Libyan Authorities Blame Gaddafi, Al-Qaeda For Attacks Against US Consulate
Libyan authorities on Wednesday pointed a finger of blame at supporters of ousted leader Muammar Qaddafi’s regime and at Al-Qaeda for a deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi.
“What happened yesterday coincided with September 11 and has a clear significance,” Mohamed al-Megaryef, president of Libya’s highest political authority, the elected General National Congress, told reporters in Tripoli.
He was referring to Al-Qaeda’s devastating attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001.
“We categorically refuse to allow our lands to be used to mount cowardly and dirty revenge attacks,” he said.
Washington’s envoy to Libya and three other Americans were killed when an armed mob outraged over a low-budget movie mocking Islam late on Tuesday attacked the American consulate in Benghazi with rocket-propelled grenades.
Megaryef also pointed a finger of blame at the ousted regime, saying such actions were aimed at sabotaging Libya’s moves towards democracy in the wake of three decades of Qaddafi’s autocratic rule.
U.S. marine team heads to Benghazi
Meanwhile, the United States is deploying a U.S. Marine anti-terrorism team to Libya to bolster security after a deadly attack on its consulate in Benghazi, a U.S. defense official said Wednesday.
“The Marines are sending a FAST (Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team) team to Libya,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.
The decision to move the roughly 50-member unit to Libya comes after Washington’s ambassador to Tripoli and three other Americans were killed when a mob stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The crowd had been angered over an amateur American-made film mocking Islam, after video clips from the movie had been posted on the Internet.
The low-budget movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” in which actors have strong American accents, portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent.
President Barack Obama quickly ordered increased security at U.S. diplomatic posts around the world, while slamming Tuesday’s deadly assault in Benghazi — an Islamist stronghold in eastern Libya — which coincided with the anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States.