WASHINGTON (AP) - Pentagon press secretary George Little is stopping short of saying al-Qaida's North Africa affiliate is definitely to blame for the deadly Algeria terrorist attack, but he says it is "at the top of the list of suspects."
Little told reporters Tuesday there are what he called "strong indications" that al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, had a hand in the assault on an Algerian natural gas plant that left dozens of hostages and militants dead.
Pressed for details, Little declined to say what information the U.S. has to support its suspicions.
The State Department has not definitively declared that AQIM was responsible for the attack, but it has suggested the group played a leading role. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has blamed the broader al-Qaida network.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)