Benghazi Attacks: The Story No One Talks About

Do you know about the attacks that occurred in Benghazi, Libya in 2012?

Often the answer is no, but as it occurred on the anniversary of 9-11 and was yet another attack committed against the United States, it should be recognized.

On Sept. 11–12, 2012, the Benghazi Attacks, both in the U.S. Consultant and the CIA Annex, resulted in the deaths of four Americans: Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty.

According to, on the night of Sept. 11, about 150 Islamic militants from the Ansar al-Sharia, associated with Al-Qaeda, stormed the front gate of a U.S. compound and set fire to the outpost.

“We firmly believe that this was a pre-calculated, pre-planned attack that was carried out specifically to attack the U.S. Consulate,” said Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif, who told NPR, National Public Radio, on Sept. 16 2012.

As U.S. envoy Chris Stevens stepped into the ambassador role in Libya in 2011 as a result of Obama’s order to meet with Libyan officials “in search of Muammar Gaddafi’s weapons stockpiles [and] to open a cultural center.”

U.S. security personnel had recommended adding more security in the months before the attack; This request was turned down.

“Having an extra foot of wall, or an extra-half dozen guards or agents would not have enabled us to respond to that kind of assault.” said a State Department regional security officer in response to the attack.

According to NPR, two days before the Benghazi attack both the U.S. officials and Libyan Militiamen met to discuss the lack of security.

Hours before what occurred in Bengahzi, there were angry protests in Cairo that began as a response the an anti-Muslim video made in the United States.

The U.S. Consulate, where Stevens resides, reports being under attack at about 9:40 p.m., local time, by Islamic Militants on Sept. 11.

According to NPR, after the islamic militants gained access to the compound grounds, Stevens and an information technology specialist, Sean Smith, hid in a safe room inside of the compound.

Unfortunately, this followed the plan of the attackers as they set fire to the building these two men were in.

Jim Clapper, the director of national intelligence at the time, stated that the group of individuals who attacked the U.S. compounds were “a mob” of Islamic extremists.

This attack’s significance often goes hand in hand with the notion that there was not enough security for U.S. Ambassador Stevens.

According to NYP, New York Post, no one was en route to the outpost even after pleas were made for help.

When diplomatic security agents, federal enforcement who’s responsible for the security of Foreign Service personnel, finally arrive at the consultant they find Smith, who had died from smoke asphyxiation prior to their arrival, but are unable to find Stevens.

According to NPR, the surviving Americans, after searching for Stevens, evacuated the consultant to go to the nearby CIA Annex.

The survivors later find out that Chris Stevens was found alive by local libyans and was taken to the hospital by local libyans, where he was pronounced dead.

At about 1:15 a.m. on September 12, a rescue team from Tripoli arrived in Benghazi.

The team notified Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State at the time, that the Amercians needed to be evacuated at 2:00 a.m.

However, according to, there was another attack that broke out at 4:00 a.m. at the CIA Annex.

Two former Navy SEALs, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty who were acting as CIA security contractors, were killed during this attack.

The surviving Americans and annex staff were evacuated to the airport and out of the country with the help of a Libyan militia.

The amount of American survivors filled up two whole planes. These planes took off around 10:00 a.m. on Sept. 12, nearly 12 hours after the first attack.

According to NPR, Libya’s president said he believes “Al-Qaida is behind a deadly attack in eastern Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. staffers.”

Another important thing to know about this event is that it was the first violent killing of an American Ambassador since 1988.

“The White House and State Department faced withering criticism, accused of providing insufficient security at the consulate, of responding too slowly as the crisis grew, and of pushing the spontaneous attack explanation that appeared baseless,” said John Bacon, reporter for USA Today.

Obama, who was president at the time, alongside H. Clinton, faced most of the criticism.

On August 7, 2013, the U.S. The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation announced charges were filed against several suspects, the only name announced public was Ahmed Abu Khattala, a Libyan militia member.

“We will continue our efforts to bring to justice those who were responsible for the Benghazi attacks,” said Obama. states that Khattala was charged with providing material support to terrorists, using a firearm in a crime of violence, and killing a person in an attack on a federal facility.

The U.S. State Department acknowledged on October 10, 2014, that the requests that were made for additional security in Benghazi were in fact denied.

“We were left behind. That’s just the truth. No support came. Period.” said Kris Paronto, one of the CIA security contractors at the CIA Annex.

ABC News released the results from a public opinion poll showing that 51 percent of Americans supported a congressional investigation, whereas 42 percent said they think there was enough investigation.

According to, the investigation was not given a deadline to conclude.

There are many theories of why the attack on Benghazi occurred, who was involved, and how America was reluctant to send help to its own people, but at the end of the day all that matters is that we remember and recognize events like this so history doesn’t repeat itself.

Sydney Morgan, currently a junior at Fresno State University, grew up in the sleepy town of Templeton, CA. With Lester Holt and Carrie Bradshaw as her journalist role models, she considers herself to have a more creative approach to her news and entertainment stories.