Embassy Attacks

CIA Wants To Know How Its Benghazi Presence Was Revealed

The agency's presence may have incited the attack

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More than eight months after the 9/11 anniversary attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, the CIA is still trying to find out how the attack that killed two former Navy SEALs at the agency's annex transpired.

The attack on the CIA base came more than seven hours after an armed mob stormed the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, setting the compound ablaze and killing U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and Sean Smith, a State Department communications officer who was with him.

On Wednesday, Deputy CIA Director Mike Morell—along with CIA officers who were at the agency's Benghazi base on the night of the attack—testified at a classified hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In the closed hearing, according to U.S. officials with knowledge of the proceedings, Morell was asked by Republican members about how the second wave of attackers knew to go to the CIA annex, which was a mile away from the diplomatic mission. Morell responded that at this point the CIA did not know whether the attackers had known the location of the annex or learned about it on the evening of the attack, according to these sources.

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