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Published on Sep 12, 2012
For the first time in more than 30 years, a U.S. Ambassador has been killed in the line of duty. The American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, along with Foreign Officer Sean Smith and two marines were killed when a group of men stormed the consulate in Benghazi with AK-47s, RPGs and grenades.
Stevens had been a key American on the ground during the liberation of Libya last year. It is unknown whether the attack was premeditated and planned to coincide with the anniversary of September 11, or if it was the result of outrage over the poorly made trailer for the film "Innocence of Muslims" that was extremely disrespectful to the prophet Muhammad. Images of Muhammad have sparked a number of controversies in the past. It is still uncertain at this time who the filmmakers are. This incident shows how double-edged the sword of social media and the internet can be: while facebook and online video were largely responsible for the Arab Spring uprising that led to the fall of Gaddafi, it is also probably how the offending video at the center of this controversy was discovered and spread. There have been indications in recent months that radical, armed Islamic groups have gained a foothold in Libya since the fall of the Qaddafi regime. One of the groups to emerge in post-revolution Libya, Ansar al-Sharia, claimed responsibility for the attack. President Obama vowed to bring those responsible for the attack to justice.