900pxPresident Barack Obama and also then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton respect the victims of the Benghazi terrorist assaults at andrews Air pressure Base ~ above September 14, 2012.


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2 American visibility in Benghazi4 reaction to the attacks4.2 U.S. Reactions5 Benghazi attack investigations5.2 House choose Committee ~ above Benghazi

On September 11, 2012, the Islamic militant group, Ansar al-Sharia, assaulted the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, IT expert Sean Smith and also former U.S. Navy SEALs glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods to be killed throughout the attack.<1>

Although senior White residence officials originally labeled the strike a voluntary reaction come an anti-Muslim video clip made by an American the was circulating in the region, the Obama administration acknowledged ~ above September 19, 2012, the it was a premeditated terror attack.<2><3>

Post-attack talking points timeline

The following timeline accounts because that how events unfolded after the September 11, 2012, terrorist assault in Benghazi:<4>

September 11, 2012
September 12, 2012
President Obama"s September 12, 2012, declare on the Benghazi attack.

September 13, 2012September 14, 2012September 16, 2012
Susan Rice"s interview on "Face the Nation" on September 16, 2012.
Note: Rice revealed in so late October 2012 the she was using talking points noted by the CIA.<13> On might 10, 2013, it to be revealed the emails from the U.S. State department urged changes to Rice"s talk points before her going on the talk display circuit.<14> Then, on might 2, 2014, Judicial watch released the State department emails, which revealed one of the key goals that Rice"s interview was "to underscore that these protests space rooted in an web video, and also not a broader failure the policy."<15>September 17, 2012September 18, 2012September 19, 2012September 20, 2012September 21, 2012September 24, 2012September 26, 2012September 27, 2012October 3, 2012October 10, 2012October 15, 2012October 23, 2012October 24, 2012

American presence in Benghazi

File:Ambassador christopher stevens.jpg
U.S. Ambassador kris Stevens was among the four Americans killed in the assault on September 11, 2012.
U.S. Ambassador kris Stevens was sent to Benghazi as the Obama administration"s liaison come the opposition come Moammar Gaddafi in in march 2011, shortly after the uprisings began.<32> the was shortly after the central Intelligence company (CIA) began setting up your Benghazi hidden intelligence procedure in February 2011, in order come collect intelligence on Ansar al-Sharia and the Al-Qaeda affiliate recognized as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The CIA also assisted in make the efforts to find chemical weapons and also train the brand-new Libyan knowledge service.<33> To many Benghazi citizens, Ambassador Stevens to be a well-liked figure and participant in windy events.<34>

Regional instability

Militants started seriously organizing versus former dictator Moammar Gaddafi in February 2011.<35> Gaddafi was required from his compound in Tripoli in respectable 2011 by rebel militias, prior to being eliminated on October 20, 2011, by rebels when he to be on the run exterior of Sirte, Libya.<36> adhering to the death of Gaddafi, the militia"s began fighting amongst themselves in part cases. Armed Ansar al-Shariah members in Benghazi traveled through the city calling for an Islamic state in mid-2012.<34>

September 11, 2012, terrorist assault in Benghazi

On September 11, 2012, Ambassador Stevens remained in Benghazi meeting v Libyan officials looking for Moammar Gaddafi"s tools stockpiles. The was likewise there to open a cultural center.<37>

The strike on the U.S. Mission started about 9:40 p.m. As soon as gunshots and an explosion to be heard. The militia overpowered the key gate and burned the barracks building. At about 10:00 p.m., the militia damaged through the compound wall and the ambassador checked out the for sure room with info officer Sean Smith. The CIA annex, located about a mile away, was educated of the attack. When Stevens and also Smith were in safe room, the structure was set on fire utilizing diesel fuel resulting in smoke to to fill the building. The CIA agents and 16 Libyan security guards regained regulate of the compound and also began trying to find Stevens and also Smith.<37>

The very first drones were sent out over the website as chairman Obama started to meet with the secretary that defense and the chair that the joint chiefs. An email indicating the team Ansar al-Sharia claimed the assault was sent out from the U.S. State room to the White House.<37>

At about 1:15 a.m. ~ above September 12, a rescue team indigenous Tripoli come in Benghazi. Those rescued native the mission were at the CIA annex, consisting of Stevens. Deputy Mission chef Gregory Hicks informed Secretary that State Hillary Clinton the Americans in Benghazi essential to be evacuated at 2:00 a.m. At around 4:00 a.m., the militants assaulted the CIA annex and also killed marine SEALs valley Doherty and Tyrone Woods. The bodies of Stevens, Smith, Doherty and Woods to be on the final airplane out the Libya at 10:00 a.m. On September 12.<37>

Reactions to the attacks

Libyan reaction

Thousands that Libyans marched through Benghazi on September 21, 2012, in protest the the significantly violent militias formed in opposition to Libya"s former dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, one of which to be Ansar al-Sharia. The protesters captured the headquarters of lot of militia headquarters and also handed them end to the Libyan army.<34>

U.S. Reactions

Rice and the anti-Muslim video

The management was unclear around what led to the assault on the U.S. Embassy in the days complying with the attack, insisting that an investigation was underway. However, initial comment by the administration pointed come the relax of one anti-Muslim video on Youtube, which led to numerous demonstrations approximately the region.<4> during a talk show circuit, then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice said, "based on the ideal information we need to date, what our assessment is together of the present is in truth what began spontaneously in Benghazi together a reaction to what had actually transpired part hours previously in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of ours embassy sparked by this hateful video."<12>

Rice claimed she offered responses based on the knowledge she had received to the point, also though the interviews were five days ~ the attacks.<38> Rice to be a top candidate to be nominated to succeed Hillary Clinton together U.S. Secretary of State, however it wasn"t believed she would certainly pass v confirmation because of her comments about the Benghazi attacks. She i was withdrawn from consideration in December 2012.<39>

Pre-planned militant action

While beforehand statements through the management reported that the attack could have been spontaneous due to the release of the anti-Muslim video, unnamed officials started coming out suggesting the attack was planned. The very first official speak out stated that the attack "bears the hallmarks of an organized attack."<7>

The administration did not suggest it to be a terrorist assault until September 19, 2012, as soon as Matt Olsen, director of the national Counterterrorism Center, suggested that it to be a to plan attack.

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Security criticism

The U.S. State Department acknowledged on October 10, 2014, that recent requests for extr security at American framework in Libya were denied. However, later that day, White home Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "There is no concern that the security was not sufficient to avoid that tragedy native happening."<40> Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb said, "We had actually the correct variety of assets in Benghazi at the time of 9/11 because that what had actually been i agree upon."<41>

During a congressional oversight committee around the "Security failures of Benghazi," Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) stated, "Washington officials seemed preoccupied with the ide of normalization." He criticized the U.S. State Department"s absence of action in solution to the inquiry for raised security, and suggested the the administration wanted to offer the photo of an improving relationship in the region. Democracy on the committee responded by stating that republic voted to cut resources to diplomatic security. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) insisted the Republican leadership needed to support rise in diplomatic protection to change previous cuts.<40>