There goes the neighborhood: Islamists blamed for Benghazi attack moved next door to embassy months before

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About two months ago I shared here information I was told about the terrorist attack in Benghazi. In that piece, I spoke of the “close proximity” of the staging area of the attack to the Benghazi Special Mission Compound (SMC). I mentioned Ansar al-Sharia as well as the February 17th Martyrs Brigade guarding the SMC.

Well, a funny thing just came to light. According to, “Members of the Islamist extremist militia blamed for the Benghazi terror attack had moved in next door to the U.S. Consulate months before the strike but “nothing was done” despite concerns about the dangerous neighbors, sources tell Fox News. Sources say members of Ansar al-Sharia moved to the house just outside the east wall of the compound within three weeks of American personnel renting the facility, and later used the location to help plan and take part in the attack on the American Consulate on Sept. 11, 2012.”

“We warned D.C. about the guys who moved in next door, but nobody knew what to do and nothing was done,” a U.S. intelligence source said. According to one intelligence source, American security personnel specifically asked for an M240 machine gun to mount on the roof at the consulate for added protection, but were turned down repeatedly. A State Department source also confirmed to Fox News that “they asked for a belt-fed mounted machine gun, but were specifically denied by the State Department because they said it would upset the locals.”

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Yep, that’s a nice “hearts and minds” rule of engagement often utilized. How’s that working out?

Of course when asked about these assertions at Monday’s press briefing, the State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf called the claims “dubious.”

Unfortunately for Ms. Harf, who previously attempted to discredit Bowe Bergdahl’s platoon members, a senior State Department official acknowledged that there was a request of some kind from the Benghazi post on Aug. 22. “It was being considered in Tripoli on the day of the attack. It was contained in a list of security requests, so to say that the request was rejected is inaccurate,” the official said.

So in the arena of shifting definitions, no, the request wasn’t rejected, it was just never considered — in fact, completly dismissed. The official said the department, though, has “no record” at this point of Ansar al-Sharia moving in next door.

On the contrary, one source with direct knowledge of the attack said, “The State Department knew it. Everyone on the ground knew it.” Another source said the sandbags were denied because “making shooting positions was too aesthetically unpleasing.”

And as Fox says, “in what has to be one of the worse cases of ‘outsourcing’” someone in the State Department needs to explain why an Islamist militia group, The February 17 Martyrs Brigade, was tapped to provide security at the U.S. compound in Benghazi.

Fox says, “not only did they not respond to help save American lives, but may have directly participated in the 2012 attack on Americans. The State department selected the militia over multiple other militia groups, private companies and even U.S. Marines to protect and secure the American consulate in Benghazi, despite the fact that those on the ground questioned the decision. As one special operator noted, “They may have been sold as the best option … but it was a terrible option. Only D.C. trusted them.”

I never like to say I told ya so, but Fox News’ Adam Housely just did.
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