2012 Benghazi Attack

1:15am: GRS Team arrives in Benghazi

11 Sep, 2012

Note: NYT, Fox and the CIA all have different times for the attack. The CIA times are used here.

At 1:15 a.m. After a 45-minute flight from Tripoli, The Quick Reaction Force arrives at the Benghazi airport, The team includes former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty and three other GRS (Global Response Staff) security officers, a CIA case officer and two U.S. military personnel on loan to the agency. The GRS provides security to CIA case officers and provides countersurveillance and surveillance protection. Woods, Doherty and at least two others were based at the CIA annex and were protecting CIA operators who were part of a mission to track and repurchase arms in Benghazi that had proliferated in the wake of Muammar Qaddafi’s fall. Part of their mission was to find the more than 20,000 missing MANPADS, or shoulder-held missiles capable of bringing down a commercial aircraft.

According to Fox News a source on the ground at the time of the attack, the team inside the CIA annex had captured three Libyan attackers and was forced to hand them over to the Libyans. U.S. officials do not know what happened to those three attackers and whether they were released by the Libyan forces. On November 11, when this claim again came to public attention through [[Paula Broadwell]]’s repeated claim, the CIA refuted it, telling the [[Daily Beast]] that the CIA has not had detention authority since January 2009, when Executive Order 13491 was issued. [1. Daily Beast – Alleged Petraeus Mistress Suggested She Was Privy To State Secrets http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/11/alleged-petraeus-mistress-suggested-she-was-privy-to-state-secrets.html]

However, due to delays caused by negotiations with Libyan authorities over permission to leave the airport; obtaining vehicles; and the need to frame a clear mission plan, they don’t leave the Benghazi airport until 4:30 a.m. The first idea is to go to a Benghazi hospital to recover Stevens, who they rightly suspect is already dead. But the hospital is surrounded by the al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Sharia militia that mounted the consulate attack.

A motorcade of dozens of Libyan vehicles, some mounted with 50 caliber machine guns, belonging to the February 17th Brigades, a Libyan militia which is friendly to the U.S., finally showed up at the CIA annex at approximately 5:04 a.m.

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