There were four previous Islamist attacks in Benghazi since June.
One of the attacks was an IED atack at the US Consulate on June 6, 2012.
The US consulate in Benghazi, where the US ambassador to Libya died in an attack on Tuesday, was not given the standard security contract offered to many American diplomatic missions in the Middle East, private military contractors have told the BBC.
The consulate’s walls were breached in just 15 minutes, guards were outgunned and overwhelmed and four US personnel were killed, including the Ambassador, J Christopher Stevens.
US embassies and consulates in areas of the world where they are deemed liable to attack are usually offered a formal security contract called a Worldwide Protective Services Agreement, known in the industry as a ‘Wips’.
The contract, or so-called tasking order, is between the US state department and any one of several major private military contractors such as DynCorp International and Aegis Defence Services.
Under this agreement, extensive security precautions are put in place, including low-profile armoured vehicles, run-flat tyres, sufficient weapons, ammunition and trained personnel, as well as a tried and tested command and control system.
But sources have told the BBC that on the advice of a US diplomatic regional security officer, the mission in Benghazi was not given the full contract despite lobbying by private contractors.
Instead, the US consulate was guarded externally by a force of local Libyan militia, many of whom reportedly put down their weapons and fled once the mission came under concerted attack.
Good Lord, our murdered ambassador didn’t stand a chance.
And, yet the state-run media was more worried about ambushing Mitt Romney?