U.S. officials are bracing for possible protests across the Muslim world over an anti-Islam film blamed on an attack in Libya that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
With angry protests already occurring in Egypt and Yemen, the U.S. has put all of its diplomatic missions on high alert. And Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has denounced the anti-Islam video in hopes of pre-empting further turmoil.
U.S. officials say there's was no indication the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was planned, but they are investigating whether a Libyan-based militant group was responsible for turning the protest violent.
Yemen and Iraq are among the scenes of the latest anti-American protests to erupt over an anti-Islam film.
Hundreds of protesters angered by the film stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen's capital today and burned the American flag.
Yemen's president quickly apologized and vowed to track down the culprits.
In Iraq, several hundred Shiite hardliners protested in their Baghdad stronghold. The leader of an Iranian-backed Shiite militia is threatening anti-U.S. attacks.
In Iran, about 50 protesters shouted "Death to America" outside the Swiss Embassy, which looks after U.S. diplomatic interests there.
Protesters clashed today with police near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Although the protesters were able to reach the embassy Tuesday, police kept them away this time.
A Libyan official is saying today that the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans on Tuesday at the consulate in Benghazi was an organized operation by heavily-armed militants who used the protest against the film as a cover for their action.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today sharpened her criticism of the film that led to the protests. She says it is "disgusting and reprehensible" -- but that the U.S. would never stop Americans from expressing their views, and that it's no excuse for violence.
The White House says the U.S. deplores the content of an amateur film that denigrates Islam, but America's free speech rights allow such films to air.
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday that the Obama administration also condemns the violence in several Islamic countries the film has reportedly triggered. He says the attacks on U.S. facilities in Egypt, Libya and Yemen are totally unjustified and should be squelched by local governments.
The attack in Benghazi, Libya, killed four U.S. diplomats, including the ambassador.
Carney said America has a long tradition of free expression that puzzles some foreigners, who blame the government for not blocking the film from the Internet.
Attorney General Eric Holder said Justice Department officials had opened a criminal investigation into the diplomats' deaths.
The three diplomats injured in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya are being treated at an American military hospital in Germany and one of the two most seriously wounded is expected to leave the intensive care unit on Thursday.
A State Department status report obtained by The Associated Press says the third injured staffer is awake and alert at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center near the Ramstein Air Base, where 33 uninjured consulate personnel are staying and receiving military counseling. All were evacuated from Benghazi early Wednesday and arrived in Germany late that afternoon along with the remains of the four diplomats.
According to the report, the injured staffers "are doing relatively well" and most want to return to Libya.
A U.S. law enforcement official says a man named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is behind the anti-Muslim film being blamed for mob attacks in Egypt, Libya and Yemen.
A man who calls himself Sam Bacile has said he created the film, but The Associated Press on Wednesday connected Nakoula to the Bacile persona.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.
In an AP interview, Nakoula says he managed logistics for the company that produced the film, which mocked Muslims and the prophet Muhammad. He denies that he was Bacile.
The movie is implicated in inflaming mobs that attacked U.S. missions in Egypt, Libya and Yemen. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed. (AP)
Citing a lack of leads, a police agency said Monday that it is closing the active investigation of the disappearance of Susan Powell, a Utah mother whose now-dead husband was a prime suspectMore >>
The lawyer for the family of missing Utah woman Susan Powell said Tuesday that even as local police close the active part of their investigation into her disappearance, federal authorities continue to review the case - a...More >>