WASHINGTON (AP) — It's become a big foreign policy issue in the final weeks of the presidential campaign -- the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, and how the Obama administration is responding to it.
Officials say the White House has now put special operations strike forces on standby, and has moved drones into the skies above Africa -- so that they are ready to strike, if investigators can find the group with al-Qaida links that is believed to be responsible for the attack. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed.
But the officials say it's still not clear whether the short-term benefit from the retaliation would be worth angering governments in the region, and possibly boosting the profile of the terror group.
Last week, in the vice presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden pledged to find those responsible, and bring them to justice.
Islamists in the region are preparing for a U.S. response. A spokesman for Islamists in northern Mali say if the United States targets them, the September attack will be multiplied "by 10."