On September 11-12, 2012, four Americans — U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and Protective Security Specialists Glen Anthony Doherty and Tyrone Snowden Woods— were killed in a terrorist attack against the U.S. Special Mission Compound and Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A series of attacks involving arson, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and mortars was waged on two U.S. facilities in Benghazi, as well as U.S. personnel en route between the two facilities. In addition, the attacks severely wounded two U.S. personnel, injured three Libyan contract guards, and resulted in the destruction and abandonment of both facilities.
Ambassador John Christopher Stevens, 52, was born in northern California and began his career in the Foreign Service in 1991. Ambassador Stevens served many overseas assignments and was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Libya from 2007 to 2009. From March 2011 to November 2011, Ambassador Stevens served as Special Representative to the Libyan Transitional National Council, and arrived in Tripoli in May 2012 as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Stevens was an international trade lawyer in Washington, DC, and previously taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco from 1983 to 1985. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recognized Ambassador Stevens as a “brave and good man, consummate diplomat, and an American hero.”
Sean Smith, 34, was born in San Diego, California, and enlisted in the Air Force in 1995, serving as a ground radio maintenance specialist and Staff Sergeant. Smith joined the Foreign Service in 2002 as an Information Management Officer, serving in various overseas assignments, including Baghdad, Pretoria, Montreal, and The Hague. Smith traveled to Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012 to provide communications and management support to the U.S. Special Mission.
Glen Anthony Doherty, 42, was born in Winchester, Massachusetts, and enlisted as a Navy SEAL in 1995, serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan during his career. Prior to joining the Navy, Doherty also worked as a professional ski instructor, attended flight school, and was an experienced paramedic and flight trainer. In 2005, Doherty began working for a private firm providing security for American officials overseas. Doherty traveled to Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012 to provide security to the U.S. Special Mission.
Tyrone Snowden Woods, 41, was born in Portland, Oregon, and served twenty years as a Navy SEAL, serving multiple tours in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Woods was also a registered nurse and a certified paramedic. In 2010, Woods began providing security for American officials overseas through a private security contractor. Woods traveled to Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012 to provide security to the U.S. Special Mission.