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CNN finds, returns journal belonging to late U.S. ambassador

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    Video shows U.S. ambassador's final hours

Video shows U.S. ambassador's final hours 07:19

Story highlights

  • U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was killed in a September 11 attack in Benghazi
  • CNN found his journal on a largely unsecured consulate compound
  • Stevens' family was notified in hours, and the journal was given to them via a third party

Three days after he was killed, CNN found a journal belonging to late U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens. The journal was found on the floor of the largely unsecured consulate compound where he was fatally wounded.

CNN notified Stevens' family about the journal within hours after it was discovered and at the family's request provided it to them via a third party.

The journal consists of just seven pages of handwriting in a hard-bound book.

For CNN, the ambassador's writings served as tips about the situation in Libya, and in Benghazi in particular. CNN took the newsworthy tips and corroborated them with other sources.

A source familiar with Stevens' thinking told CNN earlier this week that, in the months leading up to his death, the late ambassador worried about what he called the security threats in Benghazi and a rise in Islamic extremism.

Stevens died on September 11, along with three other Americans, when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi came under attack amid a large protest about a U.S.-made film that mocked the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.

    The California-born Stevens joined the Peace Corps and attended law school before joining the Foreign Service, the career diplomatic corps, in 1991, according to his State Department biography.

    He spent most of his career in the Middle East and North Africa, including postings to Israel, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, in addition to serving as the deputy chief of the U.S. mission to Libya from 2007 to 2009, during the rule of Moammar Gadhafi, according to the State Department.

    In May, one year after arriving aboard a cargo ship to work with those involved in the upstart rebellion, Stevens was appointed U.S. ambassador to Libya.