- Jamal Mabrouk serves with the February 17th Brigade
- The Brigade is a Libyan militia affiliated with the country’s military
- Mabrouk claims he met with U.S. diplomats to tell them about the deteriorating security situation
PUBLISHED:11:00 EST, 16 September 2012| UPDATED:11:49 EST, 16 September 2012
A member of a Libyan security force said he had met with American diplomats in the capital of Benghazi three days before the deadly assault on the U.S. consulate to warn them about the deteriorating situation in the country.
Jamal Mabrouk, of the February 17th Brigade, told CNNthat he and a battalion commander sat down with U.S. envoys to discuss the economy and security in the country, which has been going through a turbulent transition since the fall of Moammar Gaddafi last year.
According to Mabrouk, they told the diplomats that the precarious security situation was not beneficial for international business.
‘The situation is frightening, it scares us,’ Mabrouk said they told the U.S. officials. He would not say how they responded.
The U.S. State Department was not immediately available to comment on Mabrouk’s claims.
Mabrouk added that it was not the first time he has alerted foreigners to safety concerns in the face of the growing presence of armed jihadist groups in the Benghazi area.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other embassy employees were killed after a barrage of small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars tore into the consulate buildings in Benghazi on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
The room where the body of the ambassador was found was protected by a large door with steel bars; the windows had steel bars, CNN reported.
Stevens’ body was later recovered after looters broke into the room. It appears his security detail left him in the room while they clashed with the attackers.
The State Department has not released details about how Stevens died, although numerous media reports have said the ambassador was taken from the consulate to the Benghazi medical center by locals.
He arrived at the hospital, according to the reports, unresponsive and covered in soot from the fire. A doctor was unable to revive him and declared him dead, the reports said.
It has been reported that the assault on the American embassy that ended in the death of the envoy and thee other officials began simultaneously from three directions.
According to an embassy guard, heavy machine guns and rocket -propelled grenades were used by masked men who then threatened to kill him ‘protecting the infidels.’
The February 17th Brigade — a militia formed in the first days of the uprising against Gaddafi which has since become affiliated with Libya’s military – was closely involved in the rescue of the American staff trapped after the attack Tuesday night.
After the consulate was sacked, several Americans escaped to a safe-house in another part of Benghazi, but that location too came under attack.
Mabrouk said he received a call from an official in Tripoli who said he had been called by a ‘terrified’ American hiding at the safe house.
Mabrouk said the Brigade asked the Americans if they required assistance, but were told that while the situation was precarious, it was under control.
A few hours later, Mabrouk said he received another call from Tripoli about the arrival of a U.S. team at Benghazi airport that needed transport into the city.
He met the seven heavily armed Americans dressed in civilian clothing and conducted them to the safe house with an armed escort.
Upon the arrival of the newcomers in the city, they came under intense fire before their assailants fled.
Mabrouk’s statements come just days after the U.S. State Department has angrily denied claims that it had intelligence warning its consulate in Libya would be attacked 48 hours in advance.
Earlier this week, a spokesman has dismissed claims that the attacks were the result of a ‘continuing security breach’ and diplomats should have been warned before the attacks as ‘completely wrong.’
The official told Politico: ‘This is absolutely wrong. We are not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.’
The violent assault on the consulate in Benghazi started out as a demonstration against the film Innocence of Muslims, which reportedly was made in California by a filmmaker whose identity was not known at the time.
The Mail on Sunday has since exclusively revealed that Nakoiula Basseley Nakoula, an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian, has been named by the FBI as the director of the controversial film which ridicules the Prophet Mohammed.
The release of the film online set off a firestorm in the Middle East, with Muslims throughout the region taking to the streets and staging violent protests against the U.S.
On Sunday, demonstrators in Afghanistan torched a U.S. flag and were heard shouting slogans denouncing America during a protest in the city of Herat.
A similar scene was captured in Turkey, where a group of about 50 protesters set a mock American flag on fire near the U.S. embassy in Ankara.
One protester read out a statement denouncing the U.S., praising protests that erupted in Libya, Cairo and Tunisia and calling on Turks to also rise up against insults to the Prophet Mohammed.
Protests against the anti-Muslim film also continued in cities across Pakistan on Sunday. The Frontier Post reported that rallies were staged the cities of Kotli and Lahore.
Meanwhile, in Karachi, police were forced to use tear gas and aerial firing to disperse a protest rally by the Islamist party Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen outside the U.S. consulate.
The U.S. has ordered diplomats’ families and non-essential staff to leave its embassies in Sudan and Tunisia following revelations by the Libyan government that Al Qaeda might have been responsible for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
In a statement, the terrorist network has urged Muslims around the world to step up their protests and kill more diplomats in Islamic countries.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta predicted that the turmoil raging across the Muslim world is likely to continue into the days ahead, but said the violence appears to be leveling off
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2204112/Was-bloody-attack-U-S-diplomats-preventable-Libyan-security-official-claims-warned-Americans-possible-hostilities-country-THREE-DAYS-assault.html#ixzz26f8aITQq
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