US embassy guards in Benghazi had terror ties, helped carry out 2012 attack

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012. (AFP)

A recently released report claims a private firm, hired by the State Department, hired Libyan guards for the US embassy in Benghazi who had ties to terror groups.

Wales-based Blue Mountain Group is facing accusation from several sources who claim the firm hastily recruited locals who ended up helping to carry out the terror attack against the embassy in 2012.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Blue Mountain used local newspaper ads to assemble a team of 20 guards, many of whom had terror ties, after securing a $9.2 million annual contract, reports Fox News.

“The guards who were hired were locals who were part of the Ansar al-Sharia and Al Qaeda groups operating in Benghazi,” the source told Fox, whose assignment in Benghazi had ended in November 2011. “Whoever approved contracts at the State Department hired Blue Mountain Group and then allowed Blue Mountain Group to hire local Libyans who were not vetted.”

John, “Tig” Tiegen, co-author of “13 hours” and one of the CIA contractors that responded to the attack, confirmed that validity of the accusations against Blue Mountain.

“Many of the local Libyans who attacked the consulate on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, were the actual  guards that the State Department under Hillary Clinton hired to protect the Consulate in Benghazi,” Tiegen told Fox News. “The guards were unvetted and were locals with basically no background at all in providing security. Most of them never had held a job in security in the past.”

“Blue Mountain Libya, at the time of being awarded the contract by our State Department, had no employees so they quickly had to find people to work, regardless of their backgrounds,” he said.

A former guard who witness the attack, Weeam Mohamed, also corroborated the story in an email sent to Citizens Commission on Benghazi. He stated four of the guards hired by Blue Mountain took part in the attack by opening doors to allow terrorists in.

The State Department acknowledged in internal emails obtained by FoxNews, but denied knowing that any of the guards took part in the attack.

“While the Accountability Review Board report and other reports were critical of our local guards’ performance, we are not aware of any evidence that they participated in the attacks themselves,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

“We kept asking for additional support, including a 50-caliber mounted machine gun, but the State Department would not give it to us, because they said it would upset the locals,” the source told Fox News. “Instead, the State Department hired a company that doesn’t have employees, which then hired terrorists.”

Blue Mountain was hired in February 2012, following an uprising that ended Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule and plunged Libya into violent chaos, according to Fox News.

“I understand there was a tremendous rush to get the original contract awarded, and the Service level agreement was most likely overlooked in the rush,” wrote State Department contracting officer Jan Visintainer, in a June 6, 2012, email.

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