Washington, DC, United States (4E) – A bipartisan Senate report released Wednesday said the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was preventable but the State Department failed to increase its security.
The 58-page report by the intelligence committee said there were intelligence reports on terrorist activity in Libya and warnings that U.S. facilities were at risk before the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. An appendix to the report blamed then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for failing in her responsbility to ensure the security of diplomats.
The report also contradicted a recent New York Times report that linked the attack to a protest on a U.S.-made video satirizing Islam’s holiest figure, the Prophet Mohammad. It said the attackers were al Qaeda affiliates.
The findings were based on interviews of officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Central Intelligence Agency, the FBI, the State Department, the Pentagon, and security personnel of the consulate on the night of the attack.
The report recommended better risk assessment at the State Department, expansion of intelligence capabilities to analyze extremist-affiliated social media, shutdown of diplomatic posts that lacks security standards, and other measures to prevent the same incident from happening.