September 13th, 2012
02:47 PM ET

Libyan official: Suspect in consulate attack arrested

Editor's note: Several protests stemming at least in part from an anti-Islam film produced in the United States are unfolding outside U.S. embassies around the world. Thursday's protests follow ones in Cairo and Benghazi and an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya on Tuesday night that killed the U.S. ambassador and three others. Follow along with the live blog below for all of the developments around the world.

[Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET] Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, said the U.S. government should bring to justice those behind the anti-Islam film.

Khameini on Thursday called the making of the film a "criminal act," according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. His comments came the same day university students protested outside the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, blaming the United States and Israel for the American-made film. The Swiss Embassy represents U.S. interests in Iran.

[Updated at 3:59 p.m. ET] At least one person has been arrested in the killings of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Libya's prime minister said Thursday.

One person was arrested early Thursday in Benghazi, Mustafa Abushagur said on CNNI's "Amanpour." "Three or four are currently being pursued," he said.

Earlier, the Libyan state-run news agency LANA said more than one person had been arrested. It cited the deputy minister of interior in the eastern region, Wanees al-Sharif, as its source.

The announcement came as the United States is struggling to determine whether a militant group planned the attack that killed the four Americans, even as warships head toward the north African country as part of a mission to hunt down and punish the killers.

[Updated at 3:11 p.m. ET] Four people were killed Thursday during protests near the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, according to two Yemeni security officials. They reported 11 injuries among protesters.

[Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET] Some individuals believed to be involved in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi have been arrested, the Libyan Deputy Minister of Interior said in a statement to the country's state-run news agency.

"Some individuals suspected of involvement in the attack on the American Embassy in the city of Benghazi that resulted in the killing of the American Ambassador and three of his companions have been arrested," Wanis Al-Sharif said.

Al-Sharif added in that statement that "the investigation is on-going and will reveal either whether those individuals are involved or innocent."

[Updated at 2:28 p.m. ET] Arrests have been made in connection with Tuesday's attack that killed four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis Sharif said, according to Reuters.

"Some people have been arrested and are under investigation," Reuters quoted Sharif as saying.

[Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET]  A day after attackers killed four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, President Obama said the administration has let other governments know they have an "obligation to cooperate with us to protect our citizens." He spoke at a campaign rally in Golden, Colorado.

[Updated at 12:32 p.m. ET] The Egyptian Health Ministry says 224 people were injured in protests in Cairo on Thursday, according to Egyptian State Television station Nile TV.

Earlier in Cairo, demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails as police tried to disperse them by firing tear gas canisters from police vehicles as they drove through Tahrir Square, near the embassy.

The clashes came amid heightened tensions at U.S. diplomatic missions in the region following Tuesday's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other consular officials dead.

[Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET] A U.S. intelligence official tells CNN the picture is becoming clearer within the intelligence community as to what group or groups were responsible for the attack.

Given what officials know about al Qaeda in Libya, U.S. intelligence believes it is very unlikely that this was core al Qaeda behind the attack. Officials are not yet ready to identify a group.

[Updated at 12:14 p.m. ET] Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement condemning the attack on the U.S. embassy in Yemen earlier Thursday:

“I condemn in the strongest terms the breaching of the perimeter of the US Embassy in Sanaa by protesters and express our full solidarity with the U.S. authorities," she said. "I am closely following developments in Northern Africa and the Middle East with great concern. We have urged the Yemeni authorities to reinforce security of EU missions in Sanaa and to take the necessary measures to protect diplomats.”

[Updated at 11:33 a.m. ET] Protesters in the capital of Yemen are decreasing and the the crowd is diffusing, journalist Hakim Almasmari told CNN.

Almasmari spoke to CNN from the capital, Sanaa, where there had been alarge number of protesters demonstrated outside the embassy. About six demonstrators reaching the main gate and attempting to break windows of the security room, witnesses said earlier Thursday. Protestors burned tires outside the embassy, while Yemeni security forces attempted to disperse the crowd of several thousand with batons.

[Updated at 11:18 a.m. ET] Saudi Arabia's official news agency has published a statement by an official source within the country "denouncing the violent reactions that took place in a number of countries against American interests."

The statement by the official goes on to offer "condolences and sympathy to the United States for the victims who fell due to the violent acts in Libya that targeted the American Embassy in Benghazi."

Saudi Arabia also "denounces the irresponsible group in the United States for producing a film that insults the Prophet Mohammed, Peace be upon Him, and assures that it rejects all actions that harm religions and their symbols."

[Updated at 11:17 a.m. ET] A member of the production staff who worked on an anti-Islam film that has sparked widespread protests has told CNN that the producer's name was listed as Abenob Nakoula Basseley on paperwork filed with the Screen Actors Guild.

In previous media interviews, the filmmaker had identified himself as Sam Bacile and said he was a 52-year-old Israeli-American real estate developer from California. The staffer, who did not want to be identified for security reasons, said he believed the filmmaker was a Coptic Christian.

[Updated at 10:50 a.m. ET] Glen Doherty, a Massachusetts native was as among those killed in Libya attack, a family spokesman told CNN.

A spokesperson who did not wish to be identified acknowledged Dohertyhad passed in Libya.   The woman noted family had gathered the home and were not speaking further with the media at this time.

[Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday there should be no debate that violence in response to speech is not acceptable, saying leaders in government, civil society and religion "must draw the line at violence."

She added, "Any responsible leader should be standing up now and drawing that line."

[Updated at 10:32 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated Thursday that "there is no justification, none at all, for responding to this video with violence." She was referring to a video, which has sparked protests in several countries, that depicts the prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer and ruthless killer.

[Updated at 10:26 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the government rejects "the content and message" of the anti-Islam video that stirred outrage across the Muslim world.

"Let me state very clearly, and I hope it is obvious, that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video," she said.

Clinton added that the video is "disgusting and reprehensible."

[Updated at 9:47 a.m. ET] Several hundred demonstrators engaged Egyptian police in intense clashes for hours Thursday just 300 yards from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, journalist Ian Lee reports.

The protesters have become enraged over an offensive anti-Muslim film, threw rocks and Molotov cocktails as police tried to disperse them by firing tear gas canisters. The protests chanted “With our souls, with our blood, we will sacrifice for you Prophet Mohammed.”

A CNN team on the ground witnessed at least 5 injured Egyptian policeman and several injured demonstrators being dragged from the scene by friends.

[Updated at 9:09 a.m. ET] Three protesters were injured - one critically - when police fired on a demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in the Yemeni captal of Sanaa, protesters and eyewitnesses said Thursday. Anti-American sentiment has been rising in the region over the online release of a film trailer produced in the United States that denigrates Prophet Mohammed.

[Updated at 8:00 a.m. ET] More than 200 Palestinians angered by the anti-Islam film stirring outrage across the Muslim world staged a demonstration in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday.

The group shouted slogans against Israel and the US. An Israeli flag held during the demonstration with a BIG X across it and with blood stains on it. Some held a  banner reading "We are all your protectors prophet Mohammed."

[Updated at 7:45 a.m. ET] The president of Yemen Mansour Hadi has issued a statement apologizing to President Barack Obama and the U.S. for the "attack" that took place outside the U.S. embassy in Sanaa.

"President Hadi ordered the authorities to conduct an expeditious and thorough investigation into today’s events," he said.

Hadi said that the "perpetrators of these acts will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law." The president said the protesters were a "rowdy group," one that "acted without any knowledge on conspiracies to derail Yemeni-American relations."

Hadi noted divisions that are occurring among "Yemen’s security and military forces due to the 2011 events have contributed to the amplification of the incident." He warned members of the Yemeni residents that attacking the main gate of the embassy and breaking windows are acts that "will reflect negatively on the warm relations between Yemen and the American public."

[Updated at 7:34 a.m. ET] A senior Obama administration official made the following comment to CNN that with regard to the situation in Yemen:

"We are doing everything we can to support our mission in Yemen," the official said. "We've had good cooperation from the Yemeni government which is working with us to maintain order and protect our facilities and people. These protests appear to be motivated by the film."

 A large number of protesters demonstrated outside the embassy in Sanaa, with about six demonstrators reaching the main gate and attempting to break windows of the security room, witnesses said earlier Thursday. Protestors burned tires outside the embassy, while Yemeni security forces attempted to disperse the crowd of several thousand with batons.

[Updated at 7:25 a.m. ET] An employee at the U.S. consulate in Berlin has fallen ill after receiving and opening visa documents, according to police in Berlin, Germany.

Berlin police spokesman Thomas Merkle say that a man handed his documents including his passport to the employee, she then complained of dizziness and breathing problems. A white substance was found in the area, but it is unclear whether it is linked to the incident.

The female employee and two other consulate employees were brought to a hospital for treatment and evaluation. Berlin Police and Fire Department are at the scene, including a decontamination unit. The substance is being checked and the man who handed over his documents is still in the consulate and being questioned.

[Updated  at 6:22 a.m. ET] University students have gathered in front of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran Thursday to protest against the recent anti-Islam film made in the U.S., Iran's semi-official news agency, Fars, said.

The Swiss Embassy represents U.S. interests in Tehran. A five-layer security line has been set up by the police to protect the Embassy grounds and Swiss diplomats, Fars said.

[Posted at 5:37 a.m. ET] Riot police fired warning shots and tear gas early Thursday outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to keep hundreds of protestors, while demonstrators in the Yemeni capital city of Sana'a attempted to storm the American mission, witnesses said.

The protests are the latest to roil the Middle East over the online release of a film produced in the United States that denigrates Prophet Mohammed.

Who is Sam Bacile? Questions swirl around identity of filmmaker

 A large number of protesters demonstrated outside the embassy in Sana'a, with about six demonstrators reaching the main gate and attempting to break windows of the security room, witnesses said.

Protestors burned tires outside the embassy, while Yemeni security forces attempted to disperse the crowd of several thousand with batons.

"Given recent regional developments, earlier this morning, angry protestors unfortunately flooded the security perimeter of the U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen and breached the embassy's wall," according to a statement released by Yemen through its embassy in Washington.

"Security services have quickly restored order to the embassy's complex. Fortunately no casualties were reported from this chaotic incident. "

Hours earlier in Cairo, six police officers suffered minor injuries during the clashes, said Alla Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Egyptian Interior Ministry. Some protesters received medical treatment inside ambulances.

Demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails as police tried to disperse them by firing tear gas canisters from police vehicles as they drove through Tahrir Square, near the embassy.

The clashes came amid heightened tensions at U.S. diplomatic missions in the region following Tuesday's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other consular officials dead.

Inside the attack in Benghazi

On Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, several men scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and tore down its U.S. flag.

About 500 protesters turned out Wednesday in Cairo to demonstrate against a film that mocks Islam's prophet.

Wednesday night's protest turned violent as demonstrators threw rocks and pushed through barbed wire fencing outside the embassy, according to Mahmoud. Two police trucks and a car were set afire.

"Forces were able to push them down toward Tahrir Square farther from embassy street," Mahmoud said, adding that some arrests had been made.

CNN's Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Ian Lee in Cairo, Jomana Karadsheh, Matt Smith, Brian Walker, Elise Labott, Paul Cruickshank and Tracy Doueiry contributed to this report

soundoff (550 Responses)
  1. Katy

    Wow...monsters. I'm not one to go out of my way to insult people...."normally"...but murdering innocent american diplomats....lets make more of those films then. The more they try to attack my freedom of speech, the more I want to exercise it.

    September 13, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • sami

      freedom of what miss?????
      can anybody in America denies the holocaust ??????
      leave us,
      leave our lands,
      leave our countries,
      leave our religion and our prophet alone,
      some thing you thing it ordinary maybe considered shocking by others,
      your country helps the occupation, the settlements,
      and you wondering why they hate us??????

      September 13, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      I would be all too willing to leave all those countries and let them fend for themselves. And I'd be more willing to lock down our borders and not let another muslim into this country. I'd also put 24/7 watch on those already in this country, and with ANY adverse action or reaction from them, I'd deport them on the spot.
      And if you're one of them, get the H out.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre

      Wow... MONSTERS. I'm not one to go out of my way to insult people...."normally"...but murdering over 300,000 innocent Iraqis... let us make some of those films. The more they try to attack my freedom of speech, the more I want Iraqis to exercise there's.

      September 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Megan Grawe

    Well america, have you learned your lesson yet? ...Romney in 2012!

    September 13, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
    • militarymike

      Yeah Romney, so we can be hated and poor...

      September 13, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Mikhal

      who promised to invade Syria? wait for new 9/11 fools

      September 13, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • David Marriot

      Militarymike; You may or may not be poor or hated yet, but if Obama is re-elected supporting his beloved muslim brotherhood, you'll be both! ....and I might add, stupid as well! !

      September 13, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • tony Liama

      Militarymike; You may not be poor or hated yet, but if our half-wit president who supports the muslim brotherhood is re-elected you'll be both! .... and we can add $tupid to your resume as well!

      September 13, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Mikhail

      David Marriot: since 50-s America's best friend in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia.... enough said!

      September 13, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      To militarymike,
      We are ALREADY hated, and we're getting poorer by the minute.
      You got anything else?

      September 13, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Well, if you want Mr Bush's Neocons back in the white house and some more Iraqi and Afgani type wars to free the "oppressed" by all means vote for Romney in 2012!

      September 13, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • 1termlimits

      militarymike – We are already hated and poor......what's you're point?

      September 13, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      militarymike: I think you're confusing Romney with Obama...go clean out your bong and get back to us.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. zaggs

    Hopefully they have Marine protection unlike the Benghazi compound.

    September 13, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    For one, it is clear that Mursi (The Egyptian president) and cohorts (Islamic brotherhood) may want a change of leadership in the US. There is a reason they are making such outrageous attacks before the election, and this is gonna hurt only Obama. But why, I don't get it? Any ideas? It is clear that Obama is making the mistake of his life by helping the Caliphate. They will use his liberal ideals to crush him. Obama made a mistake when he betrayed Mubarak, it is hard now to trust this administration. Regardless of how bad the dude was (which is not clear), he was playing ball and never betrayed the US in his cooperation (At least as far as I know)

    September 13, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Portland tony

    With over a billion adherents of the Muslim faith world wide, the violent actions of a relatively few have drawn headlines around the world. The very poor and mostly unemployed fed propaganda by organized extremists, are bound to take some form of action against what they feel as blasphemy against their culture and religion. ie The Jewish financed hate film about the Muslim prophet Mohammed. "You trash my beliefs and I'll burn down your house " If the same disrespect were aimed at the Jewish faith or depicted Jesus as a corrupt despot were shown in the Vatican, what do you think would happen?

    September 13, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Are you serious? You think that people would actually go and kill others because of Criticism? Nah, only in Islam. The fact that you think so shows that you should be removed from the US, I mean you are advocating violence against people just for making a parody.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesus ROCKS

      Hey Porta pot tony, you should check your history, Jesus was depicted in a bottle of urine and this was called art and displayed in a gallery. no one died, We Christians objected and asked for it to be removed. no one died, no embassies were attacked. Jesus wouldn't want it that way.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • a dutchman

      Dear sir! US' embassies & consulates in islamic world aren't everywhere! Just imagine what would happen to them somewhere in the deserts! ((( Let alone some1 who's sure that's totally OK with him would never react such a way!

      September 13, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |

      Nothing would happen , vle depiction of Jews across the middle East is an every day occurrence, Jailing of Christians in Pakistsan for life for Blasphemy is also a regular occurrrence if a mob doesn't get them first and tear them limb for limb. Islam is the most intolerant of all modern religions. Ask the 25,000 Bahai killed in Iran oh that's right they're dead you can't ask them. Holocaust denial is accepted accross the middle East as factual. Most Muslims live in a bizzzaro world where freedom of religion means freedom to ram Islam down your throat because as they see it Islam is perfect and Muhammed was the last and most perfect prophet.

      September 13, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tadas

    What I think about the whole situation? I think that somebody needs serious army force treatment and perhaps couple nukes on their heads. It's unbelievable that we still can call a country or republic even knowing that thy can't protect foreign embassies in their own territory. I think it's time to leave them alone in their stone age. Let them be, let the live their own life. Fvck them! Don't ever allow them to come on holly US path. Screw damn human rights, dogs are dogs and nothing can be done.

    September 13, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • TSC

      I remember John McCain said back a few years ago "I am tired of helping countries who don't like us very much". I could not agree with this statement anymore. Helping Libya free them of their evil dictator and what do they do? They attack the Emabassy and kill people over a MOVIE!?!?!? I am sick of giving my hard earned money and service to my Country , to people who show us no respect in return.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. oren

    It's just a stupid film why are they taking it so seriously. no knew about the film till all this protests so what did those protesters got the y gave that film a world wide coverage insted of non at all.

    September 13, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      They were looking for a reason to be insulted. Most of the protesters haven't even seen the movie. Basically their thinking is if I feel insulted by you, I will kill you. Since you are an infidel, I don't have to respect you, your views, your holy books, your flags. That is why it ok for them to burn a bible or another religion's holy book, but they go crazy and attack or jail people if they think someone has burnt the koran.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • kiwisepp

      Islamic world is still living in the dark era. No innovation, no development of any kind and no civilization. The only book they know is Quran. Just wait, they will vanish when all oil is gone.

      September 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim

    Wake up America

    September 13, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. militarymike

    It's time to close our embassies, bring all our troops home, stop all exports and all funding of any kind to any muslim countries.

    September 13, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • peterbwf

      Couldn't agree more. Time to end any help to these nations. They have spoken loud and clear that they don't want our help. Many say that this is a minority spewing hatred, well if it is, then why is the majority not on the streets protesting against them?

      September 13, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Agreed. We need to gain energy independence and stop engaging with these people.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. MG.

    So much for Obama and his muslim brotherhood buddies, that he helped put in power in these countries! If the Democrats still think that this is good foriegn policy, "God help us!" ...Romney is right, " We don't apologize for our principles" ....we need to get our "idi0t in chief" (Obama) out of the white house!

    September 13, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Mikhail

      yes, elect the same jerk like Reagan who created a radical Islamism and supported Wahhabism and Mujahidism because of his anti-soviet paranoia and russophoby

      September 13, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • MGluvzkoolaid

      It so funny how any event is spun as negative to Obama by the desperate right. I Remember when Republicans were saying Obama was weak for not helping the revolutions enough... Now it's his fault the revolution succeeded and they are his buddies?

      I have tin foil hats for sale if you're interested

      Fine. vote for yacht club republican, listen to him talk tough on these here muslums, But at the end of the day he'll do nothing about the middle east.

      September 13, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ahkmed the Dead Terrorist

    So, Muslim's finally come to realize that Muhammed is a pedophile and is bi and they decide to torch anything they see?! Now that is true civilization. How soon until the US can turn the Middle East into the world's largest fishbowl?

    September 13, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jim Ryan

    Time for another South Park episode. Those who believe in a religion bellong to the infancy of our species.

    September 13, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • colleenkelley

      Agreed. If only everyone would wake up and realize that nobody's fairy tale is any more true than anyone else's...imagine how much more peaceful the world would be.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  13. COPTIC

    youtube.."Jordanian Show at Saudi TV Demonizing Jews as Pigs"

    September 13, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  14. back bencher

    its good for you americans .when others are killed you are always help,but just one of yours is killed you want the whole world to cry with you

    September 13, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • TSC

      Take it in the back bencher, don't ever think Americans want your symapathy or anyone elses. In the end we will prevail. Your comment was not only insnesitive but utterly useless.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. truegrowthpotential

    What's the difference between Communism and Mafia-controlled Capitalism?

    In Communism, poor people were paid to clap at parades....

    September 13, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
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