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Graham: Al Qaeda ‘on steroids’ since Benghazi attack

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday called the latest terror threat
“scary,” and said that an emboldened al Qaeda has been “on steroids”
since the last year’s deadly strike on the U.S. diplomatic post in
Benghazi, Libya. 

{mosads}“I had a briefing with the vice president and it is scary,” Graham
said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Al Qaeda is on the rise in this part of the world.”

“They attacked our consulate, they killed an ambassador, a year has
passed, and nobody has paid a price,” he added. “After Benghazi, these
al Qaeda types are really on steroids thinking we’re weaker and
they’re stronger.”

Top administration officials huddled at the White House late Saturday
over a terror threat that provoked the State Department to close more
than 20 diplomatic posts and issue a worldwide travel alert.

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According to multiple media reports, U.S. officials say they’ve
obtained new intelligence suggesting that al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula is in the final stages of planning attacks against a handful
of U.S. and Western targets across the Middle East and Northern

“The goal is to drive us out of the Middle East…they want to drive the
West out of the Mideast and take over these Muslim countries and
create an al Qaeda-type religious entity in the place of what exists
today,” Graham said. “So this is an effort to terrorize us, to drive
us out of the Mideast, and if we ever take the bait and try to come
and home and create fortress America, there will be another 9/11.”

The South Carolina Republican said the Obama administration has
handled this latest round of threats properly after having “dropped
the ball” on Benghazi.

“I appreciate what the administration is doing, they’re taking the
right approach to this,” he said. “Benghazi was a complete failure –
the threat was real, the reporting was real and we basically dropped
the ball. We’ve learned from Benghazi, thank God, and the
administration’s doing this right.”

The security precautions by the Obama administration underscore the
impact of the Benghazi strike, which fell on the 11-year anniversary
of the 9/11 attacks and killed four Americans, including the U.S.
ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.

The last time State Department officials issued such forceful warnings
of a terrorist strike was prior to that assault. Republicans have
accused the Obama administration of being unprepared for the Benghazi attack.


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