U.S. Ambassador, Others Killed in Libya Attack Sparked by Film Ridiculing Prophet Muhammad
The White House confirmed Wednesday that the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in an attack sparked by a film which ridicules Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
President Barack Obama strongly condemned the “outrageous attack” which occurred at the U.S. Diplomatic facility in Benghazi and claimed the life of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, 52, along with the three other Americans.
According to news reports, Stevens had gone to the consulate in Benghazi to help evacuate staff who had come under attack by angry protesters firing rocket-propelled grenades. His vehicle was struck as he attempted to leave the area.
Meanwhile, there are reports that Gainesville pastor Terry Jones, who gained notoriety when he burned Korans last year which sparked riots in Afghanistan, was among those who backed the film that led Islamist militants to attack compounds in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday.
Jones and others who support the film, Muhammad, which denigrates Islam, were unrepentant regarding their role in the violence that has been sparked, tampabay.com reports. According to news reports, the film was produced by an Israeli film maker living in California.
See full statement issued by President Obama on the attack in Benghazi below:
I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.
I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. 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.
On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.
The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.