Engineering Evil: This is the current up date to the prior article 24 hours ago. In which the Investigators were still not given permission to leave Tripoli.
- Team that includes FBI agents shows up at burned out U.S. consulate building on Thursday morning
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vows full probe into what happened at the facility on the 11th anniversary of September 11 attacks
- U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens was killed along with fellow Americans Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty
PUBLISHED:12:58 EST, 4 October 2012| UPDATED:12:58 EST, 4 October 2012
Federal investigators have arrived at the burned out U.S. consulate in Libya – three weeks after the terror strike that led to the deaths of four Americans.
Libyan officials said the team, which included several FBI agents, arrived at the compound early this morning.
A Libyan defense ministry official told AFP: ‘An American investigative committee visited the site where the U.S. ambassador was killed.’
Remains of the consulate: American investigators, including FBI agents, arrived at the facility to begin their investigation into the attack
U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, as well as fellow Americans Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty perished in the attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.
On Saturday, the Obama administration admitted that it knew within 24 hours that the strike was a pre-planned terrorist attack and not by crazed protestors enraged by an anti-Islam film.
A commander in the rebel Libyan Shield brigade, who did not want to be identified, added: ‘About 20 Americans dressed in civilian clothing came and we were asked to protect them until they leave Benghazi.’
The investigative crew arrived as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged a full and open inquiry into the attack, amid demands from Congress for speedy answers to questions about the security of the mission and concerns that the FBI probe into the incident has been delayed.
Flames: The White House has admitted they knew the deadly assault, pictured, was an act of terrorism within 24 hours
Response: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has promised a full and open inquiry into the attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of 9/11
An independent five-member board appointed by Clinton will begin this week looking at whether security at the consulate was adequate and whether proper procedures were followed before, during and immediately after the assault.
‘The men and women who serve this country as diplomats deserve no less than a full and accurate accounting wherever that leads and I am committed to seeking that for them,’ Clinton told reporters at the State Department on Wednesday.
Republican lawmakers claim security at the consulate was inadequate. Two House leaders have asserted that the Obama administration denied repeated requests from U.S. diplomats in Libya to enhance security at the mission.
Clinton promised ‘a process that is as transparent as possible’ although she stressed that ‘it will take time.’
Casualty: U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the consulate attack
Previous inquiries into attacks on diplomatic missions have taken months to complete.
But faced with Republicans in Congress impatient for full details of any possible negligence before November’s presidential election, Clinton pledged that the State Department would share information as appropriate with lawmakers as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Sensitive documents detailing U.S. operations in Libya remain left behind at the U.S. consulate more than three weeks after the attack which killed ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
The documents – some still scattered across the floors of the looted compound – include information about weapons collection efforts, emergency evacuation protocols, the complete itinerary of Ambassador Stevens’ trip, and the names, photographs, phone numbers and other personal information of Libyans who were contracted to secure the U.S. mission.
In the days following the attack on September 11, looters were free to roam the remains of the embassy and other highly sensitive documents are expected to have been taken.
The compound in Benghazi is now locked, but only two private security guards – paid for by the Libyan owner of the complex – watch over the site, the Washington Post reported.
The compound consists of two adjoining villa complexes and in some parts is only protected by an eight foot high wall.
President Obama has ordered both the CIA and the Pentagon to hunt down the terrorists who attacked the consulate.
It’s unclear what the president plans to do once the perpetrators of the assault in Benghazi are found, but he has mobilized the military’s Joint Special Operations Command to help carry out the mission.
JSOC and the CIA teamed up to send Navy SEAL commandos into Pakistan in 2011 for a raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The White House plans for retaliation come after it was revealed that security officials missed key signs that the consulate and Stevens were in danger.
The New York Timesreported that Obama has now ordered intelligence operatives to gather ‘target packages’ on the perpetrators and track them down in Benghazi or wherever they might have fled.
‘They are putting together information on where these individuals live, who their family members and their associates are, and their entire pattern of life,’ one US official said.
Once the targets and their locations are confirmed, Obama could order any number of actions – from drone strikes to commando raids to joint operations with the Libyans.
The Times reported that the operations is focusing on at least a dozen targets, though the exact number is not known.
Assault: The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was burned during a protest by an armed group on the eleventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks
As with the raid that took out Osama bin Laden, Obama would likely make the final call on an raids or strikes to kill or capture the perpetrators.
The consulate, located in the city of Benghazi, was reportedly bombed twice in the months leading up to the attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.
The Daily Beast reported that various whistleblowers have come forward since the attack to testify about prior attacks and a series of threats, which are described in a letter from Rep Darrel Issa and Rep Jason Chaffetz to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The letter, obtained by the site, says that both the consulate and Stevens were prime terror targets because threats had been made against both on Facebook.
One such post mentioned the route that Stevens took on his morning jog, prompting the diplomat to briefly stop running for his own safety.
Deadly attack: The consulate was reportedly bombed twice in the months leading up to the attack, which occurred on the eleventh anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks
Destruction: A man walks in the rubble of the consulate after the attack that claimed four Americans
The letter also mentions two separate bombings on the consulate – one on April 6 (when two former security guards hurled improvised explosives at the building) and another on June 6.
Neither attack resulted in deaths or injuries.
The revelations came as the White House announced it was pulling all U.S. personnel out of Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city.
WHAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT MISSED BEFORE BENGHAZI ATTACK
- Bomb attacks on the facility on April 6 and June 6
- Specific threats on Facebook threatening Ambassador Chris Stevens
- Officials initially claimed that attack was a protest gone wrong, despite clues that it was a planned terrorist act
- White House admitted last week that it knew the attack was terrorism, despite first statements on Benghazi assault
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told The Washington Post: ‘Everybody who was in Benghazi and posted there has been withdrawn.’
Yesterday, new evidence suggested that there were obvious clues that terrorism was involved in the attack, despite initial claims by officials that it was a protest gone wrong.
Stevens and three other Americans – Sean Smith, Tyron Woods and Glen Doherty – perished in the assault.
Confusion over what sparked the Benghazi violence may have stemmed from the CIA, which distributed ‘talking points’ to top officials on September 14.
The unclassified documents, obtained by The Daily Beast, said in part: ‘The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex.’
‘There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.’
Likely working off the CIA document, government officials like UN Ambassador Susan Rice and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, said there was little evidence the violence was planned.
However, the document went on to say that the ‘assessment may change as additional information is collected’ and that the investigation is ‘on-going.’
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