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Libyan Security Official Quits Over Attack on U.S. Consulate

Libyan official quits his job, highlighting tensions in the security establishment after a terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/20/2012, 7:13 AM

A Libyan security force stands guard at the main entrance of the US consulate in Benghazi
A Libyan security force stands guard at the main entrance of the US consulate in Benghazi
AFP/File

A Libyan official quit his job on Wednesday, highlighting tensions in the security establishment after a deadly terror attack killed four Americans, including the ambassador, in Benghazi last week.

“There are problems at the ministry of interior and disputes between the security services," Fawzi Wanis al-Kadhafi, head of the supreme security committee in Benghazi, told AFP.

“Working conditions are not the same as before, so I decided to resign,” he added.

The supreme security committee, which falls under the interior ministry, was established by ex-rebels after the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi last year in a bid to restore order.

AFP reported that Libya's interior minister on Monday announced the sacking of deputy interior minister for the eastern region, Wanis al-Sharef, and the head of national security for Benghazi, Hussein Bou Hmid.

The resignation comes a week after Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed as the Benghazi consulate came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades.

The attack was originally blamed on protesters angered by an anti-Islam film made in America but neither U.S. nor Libyan officials have excluded the possibility that it was a pre-planned attack supported by Al-Qaeda.

Al Qaeda's affiliate in North Africa has called the murder of Ambassador Stevens a "gift” and urged Muslims to continue killing U.S. government representatives.

In a statement, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb praised the killing of Stevens, calling it "the best gift you (can) give to his arrogant and unjust administration."

"We encourage all Muslims to continue to demonstrate and escalate their protests ... and to kill their (American) ambassadors and representatives or to expel them to cleanse our land from their wickedness," the group said in the statement.