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Senior United States Intelligence Officials stepped forward to reveal information about the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement in the attack in Benghazi, Libya that took place on the anniversary of September 11.
The officials have provided the most detailed timeline of what the CIA did that night.
25 minutes after the consulate first called for help, about half a dozen CIA security officials set out to help the State Department staff. The security officials attempted to get assistance from Libyans but without any help, they carried out a rescue attempt. The CIA was located in an area called the “annex,” about a mile away from the attack.
The officials remain anonymous because they are unauthorized to make public statements regarding intelligence information.
One of the senior intelligence officials told New York Times reporters, “The officers on the ground in Benghazi responded to the situation on the night of 11 and 12 September as quickly and as effectively as possible. There were no orders to anybody to stand down in providing support.”
The officials arrived at the consulate for their rescue and returned back to the annex with all of the U.S. personnel except for U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack.
When they returned, the CIA base was under attack. The violence there didn’t fully subside until the next morning and two CIA security officials defending the base were shot and killed. A Libyan then escorted the U.S. personnel to the airport.
Along with providing a timeline of what occurred that evening, the security officials also said the CIA had early information that the attack was linked to al-Qaida but the classified information was not immediately made public.