Revelations continue to unfold over the State Department’s bungling of security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Fox News reported Tuesday that Ansar al-Sharia, the militia accused of planning and executing the fiery attack that killed four Americans, had moved into an adjacent house just months earlier but that State Department officials had repeatedly rejected or ignored requests earlier that summer for increased weaponry and security measures.
“We warned D.C. about the guys who moved in next door, but nobody knew what to do, and nothing was done,” one intelligence source said.
Intelligence operatives in the region believe that not only was the 9/11 anniversary attack formulated at the nearby house, but that the local militia providing security to the U.S. Consulate participated in its planning and execution.
Fawzi Bukhatif , the leader of the militia, known as the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, fled Benghazi the day after the 2012 attack, while the annex was still smoldering, an intelligence source told Fox News.
One source with direct knowledge of the attack called it “one of the worst outsourcing decisions of all time,” and pundits have repeatedly questioned why security measures were left to Libyans and not U.S. military personnel.
State Department officials told Fox that American security personnel at the Consulate had asked for sandbags to help secure shooting positions, but the requests were denied because it was considered “too aesthetically unpleasing.” Requests for a rooftop M240 machine gun were refused because “it would upset the locals,” according to Fox.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf on Monday called such claims “dubious,” but the following day, officials admitted that a list of security requests sent Aug. 22 but had not been fulfilled by Sept. 11.
Yet folks at the compound were keenly aware of the danger the Ansar al-Sharia house posed.
“Everyone on the ground knew it,” an unidentified intelligence source told Fox. As personnel from the burning building were escaping, he said, they “made sure to make a left turn out of the compound and not a right turn,” toward the terrorists’ house.
Watch the video report here via Fox News.
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