September 20th, 2012
04:30 AM ET

Source: Slain ambassador Stevens worried about security threats in Libya

By Ed Payne

In the months leading up to his death, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens worried about what he called the never-ending security threats in Benghazi and mentioned his name was on an al Qaeda hit list, a source familiar with his thinking told CNN

Stevens specifically mentioned a rise in Islamic extremism and al Qaeda's growing presence in Libya, the source said.

American intelligence officials are investigating, but Matthew Olsen, the National Counterterrorism Center director, said Wednesday that it was unlikely that Stevens and his security team were killed by random protesters.

"I would say, yes, they were killed in course of terrorist attack on our embassy," Olsen said at a Senate Homeland Security hearing.

Stevens and three other Americans were killed when protesters, angry over a film made in the United States that mocked the Muslim prophet Mohammed, attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Libya • Terrorism
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Kirby Malacara

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    January 21, 2021 at 2:14 am | Reply
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  4. ConcernedParticipant

    You Tube it: Mu slims Are Taking Over The World at an ALARMING Rate

    September 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  5. krm1007 ©™

    The sacrifices of the following muslim fighters in making this world safe are unmatched and muslim country deserves a seat at the table of the permanent members of The UN Security Council. Support Pakistan for the permanent member of the UN Security Council my friends.

    Osama Bin Laden
    Atiyah Abd Al-Rahman
    Abu Ayyub Al-Masri
    Mustafa Al-Yazid
    Abu Qaswarah
    Abu Laith Al-Libi
    Muharib Abdul Latif Al-Jubouri
    Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah
    Baitullah Mehsud
    Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi
    Amjad Farooqi
    Ali Qaed Senyan Al-Harthi
    Ramzi Bin Al-Shibh
    Abu Zubaydah
    Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri
    Muhammad Atef
    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
    Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso
    Anwar al-Awlaki
    Mamdouh Mahmud Salim
    Ayman al-Zawahiri
    Thirwat Salah Shirhata
    Rifa'i Taha Musa
    Mustafa Hamza
    Mohammed Atef aka Abu Hafs al-Masri
    Saif al-Adel
    Abd al-Aziz al-Jamal
    Abu Zubaydah
    Abu Jafar al-Jaziri
    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi aka Abu Ahmad
    Abu Zubair al-Haili
    Tawfiq Attash Khallad
    Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri
    Abu Hazim aka Khalid Al Bin Ali Al-Hajj
    Abu Mohammed al-Masri aka Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah
    Tariq Anwar al-Sayyid Ahmad
    Mohammed Salah
    Yasser al-Jaziri
    Mahfouz Ould al-Walid aka Abu Hafs the Mauritanian
    Abdul Rahim al-Sharqawi aka "Riyadh the Facilitator"
    Zaid Khayr
    Safwan al-Hasham
    Ahmed Said al-Khadr
    Amin al-Haq
    Abdallah Tabarak
    Saif al-Din al-Ansari
    Abu Ubeid al-Qurashi
    Abu Bashir al-Yemeni
    Saad bin Laden
    Mahammed bin Laden
    Hamza bin Laden
    Saif bin Laden
    Yeslam Bin Ladin
    Saif Alwahid
    Khalid al-Zawahiri
    Thamr Mohammad Sharifi
    Najwa Ghanem
    Abdallah Al-Halabi
    Abdul Rahim Riyadh
    Abu Salah al-Yemeni
    Hamza al-Qatari
    Sheik Mohammed Al Hasan Al-Moayad
    Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed
    Mamoun Darkazanli
    Abu Yasir al-Jaziri
    Abdallah Muhammed Rajab Abd al-Rahman
    Munib Zahiragic
    Enaam Arnaout
    Haroun Abed
    Osailly Darwish
    Allie Darwish
    Ibrahim Bah
    Samih Ossaily
    Aziz Nassour
    Ibrahim Bah
    Youssef Mustafa Nada
    Ali Ghaleb Himmat
    Ahmed Idriss Nasreddin
    Yousuf Abdullah Al-Qaradawi
    Mariam Al-Sheikh A. Bin Aziz Al-Mubarak
    Huta Bin Laden
    Iman Bin Laden
    Ahmed Huber
    Hassan el-Banna

    September 20, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  6. For Your Eyes Only



    LEADERS: L.K. Advani/ Ashok Singhal/ Bala Saheb Devaras/ Bal Thackeray/ A.B. Vajpayee/ Savarkar/ Baikunnth Lal Sharma “Prem”/ Balraj Madhok/ The Shankaracharya of Puri, Niranjan Dev Theerth/ Rama Gopalan/ Variyar – Vishwan Hindu Parishad/ Dharmalinga Nadar/ Cho Ramaswamy

    September 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  7. Portland tony

    Usually the State Department issues advisories and other related information to embassies, EXPATS, and other Americans living abroad. Whether they did, I don't know. When God is elected president, he will know at all times where the evil doers are 24/7. In the meantime, the human President can only rely on Embassy diplomatic staff and perhaps CIA reports. So to
    blame Obama for what happened in Benghazi is like blaming the Pope for what some priest did in
    Rio! Remember the Ambassador is the man in charge and the eyes and ears of the US government ...Did he make a strategic mistake by not ordering more security ....Who knows?

    September 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • Pilgrim33

      What I have heard from several of the commentators that knew Stevens is that the decision about the level of security would have been made by his superiors, not him. It was their responsibility to make sure the ambassadors are as safe as possible. Maybe that is why the administration has taken the line that they have.

      September 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Reply
    • ascpgh

      A leader may delegate authority but may not responsibility. This is how organizations work and how leaders are either lauded for their accomplishments or subject to opprobrium for their failures.

      With the exception of the uniform services, this is not how government works though. May I remind you of the EPA genius talking about going "Roman Legion" on companies. I don't recall his boss getting punished or fired for relinquishing responsibility, which was defined by the removal of that individual as if he conjured the meeting, the audience and fully freelanced the tone of message which he so famously presented.

      Ambassador Stevens who, without a security detail, knowing three days that dire mortal trouble was soon to come stayed at his post and guided the staff to his best ability, although to a negative, outcome because his CIC is in a tough election campaign and could not acknowledge a collapsed and failing foreign policy at the moment. It should give Americans pride to know of the courage demonstrated by Stevens even if to a small band of State Department employees. There is certainly something more in the two Navy SEALS who ended up killed with the ambassador, they were not his security detail although by the end of the day they may have tried to be.

      What we may never know is the story of a true leader, one who did not run for the hills, abandon personnel to save himself, pander to a subcommittee or revert to staged events populated by cohesive, hand-picked audiences and fawning reporters covering such as directed.

      Read this single point; this leader will throw you under the bus personally if it forces a decision between what's good for him and what's good for you, even if we are talking about your death. This is apparent to party and administration underlings, the military and anyone else who has stood for their beliefs, responsibilities or their interpretation of operational orders under the rapid evolution of the situation in a moment when they knew it would be bad.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:07 am | Reply
    • Todd Rodriguez

      I wonder if you would have been so lenient had Bush been in office? I don't remember this kind of rhetoric with the intelligence Bush received conserning WMDs. Very interesting.

      September 21, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  8. saeed

    man it was so cool how the draged this irish swine out and beat the crap out of him im going to do this in a irish kindgarten one day slay the kids and drag them out and beat the crap out of them were every body can see it yyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaa.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:50 am | Reply
    • doubledees

      typical muslim comment – your a sick mofo...........and you wonder why your kind is so hated.........

      September 20, 2012 at 7:32 am | Reply
    • Gunner

      saeed, Hope you and your entire family suffer in hell for the sick, inhumane and vile cr@p you just wrote.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
    • jezza

      saeed.....Allah is not on your side.
      enjoy hell....

      September 22, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
  9. OffTheWorldPolitics

    I'm glad that at least one journalist on CNN has the integrity to tell it like it is. This was a panned Terrorist attack that was successful because the Obama administration went to sleep on extremists in Lybia when he was told that there was a threat. The administration dropped the ball and now wants to use the liberal media to sweep it under the rug as a bunch of hooligans that got mad over a movie. The main reason why the administration wants to downplay this is because there are going to be huge military spending cuts in the near future. Afghanistan is going to destabilize soon after the US withdrawal because the security forces have been infiltrated by the Taliban. This is only the beginning, but do not worry folks cause just like Obama says, we are moving FORWARD! right towards another 9/11.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:16 am | Reply
    • ascpgh

      CNN had to do so, Jay Carney said so, and after three days the White House does too. The problem, again, is how Obama and his handlers will not acknowledge situations in real time. They must have to decamp to the choom room where the unofficial cabinet of czars and stars meet with the babysitter (Val Jarrett) to calculate damage or good that can come from churning, spinning or burying the sprouting story. Meanwhile in realityville Americans die because the Commander in Chief cannot make a decision or take an action. This story has repeated itself enough, in the name of this man staff, party underlings and the military all know who goes under the bus wheel first, there is probably a list protocol of such since we know that in the theater of politics the elected class don't even have to use the bathroom except when the press desires to mortally wound one of them and cast them as weak.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:16 am | Reply
      • OffTheWorldPolitics

        Although I'm not the biggest fan of Fox news, sometimes I need to for a balanced perspective. No one since Christpher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie have been critical of Islamic fundamentalism in the mainstream media. It is important to recognize a growing hegemonic trend in Europe and Asia often called Islamofascism. Repressive, violent, Islamic fundamentalism.

        September 21, 2012 at 7:22 am |
  10. S.A.D.

    This was one of, if not *the*, worst intelligence / security failure we have endured since 9/11.

    Thoughts and prayers are with Amb. Stevens, his loved ones and all those who lost their lives tragically... and perhaps unnecessarily.

    September 20, 2012 at 5:39 am | Reply
  11. clm

    Watching the aftermath of this unfold can never match the horror of the incident itself, but it's getting there. For days we have watched Obama and his minions emphatically deny this had anything to do with terrorism, much less al Qaeda. The insidious thing about it is his motive, which is purely political. Blame it on a video so voters won't notice his utter incompetence in foreign affairs. The entire middle east is on fire, all of our embassies there are under attack, yet he jokes around with Letterman and waltzes with rappers while this is going on. But check the polls... are Americans REALLY that stupid?

    September 20, 2012 at 5:02 am | Reply
  12. Bruceben9

    i have wondered why security was not stepped up w/the approaching 9/11 anniversary. that does anger me and now i learn this.

    September 20, 2012 at 4:56 am | Reply
    • OffTheWorldPolitics

      Because Obama is not checking his intel reports. He's poverty pimping...

      September 20, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply

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