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Stevens sought longer security detail

Oct. 8, 2012 at 4:21 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- American diplomats in Libya asked for a security team's deployment to be extended in advance of an attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, officials said.

ABC News reported Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, the leader of a 16-person security detail tasked with guarding the American embassy in Tripoli, said his team was sent home despite a previous request that their 16-month mission be extended. Stevens requested their stay be extended once and the State Department agreed. A second request was never made once that extension expired and the House Oversight Committee is investigating whether Stevens was told not to make the request.

Wood told ABC the embassy staff's "first choice was for use to stay." He wouldn't say whether an extension would have prevented the attack last month that killed Stevens and three others on a trip to the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, calling it "way speculative."

Stevens never traveled to Benghazi during Wood's time at the embassy. His team was scheduled to provide security on a trip there, but the plans were canceled.

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