Adding to the security concerns that were building up to the bloody attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, an Arabic television station revealed new information on the lax security there, including a major breach took place at the consulate early in the morning of the fateful day.
Alaan TV based in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday reported that in letters it obtained that were found inside the consulate - written by American staffers serving there and addressed to the Libyan Foreign Ministry and Benghazi police chief – security breaches were reported.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which translated the report, writes:
According to the letters, not only had a Libyan policeman photographed the compound 15 hours prior to the attack, but the Libyan government had not provided the security at the consulate requested by the consular staff prior to Ambassador Chris Stevens' arrival in Benghazi. According to the report, the letter stated, "We are saddened to report that we have only received an occasional police presence at our main gate. Many hours pass when we have no police support at all."
Alaan TV reports the letters were found in the “Tactical Operations Center building” of the consulate. From its television report:
“In the letters, the Americans complained about an incident that occurred on the morning of September 11, an incident they described as 'troubling.' The letters read as follows: 'Early this morning, on September 11, 2011 [sic], at precisely 06:43, one of our diligent guards made a troubling report. Near our main gate, a member of the police force was seen in the upper level of a building across from our compound. It is reported that this person, who belongs to the police unit sent to protect the U.S. Special Mission, was photographing the inside of the U.S. consulate.'
"One of these letters contains important information about the police car that was present at the scene: 'The police car stationed where this event occurred was number 322.'"
"As is well known, there is no professional police force in Libya, and therefore, the police and armed groups often work together. Thus, it seems clear, from the tone of the letter, that the Americans were extremely concerned about this incident, describing it as 'troubling.'
"According to the letter, they were hoping that the Libyan authorities would conduct an official investigation into this incident."
Alaan TV also reports that the security arrangements U.S. staff requested “were not granted”:
"The letters revealed that since September 9, the Americans had been requesting special security arrangements, in preparation for the arrival of Ambassador Chris Stephens to Benghazi. These arrangements included the police guarding the front and rear gates of the consulate around the clock, in addition to a mobile patrol and a bomb-sniffing dog.
"The Americans, however, were not granted these requests, as was made clear from the letter, dated September 11, just hours before the attack. 'We are saddened to report that we have only received an occasional police presence at our main gate. Many hours pass when we have no police support at all.'"
Fifteen hours after the policeman was seen photographing the building, the attack on the consulate began.
The almost identical letters were addressed to Libya’s Foreign Ministry and the Benghazi police chief, according to Alaan.
Watch the clip from Alaan TV as translated by MEMRI: