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“Benhghazi has become a collection point for lots of different militias that took part in the Libyan civil war,” said James Russell, an instructor at the Naval Postgraduate School. “These militias clearly have not been disarmed.

“It’s hard to believe that a spontaneous protest somehow included guys with RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] and other weapons used in the attacks to breach the walls of the compound and directly attack the consulate,” he said. “It looks like an organized attack that required prior planning and support.”