Benghazi Mission Attack Fast Facts

CNN —  

Here’s some background information about the September 11, 2012, attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya.


September 11, 2012 - The US mission in Benghazi is attacked and burned. An attack later that night involves mortar and rocket fire against a US diplomatic annex in the city.

US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other US nationals are killed in the attack.

More than 30 Americans are evacuated.

Initially, the attack was thought to be perpetrated by an angry mob responding to a video made in the United States that mocked Islam and the Prophet Mohammed, but it is later determined to be a terrorist attack.

Congressional and governmental probes into the attack on Benghazi: US State Department Accountability Review Board, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House Judiciary Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee, House Select Committee on Intelligence, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and House Select Committee on Benghazi.

September 11-12, 2012 Attack Timeline as released by the Pentagon

September 11: (Events listed in local Benghazi time)
9:42 p.m. - Armed men begin their assault on the US mission.

9:59 p.m. - A surveillance drone is directed to fly over the US compound, but it is unarmed.

10:32 p.m. - The Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff are notified of the attack by the National Military Command Center at the Pentagon. “The information is quickly passed to Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey.”

11 p.m. - Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dempsey meet with President Barack Obama at the White House, where they discuss the unfolding situation and how to respond. The meeting had been previously scheduled.

11:10 p.m. - The surveillance drone arrives over the Benghazi facility.

11:30 p.m. - All surviving US personnel are evacuated from the mission. Stevens and State Department computer expert Sean Smith are killed in the initial assault.

September 12:
Midnight to 2 a.m. - Panetta and other senior leaders discuss possible options for further violence if it were to break out. Panetta gives verbal orders for Marine anti-terrorist teams from Rota, Spain, to prepare to deploy to Tripoli and Benghazi. Panetta also orders a special operations force team training in Croatia and an additional special operations force team in the United States to prepare to deploy to a staging base in southern Italy.

1:30 a.m. - A six-man security te