Stevens, friend of the Libya Revolution, died after a call for revenge by Al Qaeda was posted online Monday for the death of it’s No. 2 commander, a native of Libya.
Events in Libya may well be linked directly to a call for revenge by al Qaeda for the death of al Qaeda’s No. 2 commander Abu Yahya al-Libi, a native of Libya. The “mob” in Libya was particularly “well armed.” So, while events play out around an incendiary anti-Islam video posted to YouTube by Israeli American filmmaker Mr. Sam Bacile, it is important to note that protests in Egypt did not result in deaths. But in Libya, the native country of al Queda’s No. 2 commander, they did.
CBS News is reporting the tragic loss of J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, and three embassy staffers have been killed in an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Anti-American protests in both Egypt and Libya were triggered by a posting on YouTube of a trailer for Sam Bacile’s anti-Islam film titled “Innocence of Muslims.” The YouTube trailer is dubbed in Arabic.
It is being reported that the mob in Libya was “very well armed.” Who these well armed men were exactly remains to be seen, but Stevens himself was clearly a friend of the Libyan revolution.
Deputy Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur said on his Twitter account that, “Amb. Stevens was a friend of Libya and we are shocked at the attacks on the U.S. consulate.” The Libyan Prime Minister also expressed grief and condemned the attack.
According to his biography page on the U.S. Embassy’s website, Stevens “was the American representative to the Transitional National Council in Benghazi during the revolution,” in Libya. Benghazi was the capital of rebel-held Libya during the uprising to oust Qaddafi.
Wanis al-Sharef, a Libyan Interior Ministry official in Benghazi, …said Stevens, 52, and other officials were moved to a second building, deemed safer, after the initial wave of protests at the consulate.
…there had been threats that Islamic militants might try to take revenge for the death of al Qaeda’s No. 2 commander Abu Yahya al-Libi, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan in June, and he said the U.S. consulate should have been better protected.
Confirming al-Libi’s death for the first time in a video posted online Monday, al Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahri called on Muslim’s in al-Libi’s native Libya to take revenge for his death.
It is interesting to note that the attack came in two phases. Is it possible the al Qaeda operatives saw an opportunity sparked by the initial protests?
Regardless of who these “well armed” protesters were the damage is done. It will take just hours for these events to be politicized. And those who seek to plunge us all into another round of blood letting will point to the death of J. Christopher Stevens and say, “See, we told you so.”
By posting his video on YouTube, Mr. Bacile is exercising his right to free speech. But that being said, we Americans need to exercise our right to clear thinking.
A single low budget film has put every U. S. serviceman on duty in Afghanistan and Iraq in danger today as the movie trailer makes its way across the world. It has handed ammunition to al Qaeda and putting hundreds of millions of moderate Muslims and Christians alike at grave risk.
All of us need to stop and think. Mr. Bacile and people like him will continue to throw gasoline onto the already raging fires of religious bigotry in the Middle East and globally. The rest of us across the world who have already been dragged into ten years of war, need to be very careful about helping people like him further their incendiary religious goals. Especially if we might once again playing into al Qaeda’s hands as well.
UPDATE: September 13, 2012
A London think-tank run by a former Libyan militant leader suggested on Tuesday that not only was the Benghazi attack “well planned,” but that it may have been retaliation for an American drone attack which killed a Libyan leader of al-Qaeda’s core command group earlier this year.
The Quilliam Foundation said that 24 hours before the Benghazi incident, al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, distributed a video to militant websites in which he confirmed the death of his second in command, known as Abu Yahya al-Libi, and urged Libyans to avenge his killing.
Quilliam, whose president, Noman Benotman, once was a leader of an anti-Gaddafi militant faction known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, said that according to its sources, up to 20 militants had prepared for a military assault.
Quilliam said the assault on the Benghazi Consulate took place in two waves. After the first wave, U.S. officials arranged an evacuation of the Consulate by Libyan security forces. As the evacuation was taking place, a second wave of attacks was launched against U.S. officials who had already been moved to a supposedly secure location, Quilliam said.
Libya on the map from Shutterstock