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Benghazi-Like Crisis Possible In Egypt, Gov’t Watchdog Claims

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Ethan Barton Managing Editor
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A Benghazi-style attack could be mounted against the U.S. Embassy in Cairo because Department of State officials have neglected crisis training, according to a government watchdog.

“Many consular staff members were unfamiliar with the roles they might fill in a crisis,” State Department Inspector General Steven A. Linick said in a report made public Thursday. “Consular managers … had not yet provided sufficient section-wide crisis-specific training to consular staff to make them crisis-ready.”

“As a result, many consular personnel were unprepared to respond quickly and confidently to crises,” the report said, even though the Cairo embassy faces a “critical-level threat of terrorism.”

Linick recommended that State Department officials “provide training in operation of emergency communication equipment and other crisis skills to … [Cairo embassy] staff members and implement a policy of regular, periodic drills to test the effectiveness of this training.”

Events in Cairo suggested attacks 750 miles away in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, were possible, CBS News reported. (RELATED: Former CIA Chief: ‘Analysts Never Said The Video Was A Factor In The Benghazi Attacks’)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in office at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attack and has been strongly criticized by Republicans in Congress. A House Select Committee on Benghazi has been investigating Clinton’s actions in response to the attack and is expected to issue a massive report later this year.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, died in the attack. Clinton, President Barack Obama and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice claimed the terrorist attack was a spontaneous reaction to an obscure amateur Internet film critical of Islamic extremists.

A Senate Intelligence Committee report blamed both Clinton’s State Department and the intelligence community for not preventing the attacks. The report also detailed “slow and hindered” responses from the military.

It took 25 minutes for an alert to be sent following the attack’s start and 45 minutes for a CIA team to arrive, CBS News reported.

The following investigation, which culminated in a nearly 11-hour hearing, revealed that Clinton used a private email account, which has plagued her presidential campaign. (RELATED: 10 Highlights From The Benghazi Hearing [VIDEO])

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