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STATE DEPT. HAD ‘CREDIBLE INFORMATION' 48 HOURS PRIOR TO LIBYA CONSULATE ATTACK BUT FAILED TO ACT

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REPORT: STATE DEPT. HAD ‘CREDIBLE INFORMATION' 48 HOURS PRIOR TO LIBYA CONSULATE ATTACK BUT FAILED TO ACT

Senior diplomatic sources say the U.S. State Department had credible information, 48 hours prior to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya and the embassy in Cairo, that American locations may be targeted, however, no warnings were issued, no "lock down" orders given, The Independent reports.

On Tuesday, a mob of radical Islamists stormed the consulate in Benghazi, killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in a fiery assault. Officials say the murders of the four men were likely the result of "a serious and continuing security breach," the report states.

Report: State Dept. Had Credible Information 48 Hours Prior to Libya Consulate Attack

A picture shows the damage inside the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi on September 13, 2012, following an attack on the building late on September 11 in which the US ambassador to Libya and three other US nationals were killed. Libya said it has made arrests and opened a probe into the attack, amid speculation that Al-Qaeda rather than a frenzied mob was to blame. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. officials now believe the Libya attack was premeditated, despite initial reports that an anti-Muslim YouTube clip sparked spontaneous riots throughout the Middle East. However, Stevens' return to Libya was intended to be confidential as well as his location in Benghazi, where he and his staff were murdered, raising additional security concerns for American assets in the country.

The attack was an organized two-part operation by heavily armed militants that included a precisely timed raid on the supposedly secret safe house just as Libyan and U.S. security forces were arriving to rescue evacuated consulate staff, a senior Libyan security official said on Thursday.

Wanis el-Sharef, eastern Libya's deputy interior minister, said the attacks Tuesday night were suspected to have been timed to mark the 9/11 anniversary, with the militants using the film protest by Libyan civilians to mask their action.

To make the crisis in Libya worse, "sensitive documents" have reportedly gone missing from the U.S. consulate in Benghazi as well as a secret location of a "safe house" in the city, where the consulate staff had retreated to but were bombarded with a mortar attack. Other "safe houses" in the region are no longer considered safe.

The Independent has the exclusive on this story:

Some of the missing papers from the consulate are said to list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups, while some of the other documents are said to relate to oil contracts.

According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and "lockdown", under which movement is severely restricted.

Mr Stevens had been on a visit to Germany, Austria and Sweden and had just returned to Libya when the Benghazi trip took place with the US embassy's security staff deciding that the trip could be undertaken safely.

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. All staff from Benghazi have now been moved to the capital, Tripoli, and those whose work is deemed to be non-essential may be flown out of Libya.

[...]

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.

Eastern Libya's deputy interior minister, Wanis el-Sharef, said a mob first stormed the consulate Tuesday night and then, hours later, raided a safe house in the compound just as U.S. and Libyan security arrived to evacuate the staff. That suggested, el-Sharef said, that infiltrators within the security forces may have tipped off the militants to the safe house's location.

Killed in the attack were U.S. Ambassador Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, private security guard Glen Doherty and one other American who has yet to be identified.

Report: State Dept. Had Credible Information 48 Hours Prior to Libya Consulate Attack

A vehicle (R) and the surround buildings burn after they were set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012. An armed mob protesting over a film they said offended Islam, attacked the US consulate in Benghazi and set fire to the building, killing one American, witnesses and officials said. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Report: State Dept. Had Credible Information 48 Hours Prior to Libya Consulate Attack

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012. An armed mob protesting over a film they said offended Islam, attacked the US consulate in Benghazi and set fire to the building, killing one American, witnesses and officials said. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

El-Sharef said four people were arrested at their homes Thursday in relation to the attack, but he refused to give any further details. He said it was too early to say if the suspects belonged to a particular group or what their motive was. Libya's new prime minister, Mustafa Abu-Shakour, said authorities were looking for more suspects.

Additionally, U.S. embassies across the world ramped up security Thursday as Muslims reportedly angry over an anti-Islam film stormed the U.S. mission in Yemen and clashed with police near the American mission in Cairo.

In Yemen, hundreds of protesters chanting "Death to America!" stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in the capital, Sanaa, and burned the American flag. Yemen's president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, quickly apologized to the U.S. for the attack and vowed track down the culprits.

 

To read the rest of the report from The Independent, click here.

by on Sep. 13, 2012 at 9:34 PM
Replies (11-20):
DSamuels
by Gold Member on Sep. 14, 2012 at 12:06 AM
4 moms liked this
Did they? I hadn't heard that yet. We should have had the same intel, and if the reports from the UK paper, we did as far back as Sept. 4th. Hmmm, the same week as the DNC.

You would also think that they would up security around 9/11. Maybe they thought anything big would have happened on the 10th anniversary, and when it didn't thought nothing would. Guess no thought it was on Sept. 11th, maybe they'll do something on the 11th anniversary.

Okay, I'm listening to the news and they are talking about how high anti-American feelings are over there right now. How can that be? I thought they hated us because of Bush's "cowboy" diplomacy and everything would be fine once Obama was prez. You know, we'd be nice to them and they would like us again.


Quoting SallyMJ:

Didn't the UK close their embassies and pull out their dipomats last week or the week before? How could we not know what they knew?

And hello - it was 9/11. Why no precautions? Not the first time that terrorists tried to make a statement on that same date.

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SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 14, 2012 at 12:21 AM
4 moms liked this

1) I think they hate all Americans, not just presidents from Texas named GWB.

2) I think they despise and try to take advantage of American Presidents they perceive as weak -- who, when learning of the murder of  American diplomats, instead of expressing grief and anger, apologize for supposed slights to Muslims that drove them to murder. That's just sick.

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 14, 2012 at 12:28 AM
4 moms liked this

Unfortunately, I think 9/11 will always need to be a "heightened security" day for the forseeable future, as long as there are radical Islamist terrorists in the world.

Meadowchik
by Gold Member on Sep. 14, 2012 at 6:36 AM
9 moms liked this

 

Quoting rccmom:

Yeah, I was thinking there was a major intelligence mistake somewhere along the way. Either our intelligence failed to see it coming, or someone saw it but proper steps were not taken. Either way, it was an intelligence failure because it is not enough to simply have the info, but you have to act on it.  

No, an intelligence failure means that there was not credible intelligence suggesting it.  The whole gist of the article is that the intelligence was obtained, it was credible, and it was not acted upon. 

That is a leadership failure, not an intelligence failure.

Simmeringhearts
by on Sep. 14, 2012 at 7:32 AM

rolling on floor

Quoting DSamuels:



Okay, I'm listening to the news and they are talking about how high anti-American feelings are over there right now. How can that be? I thought they hated us because of Bush's "cowboy" diplomacy and everything would be fine once Obama was prez. You know, we'd be nice to them and they would like us again.


Quoting SallyMJ:

Didn't the UK close their embassies and pull out their dipomats last week or the week before? How could we not know what they knew?

And hello - it was 9/11. Why no precautions? Not the first time that terrorists tried to make a statement on that same date.


Simmeringhearts
by on Sep. 14, 2012 at 7:32 AM

According to the White House calendar, there is no public record of President Barack Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing--known as the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB)--in the week leading up to the attacks. The last time prior to the slayings that the White House calendar publicly confirms Mr. Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing was September 5th. (The White House did not provide an official public calendar for September 8-10.) Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at 5:00 p.m. yesterday.

According to a recent study by the Government Accountability Institute, Mr. Obama has only attended 43.8 percent of his Presidential Daily Briefs in the first 1,225 days of his Administration.

rccmom
by Gold Member on Sep. 14, 2012 at 8:01 AM
I agree it is a leadership failure. However, I think it is still an intelligence failure. One problem our intelligence agencies have is that they are so deluged with info that they can't always get sorted through to what is truly important in a timely manner. Then, what was the reporting protocol for such info? Was it correctly followed? Was it correctly flagged? We will never know.


Quoting Meadowchik:

 


Quoting rccmom:


Yeah, I was thinking there was a major intelligence mistake somewhere along the way. Either our intelligence failed to see it coming, or someone saw it but proper steps were not taken. Either way, it was an intelligence failure because it is not enough to simply have the info, but you have to act on it.  


No, an intelligence failure means that there was not credible intelligence suggesting it.  The whole gist of the article is that the intelligence was obtained, it was credible, and it was not acted upon. 


That is a leadership failure, not an intelligence failure.


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pvtjokerus
by Gold Member on Sep. 14, 2012 at 8:03 AM

If sensitive papers fell into the hands of the terrorist, then it is very possible that those inside the consulate did not take the threats for real.  There are protocols for these type of events.

Meadowchik
by Gold Member on Sep. 14, 2012 at 8:03 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting Simmeringhearts:

According to the White House calendar, there is no public record of President Barack Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing--known as the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB)--in the week leading up to the attacks. The last time prior to the slayings that the White House calendar publicly confirms Mr. Obama attending his daily intelligence briefing was September 5th. (The White House did not provide an official public calendar for September 8-10.) Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at 5:00 p.m. yesterday.

According to a recent study by the Government Accountability Institute, Mr. Obama has only attended 43.8 percent of his Presidential Daily Briefs in the first 1,225 days of his Administration.

 This is how security works: if there is a threat, and we give it follow-up and bolster security, and we lose people, then we do our best to try to be safer in the future.  But if we are informed of a credible threat, and do nothing to enhance security for the vulnerable people, then we get fired.

rocketracer
by Gold Member on Sep. 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM
1 mom liked this

Every time Obama is seen in public will he be asked about this?  I think we already know the answer to that question. 

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