“We condemn the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” That was the message the US Embassy in Cairo tweeted after protesters stormed its walls on 9/11.
Protesters stormed over the walls of the US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt yesterday, the anniversary of Al Qaeda’s attack on the World Trade Center. Also yesterday, Libyan protesters stormed and burned the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya briefly occupying the facility. And today, there are reports there are violent protests occurring in Tunisia.
In Benghazi, Libya, protesters overran the compound of the US consulate. The US Ambassador to Libya, J Christopher Stevens and three other US employees were killed in the ensuing melee. Reports vary on how they were killed. It was first stated they died from rifle and rocket propelled grenade fire. Now there are reports that at least Ambassador Stevens was ‘Asphyxiated.’
The protesters then proceeded to burn buildings and vehicles in the compound with Molatov cocktails (see video).
The US embassy in Cairo was also attacked. Protesters there stormed over the walls of the embassy, tearing down. tearing up and burning the American flag. In place of the U.S. flag, the protesters tried to raise a black flag with the words “There is no God but God, and Mohammad is his messenger”, a Reuters witness said (bit.ly/Po7lVU).
That was not just “a black flag”. It was the Al Qaeda flag. It is the same Al Qaeda flag that flew over government offices in Benghazi, Libya after Moammar Gadhafi’s forces were driven out of the city.
The US embassy in Cairo quickly issued a statement via Twitter social media site apologizing to the protesters. The protests reportedly come after a video was released on Youtube.com disparaging the prophet Mohammed.
However, the attacks seem to be well-planned and coordinated and timed to occur on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Mitt Romney, President Obama’s Republican challenger, criticized the Administration’s apology to the protesters, saying it had appeared to “sympathize with those who waged the attacks” (bbc.in/QEJqS1). The media was quick to then describe Romney’s comments as premature. There has not been the same level of scrutiny over the State Department’s apology.
There are additional reports that the ‘protesters’ in Cairo were chanting “We are all Osama now,” a clear reference to Al Qaeda founder and 9/11 attack mastermind, Osama bin Laden. That would explain the timing of the attacks on the US compounds. It would also explain Al Qaeda’s involvement, or at least the sympathy from the crowds towards Al Qaeda.
The president is sending a US Marine Corps anti-terrorist team to Libya to bolster security there. President Obama made a statement from the White House with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton standing by his side. He condemned the attack, took no questions and then flew to Las Vegas for a scheduled fund raising event.
In conclusion, on the anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack perpetrated by Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda again attacks American property in the form of the US embassy in Cairo and the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The Al Qaeda flag replaced the American flag over the embassy in Cairo for a period.The US Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed.
The administration’s first response was to issue an apology to the militants for our exercise of free speech that might “hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”