The deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that killed four Americans was directly tied to al-Qaida and involved a former detainee at the Guantanamo Bay prison, intelligence sources told Fox News.

The information comes as a top Obama White House official described the assault for the first time as a “terrorist attack” — and Republican lawmakers intensified their questioning of administration officials on security issues and whether consulate security personnel had communicated with extremists before the attack occurred.

The White House has long claimed the assault had been a “spontaneous” act.

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