Attacks Continue At US Embassies In Yemen & Egypt – But Is Film Really To Blame?

Yesterday, the U. S. Embassy attacked in Benghazi, Libya, but it has been confirmed that coordinated attacks have now taken place in Yemen and Cairo, Egypt.

The attacks on the consulate in Libya lefts Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other consular officials dead.

The Associated Press reports,

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Chanting “death to America” and “death to Israel,” hundreds of protesters angered by an anti-Islam film stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen’s capital and burned the American flag on Thursday, the latest in a series of attacks on American diplomatic missions in the Middle East.

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The string of assaults this week, in Yemen, Egypt and the storming of a U.S. consulate in Libya that killed four Americans, point to an increased boldness among Islamists who have become more powerful since last year’s wave of revolts toppled authoritarian leaders.

The anger over the movie denigrating Islam’s Prophet Muhammad has also put the region’s new leaders — some of whom are themselves Islamists — in a difficult corner, between a base demanding a free hand to respond to the insult and U.S. pressure to crack down. In the past, protests have broken out over perceived insults to Islam from the West, but in Arab countries they never escalated to the degree of breaching embassies, suggesting now hard-liners feel they can act with impunity.

Also protests broke out in Cairo. CNN reports,

Violent protests over an anti-Muslim film bled into a third day Thursday near the U.S. Embassy in Cairo after President Barack Obama warned in a television interview that it would be “a real big problem” if Egypt fails to protect American interests in the country.

Clouds of tear gas wafted over the hulks of burned-out cars Thursday afternoon as hundreds of demonstrators battled police 300 yards from the embassy. The demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at police and chanted, “With our souls, with our blood, we will sacrifice for you, Prophet Mohammed.”

Police officers and protesters who appeared to be injured could be seen being dragged away.

Earlier, protesters tried to push through barbed wire fencing protecting the embassy and set fire to two police trucks and a car, according to Alla Mahmoud, a spokesman for the Egyptian Interior Ministry. Forces pushed back the protesters after the vehicles were set on fire.

In both instances the reason for the protests and attacks are claimed to be because of an anti-Muslim film, which we posted yesterday. While there is no doubt that there have been Muslims who resort to violence and even kill people over cartoons and videos that “insult” or “mock” Islam’s founder Mohammad, there seems to be more to this than just a film.

As I wrote yesterday, the film is terribly made and even now the name attributed to the film producer, Sam Bacile, and his nationality is in question. The Atlantic reports,

As part of my search for more information about Sam Bacile, the alleged producer of the now-infamous anti-Muhammad film trailer “The Innocence of Muslims,” I just called a man named Steve Klein — a self-described militant Christian activist in Riverside, California (whose actual business, he said, is in selling “hard-to-place home insurance”), who has been described in multiple media accounts as a consultant to the film.

Klein told me that Bacile, the producer of the film, is not Israeli, and most likely not Jewish, as has been reported, and that the name is, in fact, a pseudonym. He said he did not know “Bacile”‘s real name. He said Bacile contacted him because he leads anti-Islam protests outside of mosques and schools, and because, he said, he is a Vietnam veteran and an expert on uncovering al Qaeda cells in California. “After 9/11 I went out to look for terror cells in California and found them, piece of cake. Sam found out about me. The Middle East Christian and Jewish communities trust me.”

He said the man who identified himself as Bacile asked him to help make the anti-Muhammad film. When I asked him to describe Bacile, he said: “I don’t know that much about him. I met him, I spoke to him for an hour. He’s not Israeli, no. I can tell you this for sure, the State of Israel is not involved, Terry Jones (the radical Christian Quran-burning pastor) is not involved. His name is a pseudonym. All these Middle Eastern folks I work with have pseudonyms. I doubt he’s Jewish. I would suspect this is a disinformation campaign.”

This has led to much speculation about what the intention of the film was to do and who actually created it by some. Paul Joseph Watson writes, “Bacile is likely a pseudonym for the only real person who has been positively connected with the movie – Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Coptic Christian living in California who was convicted for federal bank fraud in 2010.”

Whoever is behind the film is now the one being blamed for these attacks. Personally, the film reminds me of a Monty Python movie with even worse actors. The story sounds as if there has been some other effort besides this film that resulted in the coordinated attacks that took place in three countries against U.S. embassies. I think there is more taking place here than meets the eye.

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