 militants killed in a U.S. drone strike against suspected al Qaeda targets in North Waziristan along the Afghan-Pakistan border in June.

“These murders have the markings of revenge by al Qaeda," Nelson said in a statement.

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri circulated an Internet video Monday night urging Libyans to take action against American positions inside the country as revenge for Abu Yaha's death, according to Nelson. 

Al-Zawahiri assumed control of the terror group last May, after U.S. special operations forces killed Osama bin Laden during a raid on his compound in Abottabad, Pakistan. 

In response to the embassy attack, Nelson is calling for congressional hearings to "to immediately investigate what role al Qaeda or its affiliates may have played in the attacks ... and to urge appropriate action." 

President Obama already has ordered increased levels of security at all U.S. embassies in the wake of Wednesday's attack. 

The Pentagon has deployed a Marine Corps units to Libya to secure the embassy and provide additional protection for American diplomats still stationed in the country. 

The Marines units en route to Libya are part of the U.S. military's Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST), whose sole mission is to serve as a quick reactions force to conduct counterterrorism and to reinforce security at U.S. embassies.