State Department emails from day of Libya attack show Al Qaeda-tied group on radar
By Chad Pergram
Published October 23, 2012
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012...#ixzz2ABA6n3a7
A series of internal State Department emails obtained by Fox News shows some some of the initial assessments of last month's deadly consulate attack in Libya, including one email within hours of the attack that noted that the group Ansar al Sharia had claimed responsibility.
Ansar al Sharia has been declared by the State Department to be a an Al Qaeda-affiliated group. A member of the group suspected of participating in the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi has been arrested and is being held in Tunisia.
The emails obtained by Fox News were sent by the State Department to a variety of national security platforms, whose addresses have been redacted, including the White House Situation Room, the Pentagon, the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence.
Fox News was told that an estimated 300 to 400 national security figures received these emails in real time almost as the raid was playing out and concluding. People who received these emails work directly under the nation’s top national security, military and diplomatic officials, Fox News was told.
The timestamps on the emails are all Eastern Time and often include the subheading SBU…which is shorthand for “Sensitive But Unclassified.”
The first email indicates that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and other personnel were “in the compound safe haven.” Officials later discovered that Stevens and three other Americans had died in the attack.
The first email was sent at 4:05 p.m. ET with the subject line “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack (SBU).”
“The Regional Security Officer reports the diplomatic mission is under attack," the email reads. "Embassy Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well. Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four COM personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support.
"The operations Center will provide updates as available.”
The second email came at 4:54 p.m. ET, with a subject line “Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi (SBU)"
“Embassy Tripoli reports the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi has stopped and the compound has been cleared. A response team is on site attempting to locate COM personnel.”
The third email came at 6:07 p.m. ET and was sent to a different email list but still includes the White House Situation Room address and a subject line of “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack (SBU).”
“Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli," the email reads.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012...#ixzz2AB9lsYce