Militia Hired by State Dept. Warned It Wouldn’t Protect Stevens’ Movements in Benghazi

Amb. Chris Stevens, Benghazi

Amb. Chris Stevens, Benghazi

The February 17th Martyrs Brigade, a Benghazi-based militia with Islamist elements that the State Department hired as a “quick reaction force” (QRF) to protect the department’s mission in Benghazi, warned the State Department that it would not protect the movements of Amb. Chris Stevens when he visited there last September.

That warning was relayed to the regional security officer (RSO) at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli–the top security adviser to the ambassador–in an internal State Department email dated Sept. 9, 2012.

That was one day before Stevens departed Tripoli for Benghazi–for what was scheduled to be a five-day visit.

“[O]n September 8, 2012, just days before Ambassador Stevens arrived in Benghazi, the February 17 Martyrs Brigade told State Department officials that the group would no longer support U.S. movements in the city, including the Ambassador’s visit,” said a report on Benghazi released last week by the chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Oversight, Judiciary and Armed Services committees.

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