After the U.S. Consulate office was destroyed and four Americans, including the Ambassador to Libya, were killed, the Obama administration claimed there was no “actionable intelligence” to suggest an attack was eminent.
However, it has been learned that a minimum of four attacks on “diplomatic and western targets took place in Benghazi shortly before the U.S. Ambassador was murdered, according to a Fox News report.
“This (the U.S. Consulate) was a place that was targeted months before with an IED (improvised explosive device)," Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House intelligence committee who has been briefed on the attack and investigation, told Fox News. “It's clearly a target that they wanted to hit and they wanted to cause casualties. ... It's just too many coincidences here.”
As it turns out, an IED was exploded along the perimeter of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on June 6. Days later the British ambassador's motorcade came under attack by a rocket-propelled grenade, or RPG.
Two persons providing security were injured in that June 11 attack. Then, only on June 18, just a week later, armed gunmen stormed the Tunisian consulate, tearing down the flag burning it.
Five weeks later the U.S. Consulate was burned the International Committee of the Red Cross building in Benghazi was hit by RPGs on Aug. 5.
While it is unclear what sort of attack would rise to the administration’s definition of “actionable intelligence,” some analysts suggest the mentioned assaults using high explosives were calls to action.
The relatively lax security leading up to the devastating attack on the lightly-defended embassy in Libya has Senators concerned.
Specifically, chairman and ranking members of the Senate homeland security committee, Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, have called for an investigation. The two did so in a letter to the State Department inspector general that requests a formal investigation of the U.S. Consulate’s defense capabilities when it was overwhelmed and the U.S. envoy Chris Stevens and three embassy personnel were murdered.
The letter seeks to better understand the obvious risks versus the defensive capabilities of the facility at the time of the attack so as better insure the safety of our embassies.
Among other questions posed, the letter asks: “Does the risk assessment process consider the capacity or lack thereof of the host country to provide security? Did the Libyan government request or suggest that security could be improved at the Benghazi facility prior to September 12th, 2010?”