WORLD

Inadequate security at US mission in Benghazi, report says

An independent U.S. panel investigating the September 11 attack in Libya that resulted in the deaths of four Americans has concluded that security at the mission in Benghazi was “grossly inadequate.”The Accountability Review Board said senior-level “systematic failures and management deficiencies” within two State Department bureaus led to a security posture that was inadequate to deal with the terrorist attacks at the facilities in the eastern Libyan city, the Voice of America reports.The board also said the number of diplomatic security staff members in Benghazi at the time of the attack was “inadequate,” in spite of repeated requests from diplomats in Libya for additional staffing.The four Americans killed Benghazi included Ambassador Christopher Stephens, in what was the first murder of a U.S. ambassador since 1988. Two senior board members, retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, were to testify about the findings on Wednesday. They are going before House and Senate foreign relations committees in a closed session. State Department officials will testify, publicly, before the committees on Thursday.The panel listed a number of recommendations, including increased security at temporary facilities in high-risk areas.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton convened the review panel and asked it to conduct the independent investigation.In a Tuesday statement to Congress, Clinton said she accepted “every one” of the panel’s recommendations and was taking steps to ensure that they were “implemented quickly and completely.” “The Accountability Review Board report provides a clear-eyed look at serious, systematic challenges that we have already begun to fix,” said Clinton.The secretary of state said she had already launched a worldwide security review, with special emphasis on high-threat posts.

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