(Newsroom America) -- The scope and "lethality" of the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead was "unprecedented," a State Department official has said.
According to a report Tuesday by ABC News, senior State Department officials provided the most detailed account to date of the Sept. 11 attack, with one of them calling it unparalleled in recent history.
"The lethality and number of armed people is unprecedented," one official said, according to ABC News. "There was no attack anywhere in Libya -- Tripoli or Benghazi -- like this. So it is unprecedented and would be very, very hard to find a precedent like that in recent diplomatic history."
While the timeline of events provided by the officials via telephone was similar to accounts given Sept. 12, there were significant differences as well. The biggest change, the report said, was that officials clearly admitted there were no protests prior to the attacks.
"Also it was revealed that former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods died from a mortar attack and that officials still do not know how Stevens, who was suffering from severe smoke inhalation, made it from the compound to the hospital," ABC News reported.
Officials said that Doherty and Woods were killed at an annex safe house separate from the embassy compound, and that security personnel did not see Stevens again until contacted by doctors at a nearby hospital, where his body had been taken. The doctors, officials said, began phoning people on Stevens' recent call list.
ABC News also reported that Eric Nordstrom, the former Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Libya, told congressional investigators that security at the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, was “inappropriately low," and that the department officials may have prevented his efforts to change that.
Moreover, Nordstrom said he and the commander of a 16-member Security Support Team, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, had heard that foreign fighters were flowing across the border from Egypt into the Libyan city of Derna, which is east of Benghazi, and from there were making their way to Benghazi.
"But State Department officials seemed oblivious to their Benghazi post’s vulnerability," ABC News said.
Nordstrom said he twice wrote the State Department, once in March and again in July, to beef up security at the embassy, but did not get a response either time. He said that at no time from December 2011 to July 2012, when he left Libya, were there more than three security agents assigned to the embassy.
© 2012 Newsroom America.