US Embassy in Kabul 'dangerously vulnerable' to attack: Report

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 19, 2013 07:00 hrs

The U.S. Embassy compound in Kabul is 'dangerously vulnerable to a new attack,' according to a new report.

The report has been issued by an independent watchdog group that monitors government spending and misconduct.

For the report, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) said it interviewed a number of current and former guards at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Kabul, obtaining testimony and documents showing guards had raised alarm bells over a series of major security vulnerabilities.

The guards alleged about being overworked, weapons improperly calibrated, accusations of incompetence among supervisors, lax inspections of vehicles entering the compound, a "mutiny" by guards against their supervisors, and in one case, sensitive information being posted to a social networking site, ABC News reports.

The report comes on the heels of concerns that lax security at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in a terrorist attack there in September.

Many of the new accusations are aimed at AEGIS, the U.S. wing of the British firm contracted to provide security for the compound.

AEGIS was awarded the 497 million dollar contract in 2011 and assumed responsibility for the security of the compound in 2012.

According to the report, guards said they were forced to work for 14-15 hour, even though the government prescribed maximum for private guards is 12.

Guards also complained they weren't given sufficient time to 'qualify' or test their weapons, including calibrating their sight scopes at a shooting range, a process known as 'zeroing', the report said.

Other guards complained that canine inspections of vehicles entering the embassy were faulty. One supervisor has also been caught posting security sensitive information on LinkedIn, a career networking site.

According to the report, the State Department conducted its own review of security procedures at the embassy and 'determined that security policies and procedures are sound,' the report added. (ANI)

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