September 12, 2012
US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens Murdered in Benghazi LibyaConfirmed: FSO Sean Smith Also KilledReport: Libyan Ansar al-Sharia Has Claimed Responsibility For AttackUS: Attack Was Planned[Bumped]
The US ambassador to Lybia J. Christopher Stevens was murdered by Islamic militants on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. May he rest in peace. Three other staffers were also murdered in the attack.
Update by SH: Foreign Service Information Officer Sean Smith confirmed as one of the three others killed:
Sean Smith was a husband and a father of two, who joined the Department ten years ago. Like Chris, Sean was one of our best. Prior to arriving in Benghazi, he served in Baghdad, Pretoria, Montreal, and most recently The Hague.The Mittani, an online gaming community, posted this tribute to Smith: RIP Vile Rat[Update by SH] The RIP tribute also included this- chilling chat:
"(12:54:09 PM) vile_rat: assuming we don't die tonight. We saw one of our 'police' that guard the compound taking pictures.""Taking pictures" fits with what I updated below "Libyan security team seem to have indicated to the protesters the building to which the American officials had been relocated.
We pray for the families of those murdered and that justice is served on those who attack the United States.
The United States ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed in a rocket attack on the U.S. Consulate in the city of Benghazi on Tuesday, President Obama said Wednesday.Despite the stated pretext for the attacks, I find the fact that they both occurred on the anniversary of 9/11 a bit more than a coincidence. After all the trailer for the film has been available since at least July. I always find that Islamists never do an organized attack without some pretext for justification, they have a very long list of such grievances.
"I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens," Obama said in a statement.
"Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States," Obama said.
The other three victims were American security staff, said a contractor working at the mission, who asked not to be named for security reasons.
He said he saw all four bodies on the street Wednesday morning.
Libyan officials also blamed the attack on former elements of the Gadhafi regime. A claim that is also very dubious.
The reports are that he was killed by a rocket attack. I'm not sure but this image appears to show the ambassador's body in the hands of the attackers(also here). And all the staffers were drug into the streets according to reports.
I've some video of the scene below the fold. May those who murdered Ambassador Stevens and our citizens be brought to justice.
We will add updates as more information becomes available.
Update II: Its worth noting that al-Zawahiri called for revenge for the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi in a video message also timed close to the 9/11 anniversary.[Update by SH]:
According to al-Sharef[Libyan Interior Ministry..ed], the angry mob stormed the consulate after the U.S. troops who responded fired rounds into the air to try and disperse the crowd. Al-Sharef said there had been threats that Islamic militants might try to take revenge for the death of al Qaeda's No. 2 commander Abu Yahya al-Libi, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan in June, and he said the U.S. consulate should have been better protected.Update III by SH: This paragraph alone quoting Wanis al-Sharef, a Libyan Interior Ministry, is telling:
Confirming al-Libi's death for the first time in a video posted online Monday, al Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahri called on Muslim's in al-Libi's native Libya to take revenge for his death.
He said Stevens, 52, and other officials were moved to a second building - deemed safer - after the initial wave of protests at the consulate compound. According to al-Sharef, members of the Libyan security team seem to have indicated to the protesters the building to which the American officials had been relocated, and that building then came under attack."Seemed to"? So in other words the security team decided to help out a bit.
Update IV: Apparently, the Libyan jihadi group, Ansar al-Sharia, has claimed responsibility for the attack
There have been indications in recent months that radical, armed Islamic groups have gained a foothold in Libya since the fall of the Qaddafi regime.
One of the groups to emerge in post-revolution Libya, Ansar al-Sharia, claimed responsibility Wednesday for the attack in Benghazi, which has been condemned by the country's new government.
Update V (Jane): Meet the Ambassador, in his own words:
Update VI by SH: What we have thought all along, the attack on the embassy was planned and the movie was used as an excuse:
CNNBut U.S. sources told CNN on Wednesday that the Benghazi attack was planned, and the attackers used the protest outside the consulate as a diversion. The sources could not say whether the attackers instigated the protest or merely took advantage of it, and they say they don't believe Stevens was specifically targeted.Ambassador Stevens was dragged through the streets[Image I won't show]
A senior U.S. official familiar with the details of the attack said a rocket-propelled grenade set the building ablaze, leaving the Americans facing a fire inside and attackers outside. Stevens and the others who died were separated from the rest of the staff while trying to escape to the roof of the building and succumbed to smoke inhalation, the senior official said.
Final moments of Chris Stevens, US Ambassador to Libya. He died of wounds after mob and Islamist attacked Ud embassy in Benghazi with rocket launchersSpinning about what happened continues.
Update VII by SH: Yes, I think so:[h/t Mean Kitteh]Did Libyan Security Forces Assist In Embassy Attack?
California-born ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in the assault, but it was not clear how or where he died. U.S. consular staff were rushed to a safe house after the initial attack, Libya’s Deputy Interior Minister Wanis Al-Sharif said[...]With Sean Smith's chilling chat about security personnel "taking pictures" and what I updated about "security personnel "showing where the embassy staff where located". The answer is yes, absolutely.
An evacuation plane with U.S. commandos units then arrived from Tripoli to evacuate them from the house.
“It was supposed to be a secret place and we were surprised the armed groups knew about it
Update by SH: Sigh: 12 Photos Of Libyans Apologizing To Americans
Yet another update by SH: U.S. evacuates staff from Benghazi, cuts Tripoli embassy staff to unspecified "emergency" levels
Yet another update by SH: In a volatile area this administration feels one would be safe with a lock and key. Apology tour FAIL and 4 of our own died because of it.
No Marines, no bulletproof windows. No nothing-- except "lock and key security," also known as "no security."BTW, Obama skipped Intel briefing before the embassy attacks. Apparently he prefers to read the intel instead of meeting with his security advisers. 9/11 anniversary's are always a time to keep track of chatter, video's like Zawahiri released and stuff. Now Americans are dead and he can't vote present.
The administration "explains" this by saying it was an "interim facility." Apparently you don't have to fear attacks at an "interim facility." It's like a Church in the Highlander series.
Except it's not.
But it would be crude politics to say something like "Obama should have provided security at the 'interim facility.'"
How was he to know there was any danger? It's not like Benghazi has long been a, what are the right words?, an Al Qaeda stronghold or anything.
Oh wait. That's right, it always has been an Al Qaeda stronghold.
Now he's sending in ships and helicopters and Marines.[More, Ace is on a roll on the SCOAMF]
Update, again: No new information to speak of in this briefing. There is still no timeline on what happened to Ambassador Stevens after the attack and when they finally received his body several hours later: Briefing by Senior Administration Officials to Update Recent Events in Libya
Oh, and the AP of terrorists has identified the "real name" of the manager of the company that made the Mohammad film. Gee, who gives a flying f**k. He didn't kill Ambassador Stevens, Mr Smith and the two others. ROPMA did, dammit to hell!