WASHINGTON, (UPI) — The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was threatened and attacked 13 times before last month’s deadly assault, whistle-blowers have told two House Republicans.
The Hill reported Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Jason Chaffetz of Utah sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter Tuesday detailing the allegations.
The congressmen said based on information provided to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform “by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya” the Sept. 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans “was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in the country.
“It was clearly never, as administration officials once insisted, the result of a popular protest,” Issa and Chaffetz wrote.
“In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the committee that, prior to the Sept. 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington.”
The lawmakers said they will hold a hearing of the oversight panel Oct. 10 to review possible security failures in Libya.
Issa and Chaffetz’s letter reveals in addition to multiple threats, two former security guards threw homemade bombs over the consulate’s security fence April 6.
The Obama administration has been criticized by Republicans and others for initially saying the Sept. 11 attack occurred spontaneously during protests against an anti-Islam video produced in the United States and posted on the Internet. By Friday, National Intelligence Director James Clapper said it had been determined the assault was a “deliberate and organized terrorist attack.”