Former Security Forces Leader In Libya: We Were Told ‘To Do With Less’

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An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. (credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. (credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The former head of a Special Forces team in Libya said he was told by State Department officials “to do with less.”

Lt. Col. Andy Wood, who led the “Site Security Team” in Libya, told CBS News that he, as well as Ambassador Christopher Stevens, pleaded for more security after the State Department removed more than 30 people from the volatile region six months before the deadly attacks.

“We tried to illustrate… to show them how dangerous and how volatile and just unpredictable that whole environment was over there,” Wood was quoted as saying. “So to decrease security in the face of that really is … it’s just unbelievable.” Stevens and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

A State Department source told CBS News that the security teams’ missions were simply over in Libya.

Wood says other staffers in Libya were concerned about their security.

“They asked if we were safe,” Wood told CBS News. “They asked … what was going to happen, and I could only answer that what we were being told is that they’re working on it – they’ll get us more (security), but I never saw that.”

Wood will testify before the House Oversight Committee this week.

The FBI was in Benghazi last week for 24 hours investigating the compound, nearly 4 weeks after the attacks.

A radical Islamist group has been linked to the terror attack.

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