Witnesses: Libyan Extremists Joined Protesters
FILED TO: Politics
The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From the The Washington Post:
At least an hour before the assault began, a stream of cars was seen moving toward the U.S. Consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. By late evening, as many as 50 heavily armed militants had gathered outside its high walls.
They joined protesters outside the consulate who were demonstrating against an American movie that they believed denigrated the prophet Muhammad. But according to one witness, the new arrivals neither chanted slogans nor carried banners.
U.S. ambassadors killed in the line of duty: U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens is the eighth American ambassador to fall in the line of duty since 1950. Here are the others.
“They said, ‘We are Muslims defending the prophet. We are defending Islam,’ ” Libyan television journalist Firas Abdelhakim said in an interview.
The gunmen soon opened fire, entered the compound and set the consulate’s buildings aflame. Hours later, the compound was overrun and four Americans were dead. Among them were Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, 52, and Sean Smith, a State Department employee.
The chaotic scene was described by senior Obama administration officials, Libyan government officials and witnesses. Details about the attack were still emerging late Wednesday. Key facts remain unclear, particularly how Stevens died and how his body wound up at a Benghazi hospital.