Senior US officials are suspect the ferocious nature of the embassy attack in Benghazi, indicated it was not the result of spontaneous anger due to the release of an anti-Islam video and was revenge for the killing of Mohammed Hassan Qaed, an al-Qa’ida operative in a drone strike in Pakistan.
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. Whoever attacked the consulate was well-prepared, with rocket-propelled grenades and sufficient small arms to outgun the consulate’s Libyan and American security.
According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department knew about the poissibility of attack on the embassy 2 days prior and failed to act.
…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.
The US administration is facing a crisis in Libya after sensitive documents went missing from the consulate in Benghazi. Furthermore, the “secret” location of the “safe house” in the city, where the embassy staff retreated, was targeted by sustained mortar attacks.
Some of the missing documents are said to list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them at risk from extremist groups, while some of the other documents may relate to oil contracts.
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.