At least four American officials including U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens are reportedly dead after outraged Islamist mobs attacked U.S. diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya on September 11. The frenzied hordes were apparently upset about an online film made by an Israeli-American that ridicules the Islamic Prophet Mohammed as a savage pedophile. Experts, however, say it is much broader than that.
According to news reports, protesters in Cairo tore down the American flag and replaced it with the black banner used by al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists. In Benghazi, where the Obama administration played a key role in helping Islamist forces bring down the government last year, the American consulate was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades before being looted and burned down. U.S. Ambassador Stevens and at least three other State Department officials were reportedly killed.
The Obama administration has already condemned the YouTube video in question for insulting Muslims. But the anti-American fury unleashed by the film has not died down yet despite massive financial support from President Obama to Islamist groups including the al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria and Libya, as well as Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood regime.
In Cairo, thousands of frenzied protesters shouting anti-American slogans assembled at the U.S. embassy. Some scaled the wall or stood on top of it shouting through megaphones. Others scrawled Islamist slogans on the property while leaders of the rampage blasted free speech protections for permitting insults of Islam and its prophet.
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Photo: In this April 11, 2011 file photo, U.S. envoy Chris Stevens speaks to local media at the Tibesty Hotel where an African Union delegation was meeting with opposition leaders in Benghazi, Libya: AP Images