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Libyan Ambassador: "One of the saddest days in my life"

September 12th, 2012
05:18 PM ET

The grenade assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi Tuesday was originally thought to have been sparked by rage over an anti-Muslim film made in the U.S.

But U.S sources now tell CNN that the operation was planned by an al-Qaeda offshoot that may have used the angry protest outside as a diversion.

The attack killed the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, 52-year-old Christopher Stevens, as well as three of his colleagues.

Libya's Ambassador to the U.S., Ali Suleiman Aujali, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that he had lost a personal friend in the attack.

“This is one of the saddest days in my life,” Aujali said. “He is a man who knows Libya very well, before and after [the revolution]. He was the man who stood by the Libyan people. He was the right man, in the right place, at the right time. It is a great loss for the Libyan people.” 

Stevens played a key role during Libya's revolution last year. He began his job as ambassador only a few months ago.

The Libyan government quickly denounced Tuesday's attack and promised to bring the killers to justice.

Mohammed Al-Megaryef, the head of the ruling GNC party said, "We apologize to the U.S., and to the American people and to the government, and to the rest of the world for what happened yesterday."

The majority of Libyans, 54%, actually approve of U.S. leadership, one of the highest approval ratings Gallup has ever recorded in the Arab World.

Libya has vowed to hunt down the killers and President Obama has insisted they be brought to justice.

Aujali said he’s confident that Libya can deliver.

“In the last few weeks there were also car bombs in Tripoli, and we have been able to capture some of the people responsible for that. And that was a line to lead to us to [the people] responsible and to the financial support they get from overseas.”

Aujali said that it’s imperative Libya find the group that carried out the attack, not just for the sake of the relationship with the U.S., but also for the very stability of the country.

“We must know these cells working in Libya do destabilize Libya – to destabilize our relations with friendly countries.”

A somber U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strongly condemned the attack.

“Today many Americans are asking - indeed I asked myself - how could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated - and at times, how confounding - the world can be. But we must be clear eyed, even in our grief. This was an attack by a small and savage group, not the people or government of Libya.”

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder and CEO of the Cordoba Initiative, told Amanpour, “The Quran states explicitly that no soul shall be responsible for the sins or the crimes of another. And while this film is indeed offensive, and those who have done this have done this deliberately to offend Muslims, we should not kill innocent people."

James Rubin, former assistant secretary of state under president Clinton – and Amanpour’s husband – said of the U.S., “We are a country where the word ‘tolerance’ is built deeply into our system, and we have to make that true both through law enforcement, through education.”

Rubin added, “We can defend somebody’s right to speak but that doesn’t mean we can’t condemn what they say. And we have to be very clear on that. And we can’t let the Arab Spring be hijacked by the extremists and remember that it’s a good news story – a positive development for the people of the Middle East.”

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. john2397

    WE MUST LEARN TO LIVE WITH OTHERS OR QUIT? We Americans in particular and Westerners in general should used to live with others respecting their culture, religion, languages, dress codes, civility, way of life and democracy and freedom or if that is too much for our values and ethos; we must leave their lands and allow them to live the way they would like to live. King Bush-Cheney tried to impose our values and codes on others, we were hated everywhere in the world, invited 9/11 and then two wars which has cost more than trillion dollar and many hundred thousands human beings, mostly innocents have lost their lives and the WAR on Terrorism became a daily affair making us to fear for everything and everywhere we go. Forget about Romney and his team, Obama must continue his level best to stop this race of madness and killings games and try to change America and Americans.

    September 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
    • Amrican786


      I wish and pray there are more people like you, to make this world more rational, and peaceful. Unfortunatley, the knee jerk reaction, and hate mongers recently are having a field day.Thank you and May God bless you.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • Joseph Von Babelsberg

      You are delusional, the man who made the video that caused this havoc, is an Egyptian, living peacefully in the USA, once a free country. Your view is so narrow that you cannot understand that the fanatic Muslims don't want you to respect them, they want you to comply with their vision. The clash is unavoidable.
      Obama and his appeasement doctrine paradoxically enough, will only create more problems.

      September 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • LTP

      You've got to be kidding me. Are you SO late to the party and naive that you don't understand what's actually happening here? Go to college. Or, better, just read the NYT, WSJ. ChicagoSun, LA Times, The Boston Globe, La Monde, International Hearald Tribune, The London Times, etc. Oblah-blah-ma is DELIGHTED this happened. His actions, policies, ex/un-expressed beliefs demonstrate this and so will his handling of this tragey – which at any other time/Presidency would be treated as an act/invitation to war.He's not rattled or upset by this. Rather, its all going according to plan. Have a good night Commander O'Blah-ma.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  2. obuzor-bashi, n. g.

    Why will.Dog eat excrater and Goat carrying rotten teeth and smell? Will there ever be peace on earth as descendants of animals continue to make & use weapons of distuctions to exchange words. God help us all.

    September 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply

    No, there will not be peace on earth because men don't want it and Christ will not bring it. Us humans are not programmed to have compassion, kindness or love. These are things that some enlightened persons over the ages have tried to teach us but we just don't get it. We don't want it. Its too hard. We would have to have an internal evolution of our genes for this to happen. Look at the universe; it is very violent. Sorry it isn't in the cards and there is no God, nor Jesus.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Reply
    • Sara

      That's funny Janet Burr. You will be crying out for God's loving mercy one day & you will see for yourself. This is very real & people like you are to arrogant to even attempt to understand. I will pray for God to reveal himself to you.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
  4. Jerry D

    Whose brilliant idea was it to leave these diplomats and compounds unprotected? We usually have ARMED MARINES protect our diplomats in times like these? Yet ANOTHER FAILED SOCIAL EXPERIMENT by Obama and Clinton! However this EPIC FAIL has resulted in DEATH for Americans! Yet Another EPIC FAIL for Obama and company !

    September 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Reply
    • Carrie

      It will not be long at all Americans before this battle in the Middle East will be in our backyards. We have fought so hard to protect our Freedoms & have taken them all for granted. If we do not stand beside Israel we will fall. This country was founded on "GOD" & he has been taken out of everything. The time will come when Christians will no longer be able to go to church or even pray. Wake up America! Obama doesn't care about our safety @ all. He allowed the Libyan Ambassador to go unprotected, reveal our Navy Seal Team & so much more. I don't care about healthcare I care about our Nation's safety at such a major time of UNREST! & Obama has done nothing to protect that @ all. No wonder the Middle East loves him!!!

      September 13, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
  5. Right minded

    A concerted international action by all nations could perhaps bring some end to bloodshed. Every nation should do a mapping of all its people and the black sheep be kept in custody for life. A UN-led treaty is the need of the hour.

    September 13, 2012 at 12:02 am | Reply
  6. Junior

    WHY WE DON'T ATTACK RUSSIANS,CHINESE OR OTHERS.?but attack Americans.....Bcoz they go around the world poking their Pig noses into people's affairs.....get out of people's affair and lands...and u will
    Have peace.....

    September 13, 2012 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • Norman

      Try attacking the Russians or the Chinese and see what happens to your territory/country. Russia leveled Grozhny, Chechnya; China brutally suppressed ethnic Muslims with no considerations on human rights issues. Western hypocrites "follow the rules by the book" and then blame someone else when things got worse.

      September 13, 2012 at 1:48 am | Reply
  7. mohansi

    The interior minister Shariff is simply urinating in the West faces given that he brings about the resurgence ghost of Gadaffi bla bla bla when he knows very well that the unit which started the riot is the same one which started the very uprising in Bengazi a year ago and they are the same unit which secured his position in the government and they are the most powerful force in Bengazi. What's up dude !

    September 13, 2012 at 1:01 am | Reply
  8. Guest

    What were our people doing out there unprotected? We're watching our foreign policy melt-down because we're on the wrong side. It is a sad day mr ambassador because we can't support the Sunnis anymore due to their violence. Better to take our chances with lunatic iranians than rabid dog al-Qaeda types.

    September 13, 2012 at 1:30 am | Reply
  9. Indian

    Appreciation to the Libyan People who immediately said that they will bring the killers to justice. But what is happening in Egypt seems to be a slight different. How can people tear a Flag of any nation which does not defines any religion. It is a flag of a country, its people, its culture.....This is totally insane. This is the nature of Fanaticism and corruption going hand in hand.

    September 13, 2012 at 2:27 am | Reply
  10. Boom

    Gadhaffi is immortal!! he kills even in death

    September 13, 2012 at 4:09 am | Reply
  11. Doumanian

    The killers should be brought to justice and find out who are behind them.This is the worse crime can be to kill other country Embassy for a nonsense movie. Maybe Gadafi people still active

    September 13, 2012 at 5:25 am | Reply
  12. Noor Amar

    I'm an Egyptian Sunni Muslim and I condemn these barbaric acts ... I'm deeply saddened by the loss of innocent lives at the U.S. embassy. These acts DO NOT represent the great majority of Muslims. If our Prophet Mohamed (God's peace and blessings be upon him) was living among us today, he would have never approved these barbaric acts. He was a great man of peace and tolerance. The movie that was made to insult our religion and our beliefs about our beloved Prophet Mohamed (God's peace and blessings be upon him) is a disgrace. To insult others’ believes and then go into hiding is simply a coward, selfish, careless act.
    There are ignorant people on both sides that forgot that we all belong to the human race. They tend to forget that we all share the same roots. We all came from Adam and Eve and that we are all created by the same God, The God of Noah, Ibrahim, Moses, Jesus and Mohamed. May God's peace and blessings be upon all of our beloved Prophets.
    Islam teaches us: (that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and)
    to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.)

    September 13, 2012 at 8:24 am | Reply
    • No same apple

      Burning islamic words like burning all muslims.
      That is because muslims have associated their selves too much too deep within the islamic story book.
      The current life story is Different Not the same as the past prophet's One life story from primitive lives to generalize all.
      There is No same apple in this world.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
  13. Pras

    How long we keep appeasing these barbarians ! Why so much of fear ! What is wrong if the film is anti muslim ? Let them not see the movie ! Time has come to act decisively ! Surprising the way western nations bend backwards to accommodate them ! Stop giivng citizenship to these blood thirsty cannibals !
    I really urge the American youth come out and protest and kick them out !

    September 13, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
  14. Karlie

    This madness has to be stopped! This is such a horrible event & it's getting worse! Where is our President in all this? Oh yeah doing nothing I must have forgotten. Why have we not cut off aid to these countries? We give them aid just to cause an uprising & kill people.

    September 13, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
  15. Washington

    Those are the Crimes legalized by islam.
    The islamic ego always does anarchy rebellions tyrants all negative spirits from the past.
    That is the proof how Wrong islam is to be punished.

    September 13, 2012 at 11:08 am | Reply
  16. earl

    To: Ms. Christiane Amanpour

    May i present to you a way to end this present religious conflict happening around the world

    Based on the explanation of Maestro Erano Evangelista in the website:

    The current condition in the world is such that Christians are fighting against Muslims and Muslims against Christians. Now we also see that it is between Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in other countries These conflicts and suicide bombings, in some parts of the world, has resulted in ghastly sufferings. Let us also ask the Muslims who do they believe in?

    In the book of “The Noble Qur’an in the English Language,” page 994, written by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Islamic University AL-MADINA AL-MUNAWARRA.

    Descent of Jesus, son of Mary:
    "I wish to remind the reader here that Jesus, son of Mary will be returning to this world before the Day of Resurrection. He will return to become a leader of the Muslim nation as has been revealed in the Qur'an: (Chapter 43:61-64)… and as narrated by Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger said: "By Him (Allah) in whose Hands my soul is, surely (Jesus) son of Mary, will shortly descend amongst you (Muslims) and will judge mankind justly by the law of the Qur'an (as a just ruler) and will break the Cross and kill the pigs and abolish the Jizya (a tax levied upon the non-Muslims who are under the protection of a Muslim government. The Jizya Tax will not be accepted by Jesus and all mankind will be required to embrace Islam with no other alternative). Then there will be abundance of money and nobody will accept charitable gifts."
    (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 3, Hadith No. 425)

    Many people, in different nations, call on Jesus and anxiously await his return, as do the Muslims. What did Jesus say in the Holy Bible (the book that Muslims also believe in) regarding
    the killings perpetuated by Muslims?

    Read in:
    "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.”
    John 16:1 (NIV)

    Maestro Evangelista says: Jesus reminded that he had before warned everyone so as not to make a mistake. What mistake?

    They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when
    anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.
    John 16:2 (NIV)

    Jesus knew that a time will come when there will be great misunderstanding among many
    people regarding his true person, his sayings and his works.

    Presently, these killings are often reported in the newspapers and radio programs; even the place and time of its actual occurrence can actually seen on cable TV, satellite television programs, and the internet!

    Why? What is the reason for the killings?

    The killers say that they do it as a service and praise for Jesus and God!

    What is the real cause that they kill other people? What did Jesus really say about it?

    They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.
    John 16: 3 (NIV)

    Jesus said: The reason for the killings between the opposing religions and nations is that they do not know the real God and the real Jesus.

    To prove it: If you would ask people how many gods are there; they will answer: there is only one God! They are united.

    When asked about His name, they will give you many names, and they will fight over it.

    It only shows that they don't really know God. This is one of the reasons for the curse and the fighting in the world.

    If one would ask about the person of Jesus, some would say that he is a “son of God”; that he is also a god (to the Christians); and to Muslims, he is the son of Mary and only a prophet; to others and other religions, a son of God, but a man also. These are the revelation and facts that show that they don't really know Jesus. That is why the killings persist up to the present.

    Question: How do we solve this problem?

    Answer: Maestro Evangelista says, to finally end the killing between the religions and peoples at present, he will reveal and introduce to the world the true God and the real Jesus through the Holy Bible. When this is done, the killings will end. When the people learn of and call upon the real name of God and true peace will finally be attained.

    May you read the website to know the real Name of God and the real Jesus in the Bible and realize how great its impact, once the truth about God and Jesus be known – in ending this religious conflict in the Middle East and in different parts of the world.

    Thank you.

    September 13, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
  17. No same apple

    Burning islamic words like burning all muslims.
    That is because muslims have associated their selves too much too deep within the islamic story book.
    Current life stories are Different Not same as the past prophet's One life story from primitive lives to generalize all.
    There is No same apple in this world.

    September 13, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
  18. Tola

    Islam is a religion of peace as proclaimed. The killing of innocent souls does nt justify that over a film made by just a set of people who are bent in causing trouble btw muslims and christians. I believe the soul that sinneth shld be punished not the innocent soul. I have nobody to blame. Obama shld just b careful with d way is romancing the middle west! Period!!

    September 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  19. Tanveer Md Masood

    secretary of state has stated in clear terms that united states had nothing to do with the making of that disgusting video which has enraged the entire globe and the arab countries at large. She has described that video as reprehensible , disgusting and intended to denigrate a great religion .
    The timing of such an incident is certainly noteworthy given the fact that the presidential election is just round the corner and Obama is to be held accountable for any US led adventure else where. Romney would certainly us this as a bait to extract political milieage and this issue would go down to the wire. There seems to be a greater and deeper design behind this video- what I make out it is a clear plot to prey two with one shot.
    According to unconfirmed sources, a person named bacile settled in united states, who described himself as an Israeli American is behind the making of that movie which has sparked violence in Arab world. Bacile is behind some major financial shenanigans in united states who is currently untraceable

    September 14, 2012 at 4:41 am | Reply
  20. Tanveer Md Masood


    September 14, 2012 at 5:02 am | Reply
  21. muhammadAnwarRao

    i m totally agree with the views of Mr Noor Amar an Egyptian Sunni Muslim

    September 16, 2012 at 7:00 am | Reply
  22. mercy

    There must be something fundamentally wrong with Islam, how can a god expect human-beings to fight, kill and destroy in order to protect his name and the name of his dead prophet from being publicly insulted? how i wished someone can convinced the Muslims that is not wort the violence on America UK and German Embassies,

    September 17, 2012 at 2:59 am | Reply
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