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Cable shows security fears in Libya

Cable shows security fears in Libya
A small American flag is seen in the rubble at the United States consulate, one day after armed men stormed the compound and killed the U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in Benghazi, Libya on September 12, 2012. The gunman were protesting a little known film by an American amateur filmmaker that angered Muslims as it was deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammad. UPI/Tariq AL-hun | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. diplomats in Libya were concerned about their inability to protect against a coordinated terrorist attack, cables from the region show.

Just a month before a terror group allegedly attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi killing four Americans including Ambassador Chris Stevens, the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli sent a cable addressing security concerns to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, informing the State Department of their inability to defend against a coordinated attack on American installations in the tumultuous country.

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The cable, published by Fox News, did not predict any such attack was imminent.

The matter has been a hot political story in the run-up to Tuesday's election, with Republicans charging President Barack Obama dropped the ball on security then obscured the facts, blaming the deaths on spur-of-the-moment protests over an offensive Internet video rather than a coordinated terrorist attack, The Hill reported Thursday.

The U.S. government has since fingered Ansar al-Sharia, an al-Qaida-inspired outfit, for the attack.

Questioned about the president's role in the investigation into the Benghazi attack during the daily press briefing Thursday aboard Air Force One, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama will let the process play out.

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"He expects the investigations to be rigorous," Carney said. "He is extremely focused on making sure that we find exactly what happened and who was responsible, and tracking down those who were responsible and bringing them to justice."

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