There are claims being floated now by military sources that the Benghazi attack may have been part of a larger effort to drive Western forces out of eastern Libya. There were hundreds of security incidents preceding the September 11 attack, which leads the sources to conclude that there is a pattern to the incidents.
The bombing of the U.S. Consulate in June was described as a probing attack to measure the response. Other incidents, such as the attacks on the International Red Cross and an RPG attack on the British ambassador's convoy, lend credence to this theory.
There is a broad effort by the Al Qaeda affiliate and the militant group Ansar al-Sharia to push the Westerners out and establish an Islamic state in eastern Libya; the New York Times acknowledged that Ansar al-Sharia leader Ahmed Abu Khattala was the commander of the 9/11 attack. The Times reported that witnesses saw Ahmed Abu Khattala at the scene.
Former CIA Director Porter Goss said the theory of Islamists expelling the West "is a very accurate assessment … (they) are trying to create more sanctuary areas by pushing us out -- our diplomats, our military." Fox News was told "there is no doubt militants from Ansar al-Sharia were involved."