By Corey Stevens
September 11 is not a date that resonates well with patriots across the United States. You may not know that Americans have experienced two terrorist attacks on this date, one in 2001 and another in 2012.
What seemed to be a normal day and exciting time for the region as U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens visits Libya to remind the people of Benghazi that the United States supports them in their dream of establishing a new democracy, an attack would shock the U.S. At 9:40 p.m. 125-150 gunmen anticipated the first assault on the main diplomatic compound. The terrorists blocked the streets with trucks that wore a logo reading, “Ansar al-Sharia” which at the time was a group of Islamist militants managing security in Benghazi, working with local government.
When the compound was overtaken by the militants, Special Agent Scott Strickland secured Ambassador Stevens and Information Management Officer, Sean Smith in the main building’s safe haven. These three men were the only ones trapped in the building, while the other agents evacuated the compound to retrieve weapons. When the safe haven was attacked, the three left to the nearest bathroom, which was overcome by smoke after Strickland exited through a window. When reentering the compound, Smith’s body was found but no sign of Stevens, who later would be rushed to a hospital only to die of smoke inhalation.
On a separate facility about 1.2 miles away from the main compound, the CIA Annex was attacked just after midnight. The attack lasted two hours as the terrorists were held off by CIA agents. Around 5:00 a.m., reinforcements arrived including former Navy Seal Glen Doherty. Once Doherty approached the annex, he searched for his friend, Navy Seal Tyrone Woods, on the roof. As he reached the roof, a mortar round hit the annex and severely wounded Woods. Doherty repositioned himself on the roof to escape any additional attack, but was killed moments later in a second round of mortar fire.
The State Department failed to authorize requested backup, as well as rejected security requests from the U.S. Benghazi security team.
The annex was evacuated and around thirty American personnel were moved to Tripoli, with nonessential personnel flown out of Libya. The bodies were taken to Benina International Airport and flown to an Air Force base in Washington, D.C.
Four Americans died in this gruesome attack: Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy Seals.
The date September 11 will make any American Patriot cringe and saddened, as this day serves as the United States’ day of terror. Our country has been tested two times on this day, and as this day reminds us of the wreckage, disaster, turmoil, death and destruction of our homeland and people, it also serves as a time to remember our prevalence against a group of barbarians that threatened our freedom. We remember that date forever, and with good reason never to forget.