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Marines on alert, moved near Libya ahead of Sept. 11 anniversary

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Sept. 13, 2012: A Libyan man investigates the inside of the U.S. Consulate after the attack that killed four Americans.AP

The military is ramping up its ability to respond to a potential attack on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Benghazi terror attack that left four Americans dead.

Fox News has confirmed that 250 Marines have moved closer to Libya – from Moron, Spain, to the U.S. naval air station in Sigonella, Italy. Military officials say Marines could move from Italy to Benghazi in under three hours if needed.

Two-hundred and fifty Marines will also remain in Moron, ready to respond in the European theater if needed.

Wednesday marks one year since the Benghazi terror attack, and 12 years since the Al Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The increase of Marine teams in Moron was ordered to fulfill a recommendation to the Defense and State departments by the Accountability Review Board, an independent panel responsible for investigating the Benghazi attack.

Military officials also point out that due to the heightened state of military alert around Syria, there are multiple ships in the eastern Mediterranean that could quickly respond in North Africa or the Middle East if a U.S. Embassy or other western target were to come under attack.

Along with the four destroyers in the Mediterranean, the amphibious assault ship USS San Antonio carries 300 Marines and MV-22 Ospreys with airlift and rescue capabilities. 

The USS Nimitz carrier strike group is stationed in the Red Sea and could scramble fighter jets over the Middle East or northern Africa.

One year ago Wednesday, the U.S. consulate and CIA outpost in Benghazi came under a prolonged attack that lasted almost eight hours. The fact that no armed military support beyond a small team of Marines from Tripoli was ever sent to Benghazi later became an enormous point of scrutiny for White House and Pentagon leadership.