On Saturday. U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry announced the temporary suspension of services at the U.S. Embassy in Libya citing concerns for the safety of American embassy workers. The U.S. State Department also issued a blunt warning to all Americans in Libya to leave now.
In addition to American Embassy workers in Libya, United States Diplomats were evacuated in Tripoli and neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid the deterioration of security as generational fighting intensified between rival militias.
On Saturday, U.S. Department of State Spokeswoman, Marie Harf further explained the decision to evacuate, saying;:
“Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya,”
On the eleventh anniversary of the September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda attacks on U.S. soil, al-Qaeda linked terrorists attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, killing four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Following the Benghazi terrorist attack, international security experts and some U.S. lawmakers questioned the U.S. government’s security protocol or lack there of, at United States Embassies worldwide
Initial statements by U.S. officials insisted that security measures in place at the U.S. Embassy in Libya were adequate. However, a journal belonging to Ambassador Stevens discovered by CNN personnel evidenced Ambassador Steven’s concerns regarding “security threats in Benghazi and a rise in Islamic extremism” and requests for more security.
On September 13, less than 48 hours after the Benghazi attack, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a joint intelligence bulletin to state and local police departments across the country warning of the possible terrorist threat against U.S. citizens at home and abroad after violent anti-American protests have spread to nine Middle Eastern countries.
U.S. Embassy closures out of the abundance of caution, with no specific target have dramatically increased as a “lessons learned” The U.S. State Department initiated a $1.4 billion plan in 2013 to implement 29 security recommendations made by the Accountability Review Board to increase safety at its most threatened diplomatic posts abroad.
In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Department of State announced the closure of twenty-one U.S Embassies and Consulates around the Muslim world on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013, citing a “credible threat” of possible Al Qaeda-related attacks in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere. The State Department also issued a global travel warning, in effect until Aug. 31, 2013 to all Americans to return home after intercepting chatter that suggests terrorists may plan an attack during that time.