It Begins…

What you are about to read is a true and accurate account of what happened in Benghazi from the initial attack to the final evacuation. Minor liberties are taken with regards to how the story is told in this chapter but the truth is at its core. While no one person’s account can represent the entire truth of a story, our hope is that by piecing together this complex puzzle together, that the facts coupled with first person accounts, will best represent what happened that tragic day. After all, the American people deserve to hear the unvarnished truth.

In his first visit to Benghazi in almost a year, Ambassador Stevens would arrive in Benghazi on September 10th, with Sean Smith and two DSS agents (Diplomatic Security). The only other Americans attached to state were three additional DSS personnel temporarily assigned to the Special Mission Benghazi compound. In total seven Americans with four local militia guards were left to promote diplomacy in one of the most hostile and unstable places on earth.

Stevens’s main mission was to conduct diplomatic relations with local government officials and pass assessments of Libya’s fragile state of affairs back to Washington. He would take one meeting in town on the 10th, but on the 11th all his appointments were conducted inside the compound as a security measure. The following events are true to the best of our knowledge, and many of the details have never been disclosed before.

Around 7:40pm the Ambassador escorted a Turkish diplomat to the compound’s main gate. Shortly after, around 8pm, a team of UK diplomatic security professionals dropped off borrowed vehicles and equipment, as was the arrangement after the UK had suspended diplomatic operations in June 2012 due to the increased threat level.

At 9pm, the Ambassador and Sean Smith retired to their rooms for the night.

Suddenly: BOOM! A Rocket Propelled Grenade hit the front gate of the compound with thunderous force. The guard stationed at the main gate had long fled the scene. He was attached to the Supreme Security Council (SSC). The SSC is a loose coalition of militia elements that are providing interim security in Libya. The SSC driver would later tell local press that he drove away under instructions to avoid further civilian casualties.

At the time of the attack the following personnel were in the compound: