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State Department made 'grievous mistake' over Benghazi: Senate report

Published on Jan 1, 2013 7:49 AM
The US Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - THE State Department made a "grievous mistake" in keeping the US mission in Benghazi open despite inadequate security and increasingly alarming threat assessments in the weeks before a deadly attack by militants, a Senate committee said on Monday.

A report from the Senate Homeland Security Committee on the September 11 attacks on the US mission and a nearby CIA annex, in which the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans died, faulted intelligence agencies for not focusing tightly enough on Libyan extremists.

It also faulted the State Department for waiting for specific warnings instead of improving security.

The committee's assessment, "Flashing Red: A Special Report On The Terrorist Attack At Benghazi," follows a scathing report by an independent State Department accountability review board that resulted in a top security official resigning and three others at the department being relieved of their duties.

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