Disclosure statement

Natasha Lindstaedt walk not work for, consult, own shares in or receive capital from any firm or company that would advantage from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations past their academic appointment.

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Christopher Stevens at home in Tripoli. Reuters

After a fire was started by the terrorists, however, the team lost monitor of one an additional with Strickland exiting through a window. Strickland asserted that the tried numerous times to discover the other two yet was can not to because of the smoke. He climate went as much as the roof to connect with the other agents.

Agents later on returned to the main building and found Smith’s body, yet not Stevens’. It was eventually discovered that Stevens had died at a hospital in Benghazi. Reportedly, Libyan bystanders discovered him and took him come the hospital wherein attempts to be made come revive him. Follow to connected Press, he had passed away of asphyxia, likely led to by acting inhalation.

The second attack was launched at around 4am, when mortars to be fired at the CIA complex. It was throughout this the Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods to be killed.

Who to be responsible?

What is well-known is that militants come in trucks bearing the logo design of Ansar al-Sharia, a group of Islamists that were working v the local government to administer security. The assailants were armed with grenades, AK-47s, other attack weapons and also canisters the diesel. The US eventually alleged that two Libyan branches of Ansar al-Sharia – Derna and also Benghazi – and also another branch in Tunisia were involved in the attacks.

Though al-Qaeda’s leader Ayman Zawahiri praised the attackers in a congratulatory video, the team never took credit transaction for the attack. However, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb commander, Mokhtar Belmokhtar was later attached to it, too.

Some the the assailants additionally have been identified as associates the Muhammad Jamal, that led one Egyptian terrorist group, the Muhammad Jamal network (MJN). Some of the Benghazi attackers supposedly trained in ~ MJN camps in Libya. Despite the core of Al Qaeda did not coordinate this attack, the demonstrates exactly how lesser yet potentially violent teams have to be able to phase their very own attacks. This exponential explosion of violent teams with links to Al Qaeda of varying strength renders it more daunting to assign definitive responsibility.


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Ruin: interior damage to the us Consulate. Reuters

Premeditated attacks?

The US an initial claimed the the attacks were released in solution to the release of the controversial video Innocence the Muslims, one anti-Muslim movie which sparked broader protests. The management mistakenly declared that it to be such protests that led to the much more violent compound attack, reportedly to avoid framing the attack as an action of terrorism. However Libyans interviewed countered that there were no together protests.

Though the assault wasn’t particularly sophisticated and also didn’t call for years that planning, the attackers had trained v one another and had clear orders. They additionally had been offered excellent intelligence, knowing just how to acquire from different access points in the ambassador’s residence and also how to cut off the defense agents and also the neighborhood guard force.

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A high-risk environment

So the Benghazi attack did stand for a major lapse in security and also intelligence, and also a misunderstanding of the an altering terrorist networks in the region. Yet it was much from a unique incident. Between 1998 and also 2011 there were 13 deadly attacks on united state diplomatic facilities, and also seven us ambassadors have been eliminated while ~ above the job because 1950. Many much more attempted attacks and plots thankfully have been thwarted.

Ultimately, the best lesson is that the an ar is incredibly unstable and also dangerous with practically 1,100 terrorist assaults taking place in Libya due to the fact that the loss of the Qaddafi regime. Questions certainly remain, however while the right supplies the assault as proof of Clinton’s incompetence, the is actually more surprising that there have actually not been an ext US fatalities.