Officials at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi appear to have been discussing the possibility of an attack in early September, according to sensitive documents retrieved from the consulate by the Washington Post Wednesday.
In a memorandum dated Sept. 9, officials outlined expectations for the 17th February Martyrs Brigade as part of the Quick Reaction Force at the consulate, according to the Post:
At least one document found amid the clutter indicates that Americans at the mission were discussing the possibility of an attack in early September, just two days before the assault took place. The document is a memorandum dated Sept. 9 from the U.S. mission’s security office to the 17th February Martyrs Brigade, the Libyan-government-sanctioned militia that was guarding the compound, making plans for a “quick reaction force,” or QRF, that would provide security.
“In the event of an attack on the U.S. Mission,” the document states, “QRF will request additional support from the 17th February Martyrs Brigade.”
Other documents retrieved at the site include contract information for a security contractor employeed by the facility, personal information for security contractors, and detailed itineraries for diplomatic staff at the consulate. Security is still minimal at the site, according to the Post:
Although the gates to the compound were locked several days after the attacks, looters and curiosity-seekers were free to roam in the initial chaotic aftermath, and many documents may already have disappeared.
No government-provided security forces are guarding the compound, and Libyan investigators have visited just once, according to a member of the family who owns the compound and who allowed the journalists to enter Wednesday.
Two private security guards paid for by the compound’s Libyan owner are the only people watching over the sprawling site, which is composed of two adjoining villa complexes and protected in some places by a wall only eight feet high.