Book: State Knew Benghazi Was Terrorist Attack Within Minutes

Image: Book: State Knew Benghazi Was Terrorist Attack Within Minutes

Tuesday, 03 Sep 2013 12:38 PM

By Andrea Billups

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The State Department knew minutes after the siege began that terrorists were attacking the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, a new book about the tragedy concludes.

Just 25 minutes in, as 35 gun-toting jihadists stormed the compound, the State Department received a cable advising it of the attack. The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli also was contacted by a security official assigned to protect U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, say the authors of the new book, "Under Fire, the Untold Story of the Attack on Benghazi," according to The Washington Examiner.

The book, by former State Diplomatic Security Agent Fred Burton and co-author Samuel Katz, an international counterterrorism expert, dives deep into the timeline and details of the Benghazi attack. It also refutes many of the early assertions by the Obama administration that the assault, which killed Stevens and three others, was sparked by an anti-Muslim film produced in the United States.

Latest: Is Benghazi a Cover Up? Is Obama at the Heart of It? Vote Here

The book builds the case, using eyewitness accounts of many on the ground in Benghazi, that it was indeed an act of terrorism that occurred 11 years after the historic 9/11  attacks. It marked what the authors called "an opening salvo of a new jihad on the African continent."

Despite the political wrangling and embarrassment for the Obama administration, the tragic event could not be viewed as anything other than terrorism, the authors found.

"So much about the night just didn’t make sense, but one question everyone was asking was, 'Where were the good guys?’ Two and a half hours of war had been waged in the city of Benghazi and everyone in the know — and many who weren't — were aware that the U.S. presence in the city was under full-scale attack," the book concludes.

"There were no cavalry charge of men in white hats eager to save the day and rescue the besieged American positions. None of the militias — not even the one on the State Department payroll — had mobilized their forces to mount a large-scale and deterring show of force."

Among other things reported in the book: Hillary Clinton, on her last day as secretary of state, presented four of the five diplomatic security agents who were present during the Benghazi attack with the State Department's "Award for Heroism."

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