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Some of these reports detailed the flow of money and men from Iran and Syria to Ansar al-Shariah, the group that ultimately claimed responsibility for the attacks.

On June 22, 2012, U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens convoked the embassy’s security team in Tripoli, following the failed assassination attempt on the British ambassador in Benghazi and several smaller attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound there.

In cables partially released to Congress, Stevens referred to the security team as his Emergency Action Committee. The head of the Site Security Team of 18 U.S. special forces operators then assigned to the embassy in Tripoli, Lt. Col. Andy Wood, had just returned from a mission to Benghazi and warned the ambassador that Ansar al-Shariah was planning to escalate its operations.

“We’ve got to abandon Benghazi, or seriously beef it up,” Col. Wood said. “We are going to be hit.”

The CIA was waiting for the Iranians to make a move. On July 31, 2012, they thought they saw them coming when an eight-man Iranian medical team arrived in Benghazi, ostensibly to help the local Red Crescent (the Muslim version of the Red Cross).

The Iranians knew that they were being watched, though, and according to my sources, staged the kidnapping of the Red Crescent team, taking them beyond CIA surveillance. Ostensibly in the hands of a radical jihadi militia somewhere in Benghazi, the Iranians were still in play.

Members of that Red Crescent team — in reality, senior operatives of Mr. Suleymani’s Quds Force — handled all the details for the attacks that cost the lives of four Americans that night. This is one of the many dark secrets of Benghazi that the U.S. government does not want you to know.

I hear skeptics wonder why Iran would get involved in Libya at all, and why would Tehran take the risk of angering the United States, especially at a time when they were hoping to craft a global diplomatic settlement over its nuclear program?

The answer is simple; namely, because the Iranians knew the United States would not strike back. They have been attacking us nonstop in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past decade, with little or no response.

Benghazi was a state-sponsored terrorist attack by the Islamic republic of Iran using local cut-outs but also Iranian officers sent to Benghazi to carry out the mortar attack on the CIA annex.

Next question: What are we going to do about it?

Kenneth R. Timmerman is the author of “Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi” (Broadside Books, 2014).