A State Department report earlier this year lauded security at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, just a few months before it was overrun by heavily armed Islamic extremists in an attack that killed four Americans.
The report, a 2011 review by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, states that while the rebellion against Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi was still raging last year, diplomatic security staff went to Benghazi, the birthplace and center of the revolution, to find secure facilities there for U.S. diplomats.
“Due to existing and emerging threats,” State Department personnel in Benghazi were moved “to [a] more secure location, a large villa compound that significantly enhanced the security of all U.S. personnel” in the city, states the report, which was published in May.
The compound was one of two U.S. diplomatic buildings that were attacked Sept. 11 in what is now thought to be a planned assault by members of an Islamic extremist militia.
Security at the compound before the attack has come under close scrutiny since the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others that night.
Congressional testimony last week revealed that, in the months before the attack, Washington officials had rejected diplomats’ requests for more security in Libya, particularly in Benghazi.
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Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
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