The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

SSCI Releases its Review of the Benghazi Terrorist Attacks

Benghazi attacks The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) released today its "Review of the Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Facilities in Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012."  This review "focuses primarily on the analysis by and actions of the Intelligence Community (IC) leading up to, during, and immediately following the attacks." The review seeks to identify important findings and recommendations related to the tragedy in order to "improve [U.S.] intelligence analysis, priorities, and capabilities and help ensure the future safety of U.S. personnel serving overseas."

In total, the review identifies fourteen "failures" of U.S. intelligence and government agencies' actions surrounding the Benghazi attacks and provides corresponding recommendations to avoid these types of failures in the future. Specifically, the failures identified in the review pertain to lack of cooperation and accountability in government agencies before and after the attacks. Report findings explain that the U.S. IC had warned of the deteriorating situation in Libya, but the State Department did not increase security - even after other nations began to leave the area. Additionally, there were no U.S. military resources in position to intervene "in short order" in Benghazi at the time of the attack, nor did Benghazi security agents come to the aid of U.S. officials. Following the attacks, It was also found that the U.S. IC misidentified and misrepresented aspects of the events to the public, and certain government agencies failed to initiate or cooperate in a follow-up analysis of the attacks. Finally, the last of the review's fourteen findings notes that the perpetrators of the attack still have not been brought to justice.

This review is presented with additional SSCI member views (at the end of the report) that provide further analysis of the events leading up to and following the September 2012 events in Benghazi.