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The issue of security was given renewed life last week by the revelation that the mission compound did not have special physical security barriers State Department policy required, despite widespread intelligence reporting about the growing strength and boldness of Islamic extremist militias, some affiliated with al Qaeda, in the town.

Several former military and diplomatic officials have told The Times that one or two additional security personnel at the mission likely would not have been able to fend off the first wave of the attack by dozens of extremists armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.

“It is our responsibility as a Congress to legislate and educate the American people on the circumstances surrounding the attack,” said Mr. Wolf, who chairs a House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Justice Department. “We owe it to the families of the victims to fully investigate this tragedy in full and open hearings to have a clearer understanding of what happened.”