Benghazi suspect dies in Cairo shootout; Chinese ships seen in disputed territory; new right-wing party mooted for Japan; Greece claims to have been given bailout extension, European Central Bank says it was unaware of move; Sudan blames Israel for factory bombing; and more
Top of the Agenda: Benghazi Suspect Dies in Cairo Shootout
A man suspected of involvement in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last month has been killed (BBC) after an exchange of fire with security services in Cairo. Media reports suggested (DailyStar) that the man, who threw a bomb at police forces after being cornered in a flat, was a Libyan citizen believed to be an al-Qaeda militant. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe into the controversial September 11 attack, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. The incident has been the center of partisan furor as details emerged that the White House was notified (AP) hours after the attack that Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia had claimed responsibility for the violence.
"Expecting policymakers to publicly examine and go through every conflicting piece of intelligence collected in the hours before and after an attack would be unreasonable and potentially even damaging to national security. Instead of making political hay out of the circumstances surrounding Benghazi, we should be focusing on how to improve our intelligence collection and analysis capabilities," writes Tara Maller for CNN.
"The Benghazi story also strongly suggests, if not downright shows, that the Obama White House kept pushing the ridiculous video story for weeks to protect the president's political prospects. He'd just spiked the terrorism football, taking credit at the Democratic National Convention for the killing of Osama bin Laden. He didn't want to talk about Benghazi in terms of terror," writes John Kass for the Chicago Tribune.
"Once the political spin stops, the bottom line is there is no evidence so far to support the Romney camp's claim of incompetence or a cover-up by the administration. There is only a tragic attack on the United States, our understanding of which is becoming clearer as new intelligence comes to light," writes Juan Williams for The Hill.
Chinese Ships Seen in Disputed Island Area
Four Chinese government ships entered territory around the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands early on Thursday (AFP), prompting a Japanese minister to protest by phone to the Chinese ambassador. Beijing denied the abnormality of ships exercising jurisdiction in the area.
CFR's Sheila Smith discusses the tide of nationalism sweeping the region in this Expert Brief.
JAPAN: Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, known for his hawkish views toward China, announced Thursday he would quit his post (JapanTimes) and launch a new right-wing party ahead of the general election that must be held by next summer.
Greece claims to have been granted bailout extension
Sudan blames Israel for factory bombing