U.S. investigators leave consulate in Libya
The investigation of the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in eastern Libya faces major hurdles, even after a U.S. team gained access to the charred compound this week for the first time.
Libyan officials and guards at the consulate said Friday that FBI investigators who combed the wreckage a day earlier left without interviewing witnesses to the Sept. 11 assault that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
After waiting more than three weeks to enter Benghazi because of security issues and delays in obtaining approval from Libyan authorities, it was unclear whether the U.S. team would return.
It also wasn't clear whether investigators were able to glean any valuable information from the compound, which had essentially been left unguarded since the attack. Until Wednesday, people were able to walk freely around the compound, perhaps destroying or removing evidence. Journalists walked off with sensitive documents, including Stevens' diary and official itinerary for his visit to Benghazi.
Guards at the former consulate, located on an unfinished road lined with walled villas on Benghazi's outskirts, said the U.S. team rolled into the city Thursday morning in a convoy of armored SUVs, backed by about 20 armed American personnel and dozens of Libyan police and pro-government militiamen.
Investigators searched through the wreckage for several hours and carted off evidence, including part of a bombed-out vehicle, said the guards, who are employed by the compound's landlord. After the Americans left, said one guard, who wanted to be identified only as Idris, the landlord instructed them not to let in any more unofficial visitors.