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Friday, September 14, 2012

Intelligence chairman: Escalating attacks on embassies could bring 'real trouble'

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) warned Thursday that escalating attacks on American embassies in the Middle East could develop into "real trouble" and said that the United States needed to clearly signal the ramifications of future attempts to breach diplomatic missions abroad.

Rogers's comments come after protesters in Yemen attempted early Thursday to breach the walls of the embassy there just a day after violence in Egypt and Libya left four American foreign service workers dead, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

"These are all opportunities that are stacking up for individuals who want to go after American stations abroad," Rogers said on CNN's "Starting Point." "So this is a very important time for us to have a very clear sense and communicate that to — across the Middle East, what U.S. policy is, how we're going to handle people who cross the wall. This is a pretty serious matter and we've got to stop it now. If we're still talking about other embassies in several weeks, we've got real trouble."

Rogers went on to say that there was no evidence that he had yet seen that the Tuesday attacks on Egypt and Libya were coordinated across borders, as some have suggested.

"At least today, I don't have anything that would say that they were working together," Rogers said.

But the Michigan lawmaker said the effort in Libya had "all the hallmarks of an al Qaeda operation."

"The effort on the compound in Benghazi was a clearly coordinated type effort," Rogers said. "This wasn't some folks who grabbed some rifles and said, 'This is a great opportunity, let's go down and shoot up the embassy.' "

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