More or less, the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three staff members looks to have been the result of a security breach that led a brazen attack and intelligence coup for the radicals in Libya. Not reaction to a movie. This morning, we have an exclusive story in The Independent from the UK.
Here is the full article, but a select few paragraphs are below.
The killings of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were likely to have been the result of a serious and continuing security breach, The Independent can reveal.
American officials believe the attack was planned, but Chris Stevens had been back in the country only a short while and the details of his visit to Benghazi, where he and his staff died, were meant to be confidential.
The US administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the “safe house” in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed “safe”.
Not only are previously safe locations compromised, so were the names of Libyans who have helped out. They – along with their families – now have targets on their backs.
According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi…
Within hours of the attack, we again are able to look back and connect the dots.
Eight Americans, some from the military, were wounded in the attack which claimed the lives of Mr Stevens, Sean Smith, an information officer, and two US Marines.
So we know where the US Marine protection detail was, yet there is no information as to if they were properly armed while escorting US Ambassador Chris Stevens throughout a country barely recovered from a civil war. Honestly, this place still is a war zone.
Senior officials are increasingly convinced, however, that the ferocious nature of the Benghazi attack, in which rocket-propelled grenades were used, indicated it was not the result of spontaneous anger due to the video, called Innocence of Muslims. Patrick Kennedy, Under-Secretary at the State Department, said he was convinced the assault was planned due to its extensive nature and the proliferation of weapons.
There is growing belief that the attack was in revenge for the killing in a drone strike in Pakistan of Mohammed Hassan Qaed, an al-Qa’ida operative who was, as his nom-de-guerre Abu Yahya al-Libi suggests, from Libya, and timed for the anniversary of the 11 September attacks.
No kidding? Go read the full article written by Kim Sengupta, one of the defense correspondents for The Independent.