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. JiminNM

    The international bankers want to own everyone and everything and use any means possible to divide and conquer and to eliminate real leaders, leaders who want their countries to remain sovereign and independent of the dollar. Until America is restored and the bankers' control of America ended, we will remain enslaved.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • dcpintx

      The government is in control – of us, the banks, the stock market and everything else. Wealthy financiers may be backing them, but without government assistance – bankers couldn't do it.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • TL

      Why does everybody think their "god' would approve of murder, fraticide, homicide, genocide......These people really need to worry about how they are treating their own people, how they can better their own lives vs depending on other countries to feed, clothe and go to war for them.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Hopeful

      HERE HERE!!

      September 13, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. Michael

    At least Iran didn't riot.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      They actually did.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Practical

    Selective isolationism anyone? Let's just remove embassies and retrench from everywhere except those that are willing to be civilized. No more aid. Face it, the only thing we need from these third world barbarians is their oil. If we focus all our efforts on domestic energy we can tell them all to FU(&& off and let them spiral back into medieval times. Anyone gets close to having nukes (hint hint) we get proactive and set them back a decade or two. Simple. THEY DON'T WANT TO JOIN THE CIVILIZED WORLD. So long as there are those that place blind faith above the laws, above national interests, above God given rights to equality and most dangerously, who believe their lives are expendable and they will then be rewarded, the civilized nations don't have the resolve to win! LET THEM SUFFER. We should continue to allow select, educated and motivated individuals who are capable of showing the ability to assimilate into our country to emigrate to us, but under strict conditions. For their masses, leave them to their own devices. We've tried for generations, Republicans and Democrats alike, and failed. Time to admit it and leave. PERIOD.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Hopeful

      The is very little that is civilized about your little speech.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • anothervoice


      September 13, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • DI

      you sound VERY CIVILIZED ........not really .....

      September 13, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kizidek

    Everybody is so easily manipulated...especially the young Islamist rubes. All a bunch of unethical hypocrites! Know this...if your live by the will die by it most assuredly. Your violence and hatred will revisit you a thousand times over.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. tm1946

    The administration is in a very tough situation. For US consumption they needed to be tough sounding without committing to a military answer. For the muslim world, they just do not understand the concept of "freedom of speech" and the government cannot stop videos and Americans do not accept islam as the proper path to follow. Looks like a lose lose for us as the US.

    If only Pres O had not made speeches going out of his way to be friendly to the muslim world, has not been accepted and weakness is not a good thing is a super power. If only moderate Muslims had the ability to stand up and, at least, verbally advocate peace, dare I suggest condemn muslim extremists.

    Did not happen and now we have to deal with what is there. I am not an O. fan but he is in a tough position.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • mm73

      Thank you for your rational comment.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. anothervoice

    Ok...remind me again about how 'peace loving' Islam is, and please pass the Kool-Aid.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • denouemen

      Does your mommy know you're using the computer? Stay in school and learn how to say something from your own mind and not something you heard from a drug addicted radio personality we've all heard a million times.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tired of Obama's Failures

    Another Obama Failure of Leadership

    September 13, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • newshead12

      This has nothing to do with ANY American leader. Clearly, these are outraged, violent people reacting to a crazy video.

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

      The world sees Obama as weak. He bows down to and cowtows to the Islamic nations. He seems to be just another weak kneed Jimmy Carter.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Ask Osams Bin Laden how weak he is?

      His 10 year "Bush" vacation was so rudely interrupted.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat

    Seeing the 14 minute trailer of this film shot in L.A, posted on the internet is a disgusting experience. Only vilest of minds could have conceived and produced this garbage. And intent is clear to insult, provoke and incite.
    The makers of this film should be held responsible for the consequences.

    September 13, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • cll1709

      For you leftists we still do have this pesky freedom of speech thing. You are trying your best to get rid of that but there are so many more sources of information than CNN now it is making itself irrelevant by it's bias.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • mm73

      I agree. The makers of this film had to know what the response would be. How do we balance freedom of speech while stopping American citizens from producing this kind of thing? I do not envy the administration having to deal with this.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Fearless Freep

      The makers of this film should be held responsible for the consequences....

      How would you like to stop this from happening again ?
      Do away with free speech ?

      I am an American and a Democrat, and you are not going
      to take away my right of free speech.

      September 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Roberto

    See once again, people putting blame on the filmmaker and not the group responsible for the killings. I will have to agree with the poster above. Islam's holybook is filled with hate towards non-muslims, in particular jews and pagans. There is ilittle tolerance in Islam.

    September 13, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Hermit

      1500 years ago prophet and Quraan said Jews and Christians would never be your friends this has come to true the prophesy was. u people provoke muslims by slandering the prophet and expect them to remain silent .if there is freedom of speech then why u prosecute, those who denounce the holocaust it it not double stander.a lunatic has no right to hurt the feeling of millions of muslims in the name of so called freedom of speech.. we love Prophet more then our lives our parents ans and our children.. as for a the film maker .. this man has crocked and mischievous mind. Muslims believe in Christ and Moses as the prophets of Islam so we cannot respond by abusing then in return

      September 13, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Voice of reason

      Hey Hermit, He is one person not a religion!!!!! Don't do what he did which is to classify people.

      September 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tiggerswoodsy

    Hmmm, so it is insulting to where are the US, and Canada muslim protests? better yet where are the spokesmen for the two countries muslim associations or the leading muslim clerics in both countries on this subject or issue? please provide some interviews with those people so we can understand their thinking or they provide some insight, thank you

    September 13, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. observer

    Don't you think this and mark owen is a Teanuts' strategy to discredit Obama's foreign policy?

    September 13, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Tired of Obama's Failures

      No. but I do think you're a moron for even suspecting as much.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. Andrew F

    I love these demonstrations. It provides justification for what's coming. I mean, how juvenile can en ENTIRE people be? Diplomacy only works with human beings, who are able to get over themselves so they can then see the bigger picture. How long is the civilized world going to stand by and watch these animals detsroy anything resembling peace with the hopes that they'll eventually see light. How many decades have to go by until the civilized world says, with conviction, enough is enough?

    September 13, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • denouemen

      I guess that's why diplomacy doesn't work with the Republican Party.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Tired of Obama's Failures

      @ denouemen

      This has nothing at all to do with the GOP. Are you stupid or just a troll?

      September 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tamtag

    Obama needs to be tougher on the Middle East! Is his administration going to condemn everything that hurts the feelings of Muslims in the Middle East out of fear they will murder people? In America I am offended by many things people say about my religion...but I don't riot, damage property, or murder people over it. People should have freedom to express their own opinions, even if they are stupid. I can ignore them... We cannot blame this behavior on a stupid movie, the blame lies on each persons reaction to it and what they do. Is this administration saying that you can give your opinion on anything but Islam unless it is favorable? People in America have criticized every religion in America, we don't riot...we debate.

    September 13, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. Erwin

    The anti-Muslim video is discusting! What is even more discusting is that Jews are again blamed, even though it turns out that no Israeli or Jew was involved. The WSJ and other sources are now allegedly blaming the US based Egyptian Coptic church. I would not be surprised if this is a false accusation also, but that Iran or the Moslem brotherhood are behind this misiformation and produced the video to incite hatred in the ME. Why isn't the FBI investigating the people behind the hatred video?

    September 13, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Religion.

    Ya, our societies need more Religion.

    September 13, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
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