FBI Arrives at Benghazi Three Weeks After Ambassador Murder
On September 11, 2012, United States Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered at the American mission in Benghazi, Libya. The New York Post is reporting that an American investigative committee, which includes more than one FBI agent, arrived at the scene of the crime on Thursday, October 4, 2012, more than three weeks after the deadly attacks:
A team of US investigators visited Libya's second city Benghazi on Thursday to examine the site where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in an attack last month.
"An American investigative committee visited the site where the US ambassador was killed," a defense ministry official in Benghazi told AFP, confirming that the team included FBI agents.
The dirt road which leads to the front gate of the US mission in Benghazi was sealed off in the morning by defence ministry vehicles mounted with weapons, an AFP correspondent reported.
"About 20 Americans dressed in civilian clothing came and we were asked to protect them until they leave Benghazi," said a commander of the Libya Shield brigade, a former rebel unit under defence ministry command.
"They arrived in the early morning and worked for three hours collecting evidence," added the commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
On Tuesday, Libyan authorities said they had approved an FBI visit to Benghazi to investigate the deadly September 11 attack on the consulate.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed on Wednesday to answer lingering questions about the assault in a bid to counter a barrage of Republican criticism in the lead-up to the November 6 presidential election.
The Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton run State Department have been severely criticized for the tardy arrival of the American investigative unit.
The crime scene has apparently not been secured for most of the three weeks since the crime took place, and much of the evidence has been contaminated or disappeared. There are numerous reports that during this three week period when the Benghazi mission has been unsecured, sensitive U.S. intelligence documents have been stolen.
In addition, CNN has admitted that in the days after the attack, their reporter was able to roam freely through the mission, where he discovered and took the private diary of Ambassador Stevens. CNN says it has returned the diary to his family.