U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens: Stevens on al-Qaida Hit-List?
Sep 20, 2012 12:27 PM EDT
Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was killed in the recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, had expressed qualms about the mission in Libya months ago. According to a report by CNN, an unnamed source "familiar with his thinking," said that Stevens said that he was on the al-Qaida "hit list."
There has no confirmation, whether Steven's supposition was founded on evidentiary support or whether it was speculation. American officials told the Atlantic Wire that the attack was not pre-planned, but rather an "opportunistic attack," as reported by the Newspaper.
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A memorial service is being held in honor of Stevens in Tripoli, Libya Thursday. The Libyan Prime Minister, Mustafa A.G. Abushagur said the ambassador "played a key role in helping to liberate Libya from the oppressive regime of Moammar Gaddafi," and referred to him as a "dear friend of mine," as reported on Yahoo News.
In an attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi earlier this month, the U.S. ambassador to Libya Stevens and three other embassy staff members have been killed by fundamentalist gunmen who barraged the consulate and then set it on fire.
According to reports, the gunmen were Islamist fundamentalists who were angered over an American film that derided the prophet Mohammad. The film, which was endorsed by a U.S. pastor, Terry Jones, showed the prophet to be a child molester, and killer. The film was posted on Youtube. Jones has become infamous in US for the burning of Quran incident.
President Obama delivered a speech in which he said, "condemns in the strongest terms these outrageous attacks," as reported by NBC.
"Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States," Obama told CNN reporters.
Clinton said the attacks were carried out by a "small and savage group," according to Reuters. Clinton said the attacks should "Shock the conscious of people of all faiths," as reported on NBC.
Stevens severed as the US ambassador to Libya since June 2012. He was 52. Sean Smithhas been identified as one of the other three staff members who were killed in the attack. Smith was Foreign Service information management officer and worked with the state department for over a decade. The other two victims have yet to be identified.
The attacks have raised questions about America's involvement in the crisis stricken Libya. Libya has been under violent turmoil due to the civil war, which erupted in 2011 marked by the over-throwing of Dictator Muammar Gaddafi.