Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while testifying about the Benghazi terrorist attack, told lawmakers that the Arab Spring has created opportunities for al-Qaida in North Africa, even after the death of Osama bin Laden.
“We’ve killed a lot of them, including of course bin Laden, but we have to recognize that this is a global movement,” Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this morning when Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., asked why the United States seemed “woefully unprepared” for the attack and the broader unrest in the Middle East. She said that no one expected the Arab spring, adding that the countries where the Arab revolutions have taken place in countries that have “no experience with democracy” and create conditions that make it easy to recruit low-level terrorists.
Speaking of al-Qaida in Mali, Clinton said “this is not only a terrorist syndicate, it is a criminal enterprise.”
The comments built on a point she argued in her prepared statement. “Benghazi didn’t happen in a vacuum,” she said in her prepared statement. “The Arab revolutions have scrambled power dynamics and shattered security forces across the region. And instability in Mali has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who look to extend their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw just last week in Algeria.”