The “hybrid” explanation is a compromise, of sorts, between two competing narratives. The first suggested that a protest against an anti-Islam film in Benghazi led to a “spontaneous” assault on the US consulate there. We know that version isn’t true because there never was any protest in Benghazi. The second narrative points to a terrorist attack. The weaponry involved in the assault, the sophistication of the operation and, most importantly, the involvement of al Qaeda-linked terrorists all buttress this second version.

While there was no film protest in Benghazi, however, there are reasons to suspect that the events in Egypt and Libya on Sept. 11 are linked. But that link isn’t an anti-Islam film. They are linked by the fact that known al Qaeda-affiliated individuals were directly involved in both.