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:

‚ÄúI 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.‚ÄĚ

[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 ‚ÄúWith our souls, with our blood, we will sacrifice for you Prophet Mohammed.‚ÄĚ

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)

    There is something wrong with our Military Rules of Engagement. The countries where our emabassies are stationed should be protected by the police or if necessary the military of those nations but when people climb up on our walls and even attempt to touch our flag then that is where the marines defending those buildings should have lobbed grenades and layed suppressive fire. The military is sworn to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. The U.S. Flag represents the American people and should be defended at all cost.

    September 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Annirich

    If our 'quick response' Marines went in as reported, I'd like to know if they're "allowed" to use "Lethal" force.

    September 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre

      No, they are only allowed to use "feathers" so that they can "tickle" the protestors to "death!"

      What planet did you folks fall off of from the Reptile Party?

      September 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      There are dozens of areas in muslim countries, do u think the marines are going to all those areas and as u stated allowed to use deadly force. I bet if you dug deep enough you'll see a PICTURE OF DICK CHANEY & ROMNEY WAS BEHIND THIS MOVIE

      September 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Movie Goer

    A satiric, offensive, mockery film about Christianity- Nothing happens, Hinduism- nothing, Mormonism- nothing, (plug any religion you want)- nothing....OH but Islam and this happens. Its 2012 people, keep up with moden civilazation you uncivilized pieces of...

    September 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • OJ

      Imagine a movie were Jesus is depicted to take up the a$$ and see what happens, or movie making fun of Hindu Gods and see what happens. Imagine a film that depicts Bin Laden as a hero by a US producer and see what happens. I will for your "Get out of my country comment"

      September 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker23

      OJ... What will happen, in yor opinion, if such movie about Jesus was released? Hint: A lot of even worde movies about Jews and Israel were releaswed in Egypt, Syria and other Arab countries. What happened except for ARAB riots?

      September 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      You know what would happen, OJ?
      The movie would lose money because no one would go see it, that's all.
      Guaranteed, one would NOT go to an embassy here in the US and kill a ME ambassador and three others...

      September 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • JomoDaMusicMan

      There was an outcry when the Black Rapper (NAS) was pictured crucified on the cross. And this was not even a movie it was an Album cover

      September 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • tcaud

      I'd like to mention this wonderful image of Jesus bent down over Jesus at this time...

      September 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. charles

    Reemo, I am not trying to instigate anything, just pointing out something. One , you better believe it if someone blew up a mosque here in the states, there would be hell to pay for someone. I'm not suggesting the people of another country would be patrolling the streets looking for terrorists , but that this isn't the first time when an incident arises , it's very quick, for the general public to be very .... well anti- American. I'm not anti anyone, really, I'm just saying despite the " good intentions " and the U.S. supporting the "growth" of various countries , people seem not so appreciative of Americans. You know , I will think about it more , of course there are many factors going on, just an observation.

    September 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • OJ

      "if someone blew up a mosque..." I thought they do that in the US once a month. It is something protected by freedom of speech or something like that:)

      September 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker23

      OJ... You "THOUGHT"? You can THINK??? Why don't you SHOW US A REPORT saying that a Mosque is being blown up in the US every month?

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

    Disgusting! These clowns have not even seen the "film", they just look for an excuse to hate!! They have no idea what freedom means and they don't deserve it. If the government doesn't stop sending hard earned money in aid, cut ties to these fools, and stop importing them, there's gonna be a revolt! Lastly, the government is just sickening trying to sugar coat the situation by stating its just a few misguided individuals! The majority of people in these countries feel this way and we all know it!

    September 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pete

    Funny these wackos are angry with us and take it out on there own turf. Idiots!! Islam is false, Islam is false, Islam is false na na na na na! Christ is the truth the way and the life. Thats why Islam is so unstable cause there is no truth to it.

    September 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • tcaud

      Special boy, that Pete... special boy.

      September 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. maria

    I don't knw why you people always say : Muslims are all bad....what about RADICALS those are the ones who bomb USA the ones who use violence ,we have radicals here too remember Timothy Mcbride? he was a Christian Radical too! he bombed a child care and most of the victims were children! radicals are dangerous they mind is all about extreme religions and violence,don't generalize all the religions and cultures they are a exception of the rules they are psychopatics !

    September 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker23

      No one EVER said that ALL Muslims are bad. Some of them are acatually decent...

      September 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mike proctor

    Let's nuke the whole Country and kill them all, this is the problem with Americans who are to stupid to understand this is a new society who for thousand of years were kept un-educated to keep control of them and the only thing they had going for them is their religion in fact if the Americans go back a few years ago the KKK in this Country justify killing our black citizens by using the bible or killing millions of Native Americans in the name God. Also ask yourselves why are Americans in this Country continuously coming up with these discriminating acts against the Islam faith when they know what will happen around the world when it hit the "you tube". These people are just as gulited as the people who burn down the American Embassy and their should be charged with murder for any death that may occur. We all blame everyone but ourselves for these problems, just listen to some of these self-righteous A/O AND NOT ONE WILL INDICATED THAT MAYBE WE CAUSED THE RIOT.

    September 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • OJ

      Oh cool! This was Bush stratgey. How is that working for you over in the US?

      September 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don WV

      At least under Bush our Ambassador's wasn't killed! Now Iraq's WMD's maybe a Bush folly?

      September 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • rickw

      Over two hundred years our fore fathers fought for freedom of speech now we cant say what we want because it offends some one in another country. Now they attack American soil and kill Americans and were not over there blowing them back to the stoneage why ? Our rights can be trampled on as long as we dont disrupt some one in a country who does not respect us any way come on now ! This is our wake up call if our gov. does not respect our rights why should we respect them . WAKE UP AMERICA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      September 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. newmalthus

    Update: FOR A BIG LAUGH, See State Department on youtube:

    "Obama State Dept: Egypt Is an Ally Despite What Obama Says "

    September 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe Blow

    With all these things happening in the Islamic world, where are the american muslims? I don't here much from them these days. Hmmmmm.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gregoryd

      Why should the muslims in the us comment. Where are the idiots that made the movie knowing full well it would lead to violence. I wonder if they feel sorry for the families of the deceased. Not likely.

      September 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • kendrick1

      Thos Islamis fifth columnists are not going to blow their cover by cheering! Should we be attacked by Ay-rabs, on whose side do you think the muslims here will be? You know we had German spies here years before war broke out!

      September 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ham

    Ok People this is where you need to get a grip and do some homework. This is only the beginning...people better turn back to God...the only true God (NOT allah) Would someone please do some research on the Koran. Islam is not just a religon it's a culture and their way of life. And I can promise you it's NOT peaceful...There are no radicals Marla! This is who they are. The ones in America are just buying time...they are a time bomb...mark my words...Obama is only part of thier plan! Why would he not meet with the president of Isreal? Really? READ...Don't just get one opinion from the TV...cnn and msnbc are not your friends...they want to control just as much as the government wants to. Do your homework...and VOTE! Then don't be the one who complains! Islam is a hateful thing...don't believe me read the koran and not someone's opinion of it. It teaches to hate and lie and kill...anyone who doesn't believe in allah. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!

    September 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Ham, I'm with you dude. Be warned: You've wandered into a cesspoool of bitter aged counterculturalist hippies who are hostile to Christianity and, as correctly indoctrinated multiculturalists, have a long line of stock apologies for Islam. Fight the good fight and don't be deterred by theseunwashed heathens. Bear witness.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Postscript, saywhat and chrissy ar the worst. Bitter cat ladies angry that they squandered their lives on an erroneous ideology.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      There is a religious blog that you guys can spill your Christian love for your fellow man all over the place!

      September 13, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Saywhat is a man, and both chrissy and saywhat are devout Christians.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ham

    Muslims are the problem...they got an appology for a film that was in our counrty...where the freedom of speech why is Obama and his cabinet catering to Muslims? They got control...they were given an appology...what for? I'm telling you sharia-law is not far behind...America...would somebody please read Obama Care...there will be no guns, no choices for you they will be deligated by the government. All I got to say is people better get right with God...Admit, Believe, Commit your soul to the Lord...John 3:16.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gregoryd

      Maybe because they do not want another 911 or because they beleive that freedom of religeon is a right and does not make people violent. Just let muslims put out a movie about the bible thumpers in the US and they would be ready to go to war over it. gimme a break

      September 13, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinker23

      DO you have an idea how many anti-Christian and anti-Jewish movies were released in the Arab countries and Iran? You don't? It's probably because neither the Christians nor Jews give a damn about the barking of Muslims.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. AbbaDabbaDo

    By all indications of the events in the Middle East (sounds familar) Islam is, mathematically speaking, a religion of hate and violent intolerance. Those who disagree will say that this is the work of a few minority extremests. But the totality of involvement by every Muslim country is a contradiction to that. So, what should do about it? I submit that we should do nothing, and that they should be left to their own devices – after they have their fill of violence in the streets, there will be fewer of them to deal with – problem solved.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. southernwonder

    romney does not believe in moving heaven and earth in going after terrorists. he is just content in issueing angry condemnations.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jeff

    Please go to the Liberterian website and look it over. Take "The World's Shortest Political Test" to see what you score. Even just for fun or because you are bored. It's time for our country to stop being the police of the world. It is time for us to stop trying to support the world through our tax dollars. If Obama's muslim brothers want to go crazy and act like barbarians, then let them. Let's worry about our poor and unemployed for a change. Fudge the muslim countries.

    September 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Worry about our poor and unemployed? They're free to go make money, which would be very libertarian. You sound like a socialist. The poor and unemployed are free to stay poor and unemployed if they so desire, just get your hand out of my wallet. You go read your own website, and take that socialist bunk with you.

      September 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
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