Less than two weeks before 2012 Benghazi terror attack, security at the State Department’s compound in Benghazi, Libya, was so weak that an additional military contractor had to be called in to provide extra protection, according to two men who work for the contractor.
In an interview aired Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, Brad Owens and Jerry Torres of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions said they were also instructed by bureaucrats under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not to speak publicly about the dire situation.
Owens and Torres said they were also pressured to adopt talking points similar to those used by Clinton’s State Department regarding the security lapses that eventually led to four Americans being killed on Sept. 12, 2012.
The terrorist attack involved Islamic terrorists who launched a 13-hour attack from Sept. 11-12 that resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty.
Some reports have revealed it took officials in the Obama administration hours to approve orders sending nearby military personnel to Benghazi to aid Americans at the compound and potentially save lives.
Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions bid on a military contract for the Benghazi compound in early 2012, but the State Department instead awarded the contract to a relatively unknown security group in the United Kingdom called The Blue Mountain Group.
“Blue Mountain U.K. is a teeny, tiny, little security company registered in Wales that had never had a diplomatic security contract, had never done any high threat contracts anywhere else in the world that we’ve been able to find, much less in high threat areas for the U.S. government. They had a few guys on the ground,” Owens said.
Fox News reported The Blue Mountain Group also hired additional personnel from another company who did not carry weapons.
Owens said soon after Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi to be overthrown and killed in 2011, al Qaeda-linked militia groups immediately began to take over the region, and the security situation “had deteriorated considerably.”
A classified cable in 2012 revealed Stevens and his team notified the State Department on several occasions there was an increase in radical Islamic groups in Benghazi and that the compound wouldn’t be able to withstand a “coordinated attack.”
Owens and Torres said the State Department contacted them on Aug. 31, 2012, telling them to intervene and handle the security detail.
“They came back to us and said, ‘Can you guys come in and take over security?’” Owens said. “So we were ready.”
“But Torres emphasized that time was against them, saying it would have taken two-to-three weeks to get set up,” according to Fox News.
The terrorist attack occurred just twelve days later.
Torres, who learned of the attack from news reports on television, said the situation happened because of “bad decision-making from top to bottom.”
“There was nothing we could’ve done about it. If we’d had one month warning … who knows what might’ve happened,” Owens said.
Jerry Torres said he remains haunted by the fact that he was silenced by high-ranking officials in the Clinton State Department.
“A U.S. ambassador is dead and nobody is held accountable for it. And three guys … all died trying to defend him,” Torres said.
When asked if a senior State Department contracting officer specifically tried to silence his group, Torres replied, “Absolutely, absolutely.”
“(Those) who made the poor choices that actually, I would say, were more responsible for the Benghazi attacks than anyone else, they’re still in the same positions, making security choices for our embassies overseas now,” Owens said.
Torres and Owens said they believe another attack similar to Benghazi could happen again because the same State Department officials who awarded a major security contract to an unknown group remain in place.
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