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. ETSeveral 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. Mr_Lebowski

    Did ofailure release a statement congratulating the attackers yet. I would have thought he would do that by now.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      Of course you would have thought that. You have no ability to take in facts and process them. You are a brainwashed sheep.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      Have you ever made an intelligent statement?

      September 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kolobians4romney

      These uneducated Republicans shouldn't vote.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • anchorite

      Oho. OMG. I almost died laughing. "ofailure" I get it now. Because it's like...the name Obama, and you combined it with failure. I hope you are writing Romney speeches because that is the cleverest thing I've ever heard.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael

      And what did you expect from a Romney supporter? Mitt's going down and they're desperate to say or do ANYTHING to distract from the fact that Romney will not win in November.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      Educated president is not for the GOP they need some one who cannot spell or cannot pronounce ......

      September 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tilmeismoney

    The only good rioter is a dead one.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      Incredible wisdom, from a person that has yet to use his brain.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. naf

    they sure aren't protesting american fashion..raybans and levi-like jeans in a lot of these pics.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Canadian1

    Hmmm..

    Me thinks these arrests are simply to prevent a certain migration over Libya..these would include Tomahawk's and Hellfire's from our tireless drones...run but U can't hide!

    September 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      Skipping school today! Based on your comment, you shouldn't miss a day.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canada

      We don't have Tomahawks and hellfires man... The Americans do. unless you're talking the broader term of NATO, which I do alot of on here.

      September 13, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Raman Bhanot

    Haven't we realized that anytme anti-islam feedback is posted, that it draws global attention and lives are lost and upheaval is created? The U.S. freedom of speach is not well recognized in the world we live in.............

    September 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • pab

      Raman...so what are Americans supposed to do? Are they supposed edit their opinions/views to ensure that Islam or any other religion is not slighted or insulted by these opinions/views? That is not freedom of speech my friend, that censorship. Perhaps these religions need to be a bit more tolerant. The same tolerance that is constantly asked of the US. I don't remember anyone from the US attacked a religious edifice or embassy when they dragged dead US soldiers through the streets or beheaded US citizens. As a matter of fact i don't recall any apologies or even one word of protest from against those attrocities from other religions. God Bless America...God Bless this crazy world....

      September 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Daneetra

    You voted for President Obama? You could have fooled me. Let's face it, our President sending more troops to Afghanistan was basically out of NECESSITY to speed up the process of stabilizing that country so that we can get out. Perhaps you have forgotten that the Afghan war was delibarately and recklessly abandoned and prolonged by the GOP for the invasion of Iraq. Secondly, when you're the President of the United States of America, you're also commander in chief and a statesman for the United Nations. Therefore, when there is unrest in the world and the world community, aka Lague of Nations called upon you to do something to stop blodshed and atrocities being committed upon civilians, you have to act and that is exactly what our President did in Libya. If you have a problem with that then that's too bad.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      Daneetra is AWESOME and spot on. It's time we get out of the middle east. Barak Osama will always end up supporting and helping his Musim brethren. We need to fix our problems here in the US first before trying to be the police of the world. Take the Liberterian test at their website and see where you score. Stop Racism. Stop Hatred.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. peach

    @sam: Why is it that race is always brought up....who said anything about black or white?? So sick of you playing the race card-has nothing to do with race. Just because someone disagrees with this administration, they are a racist? Really???? I thought you dems were the party of inclusion...I guess not.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      Peach - if you actually believe that much of the hateful comment made about the President aren't racist, you must be living in a cave. That said. That doesn't mean everyone that doesn't agree with the President's policies is a racist. Please start thinking for yourself.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      I have no problem to disagree with the current administration but when name calling start against the president that some times called racism , You can give the respect to the office of the president without calling him racial names

      September 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Not all Conservatives are racist but all racists will vote for Romney.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      texcal68 And Steve

      Agree with both of you

      September 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      It is RACISM. From day one, conservatives said that a black man should not be allowed to be President of the United States of America. Don't you remember those McCain/Palin rallies in 08? That is what their supporters said. And all that Birther/Kenyan/Muslim/Communist/Socialist charges are all racism. Do you remember what that Tea Party Express president said two years ago about African-Americans? He said " the Emancipation Proclamation was a big mistake and blacks are only looking for handouts and big screen TV's." Yes, it is RACISM.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      @Steve and Sam I am African American and Libertarian. I am far more liberal than probably anyone you have ever met. I can not stand the Anti American Obama. Does that make me racist? Can you even define the term?

      September 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. thebeast

    Shame, shame on Islam...There is nothing beautiful or peaceful about your hatred...

    September 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      The tiny group of radical Muslims, don't represent the billion plus Muslims that live worldwide. Every religion has radicals.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Really? You classify all of Islam as the same as the terrorists? Using your logic then all Christians are like Timothy McVeigh.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      Agree Steve. the truth is out there

      September 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Go Blue

    Answer to the problem:
    Bring all americans home, shut are border because I guess the rest of the world doesn't want to be free and let the rest of the world beat the crap out of each other.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JBN

      agree

      September 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      Go Blue - We have tried isolationist policies before. They don't work. I suggest you take some college level courses in American History before commenting again.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. markishere

    I predict at least 3 of them are named "Muhammad Al ..."

    September 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. texcal68

    When compared to his predecessor, President Obama's foreign policy is near perfect. You must have very short memory. Moreover, Romney's comment wasn't just untimely, it was incorrect.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. George Smith

    Sounds like the movie Casablanca: "Round up the usual suspects"

    September 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. charles

    This government is telling us " It's not the people of the land , but a few people who want to harm us." Well why aren't their people stopping these few individuals? It seems like now all the Arab Spring countries don't like Americans. It didn't matter if some silly , crap movie came out or not, they don't like the United States, this was heading right in this direction from the get go.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reemo

      If a group of Americans blew up a mosque in the US, how many US citizens would aid in the search and apprehension of those invoved in the attack? Most likely none. Does that mean every US citizen is anti-Muslim? No. So stop acting like the citizens of other contries should be patrolling the streets looking for terrorists in order to prove their allegiance to the US.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus

      @Reemo. Well, honestly, yeah. I'd say most of us are anti Muslim. I know I am and pretty much everyone I know is. I'm just being honest.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      Racism against Muslims and alienating them will not help in our problems here or abroad...

      September 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annirich

      The film is a Hillary MSM excuse. This was a 'planned' event!

      September 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. anchorite

    How disappointing. I was hoping we'd get to F some S up. If we'd dealt with the USS Cole attackers this way OBL wouldn't have escaped and we wouldn't have gotten to spend a trillion dollars wiping out a few hundred thousand Iraqis. Blackwater mercs would sadly be in the unemployment lines. Oh, painful to consider.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. gv

    "Some individuals believed to be involved"......scapegoats....have been arrested to keep the U.S. from depositing surplus ordinance in our country.

    September 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Sounds to me like a little surplus ordanance dumped in the right spots might do your country some good.

      September 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • gv

      Born and raised in the USA myself. That was my attempt at a headline for a Libyan newspaper...."we caught the bad guys....don't nuke us"

      September 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
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