Libyan officials condemn consulate attack, question security

President Obama and the Libyan president and deputy prime minister condemned the consulate attack, but one Libyan official said some blame lies with the US for inadequate security.

Ibrahim Alaguri/AP
Soot and debris spills out of the US Consulate after an attack by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad in Benghazi, Libya, Wednesday, Sept. 12. The US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed.

Libyan officials today condemned the attack on a US consulate in Libya yesterday, with interim President Mohamed el Megarif calling the attack “cowardly” and apologizing to the US, vowing to apprehend the killers. 

The attack by armed Islamists killed the US ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, as well as Sean Smith, an information management officer in the foreign service, and two other Americans who have not been publicly identified. The attack came after media and religious television hosts in the region publicized a film, produced in the US, that mocks the prophet Mohammed. 

Mustapha Abushagur, Libya’s deputy prime minister, wrote on Twitter: “I do condemn the cowardly act of attacking the US consulate and the killing of Mr. Stevens and the other diplomats.” He called Stevens “a friend of Libya” and said the killings were “an attack on America, Libya and free people everywhere.”

But Libya’s deputy interior minister, Wanis al-Sharif, said in a press conference aired on Al Jazeera that the killings were carried out not by an Islamist group but by members of the former regime of Muammar Qaddafi. He also implied that the US consulate was at fault for not taking adequate security measures.

"They are to blame simply for not withdrawing their personnel from the premises, despite the fact that there was a similar incident when [Al-Qaeda second-in-command and Libyan citizen] Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed. It was necessary that they take precautions. It was their fault that they did not take the necessary precautions," said Mr. Sharif, according to Al Jazeera.

President Barack Obama condemned the attack and promised to provide “all necessary resources” to secure American personnel in Libya, and to increase security at embassies around the world. 

“While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants,” President Obama said in a statement.

The Associated Press reports that Stevens was killed as he went to the consulate to try to evacuate employees stuck there when the building came under attack. Libyan and American security forces battled the attackers and the consulate was burned and looted.  

Read the Monitor's full report on the attack here.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to Libyan officials condemn consulate attack, question security
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today