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The Boston Globe

World

White House faces dilemma in Libya attack response

Strike forces, drones on alert in North Africa

WASHINGTON — The White House has put special operations strike forces on standby and moved drones into the skies above Africa, ready to strike militant targets from Libya to Mali — if investigators can find the Al Qaeda-linked group responsible for the death of the US ambassador and three other Americans in Libya.

But officials say the administration is weighing whether the short-term payoff of exacting retribution on Al Qaeda is worth the risk that such strikes could elevate the group’s profile in the region, alienate governments the United States needs to fight it in the future, and do little to slow the growing terror threat in North Africa.

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