US officials didn't see the attack on their Benghazi consulate coming—but critics say they should have. There was a slew of terrorist activity in the months before, including a June 6 IED attack on the consulate itself, the Wall Street Journal reports, but Ambassador Chris Stevens kept security to a minimum to show trust in Libya's new government. State Department officials say they were mainly worried about RPG and IED attacks. Given that the June attack harmed no one, one official said, "Our security plan worked."
More details about the attack are still coming to light. The New York Times reports today that officials fleeing the consulate took refuge in a nearby villa, where they came under attack again—this time a sophisticated ambush including gun and mortar fire. "It was really accurate," says one Libyan militia member who was there that night. "The people who were shooting at us knew what they were doing." Initial reports called the villa a "safe house," but like the consulate it was never heavily guarded. (Read more State Department stories.)