One of the Americans killed alongside Ambassador Christopher Stevens in an attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in
Tuesday told ABC News before his death that he was working with the State
Department on an intelligence mission to round up dangerous weapons in the
war-torn nation. Libya
In an interview with ABC News last month, Glen Doherty, a 42-year-old former Navy SEAL who worked as a contractor with the State Department, said he personally went into the field to track down so-called MANPADS, shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, and destroy them. After the fall of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the State Department launched a mission to round up thousands of MANPADS that may have been looted from military installations across the country.
officials previously told ABC News they were concerned the
MANPADS could fall into the hands of terrorists, creating a threat to
commercial airliners. U.S.
Doherty said that he traveled throughout
chasing reports of the weapons and once they were found, his team would destroy
them on the spot by bashing them with hammers or repeatedly running them over
with their vehicles. When ABC News spoke to Doherty in late August, he was
enjoying a short time off in Libya
before heading back to California
just days ago. Libya
The State Department declined to comment on Doherty's involvement in the MANPADS program, but pointed to a previous statement from State Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro in which he said the department was looking at "every possible tool to mitigate the threat."
According to military records provided to ABC News, Doherty joined the Navy in 1996 and was a combat medic and a decorated member of the elite SEAL teams by the time he left active duty in 2004. He's described in glowing terms as a top-tier SEAL and better friend in the book "The Red Circle," written by Doherty's longtime friend and SEAL sniper school partner, Brandon Webb.
"Glen was a superb and respected operator, a true quiet professional," Webb told ABC News today. "Don't feel sorry for him, he wouldn't have it. He died serving with men he respected, protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and doing something he loved. He was my best friend and one of the finest human beings I've ever known."
Doherty's mother, Barbara, told ABC News' Boston affiliate WCVB she had been notified of her son's death late Wednesday.
"He was the most wonderful person," she said. "We are all in pain and suffering."
Ambassador Stevens and State Department information management officer Sean Smith were killed in the first wave of attacks in Benghazi when the building they were in was set on fire around 10 p.m. local time Tuesday, a senior administration official told reporters. Doherty was apparently one of two other Americans who were killed in a firefight nearly two hours later, while the facility was still under attack. The fourth victim was Tyrone S. Woods, also a former Navy SEAL, according to a State Department news release.
“I never thought he’d be another victim of 9/11,” his sister Katie Quigley told The Boston Globe.
Diplomatic service veteran Sean Smith was also killed. The name of the fourth victim has not yet been released.
Doherty, who was from the
suburbs, enlisted in the Navy at age 30 intending to become a SEAL. He served
for seven years in Boston
and Iraq . Afghanistan
he was working as a State Department contractor. His mission was to round up
and destroy weapons. Libya
Forty-two-year-old Glen Doherty was killed with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in
a family friend told
CBS Boston on Thursday. Benghazi
"He was on security detail and he was protecting the ambassador and also helping the wounded"' when he was killed, his sister, Katie Quigly told the Boston Globe.
Doherty was a 1988 graduate of
A third victim has been identified as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, an Air Force veteran who had worked as an information management officer for 10 years in posts such as
Brussels and Baghdad . Pretoria
(CNN) -- Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were former Navy SEAL commandos working as diplomatic security officers. Sean Smith was a computer expert with an online alter-ego legendary in the gaming world.
The three men and U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens died in the assault on the American consulate in the Libyan city of
. Details of how
they met their fates in the Mediterranean city that had been the cradle of Benghazi 's
2011 revolution were just beginning to emerge Thursday. Libya
On Thursday, a
official confirmed Woods as among the dead. "Tyrone's friends and
colleagues called him 'Rone,' and they relied on his courage and skill, honed
over two decades as a Navy SEAL," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
in a statement. U.S.
"In uniform, he served multiple tours in
and Iraq .
Since 2010, he protected American diplomatic personnel in dangerous posts from Afghanistan Central
America to the Middle East. He had the
hands of a healer as well as the arm of a warrior, earning distinction as a
registered nurse and certified paramedic. All our hearts go out to Tyrone's
wife Dorothy and his three sons, Tyrone Jr., Hunter, and Kai, who was born just
a few months ago."
A diplomatic source told CNN that Doherty was in
to search for shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles -- a mission given high
priority after the fall of longtime Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Libya
Doherty grew up in
with a passion for the outdoors, particularly the mountain West, his family
said. Outside the family's home in Massachusetts ,
near Woburn , his sister remembered
him as "our American hero." Boston
Glen lived his life to the fullest," Katie Quigley told reporters. "He was my brother, but if you ask his friends, he was their brother as well."
The 42-year-old graduated from high school in 1988 in neighboring
, where flags were
displayed at half-staff on Thursday. He played on the varsity tennis and
wrestling teams, school officials said in an announcement marking his death.
His junior-year English teacher, Judy Hession, recalled him as "bursting
with life." Winchester
"Every day his huge smile and his happy-go-lucky optimism filled my classroom," Hession said in a statement released by the school district. "He got along with all types of people, was a class leader and, from the perspective of 30 years of teaching, one of my most memorable students."
After college in
and stints as a "ski bum" and raft guide in Arizona ,
Doherty joined the Navy and became a member of the elite Navy SEAL commandos in
1995, his family said in a statement. He had planned to leave the service after
knee surgery in 2001, but after the al Qaeda attacks on Utah and New
he "was not allowed to to leave and didn't want to," his family said. Washington
Doherty served two tours of duty in
starting with the Iraq
invasion in 2003, before leaving the military in 2005. He then became a private
security contractor, working in U.S. ,
Afghanistan and Pakistan
-- a job that took a toll on his home life and contributed to a divorce, his
family said. Yemen
He also joined the advisory board of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a group that has battled religious intolerance in the
armed forces. Its president, former Air Force officer Michael "Mikey"
Weinstein, said he was "in a state of shock" after learning of
Doherty's death. U.S.
"He was one of our most active advisory board members," Weinstein said. "I was surprised he was willing to come on and lend the gravitas that comes with being a Navy SEAL to our cause." Doherty's involvement "made it easier for others to come to us," Weinstein added.
He said Doherty believed the kind of violent jihadists American troops faced were "a very small percentage of the overall mosaic of the Muslim faith," and saw anti-Muslim sentiment in the
and in the ranks as something that
national security. U.S.
"He went back to the
because he cared deeply about the Muslim people, and because he cared about
bringing freedom and democracy and human rights to the Middle East,"
Weinstein said. Doherty "was a kind and caring person, and I'm sure that
he gave every last bit of his courage and strength" to defend the
consulate and Stevens, he added.
"All this is going to do is light a further fire under us in Glen's name and memory to continue to fight for religious freedom and respect and tolerance."
He also co-authored a 2010 book, "The 21st-Century Sniper: A Complete Practical Guide," with former comrade Brandon Webb. In a statement accompanying the family's, Webb said, "Don't feel sorry for him, he wouldn't have it."
"He died serving with men he respected, protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and doing something he loved," Webb said.
In her statement,
said Doherty, a paramedic, was referred to as "Bub" by his friends
and family. "In the end, he died the way he lived -- with selfless honor
and unstinting valor," she said. Clinton