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The controversial film that Islamists in Egypt and Libya sited as the reason for their violet attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions yesterday was most likely a hoax. In addition, reports are emerging that the attacks were pre-planned to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11 as opposed to a spontaneous reaction to the release of the film’s trailer on YouTube.
The U.S. ambassador to Libya, along with three other Americans, was killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. In Cairo, the wall surrounding the U.S. embassy was breached, its American flag torn down and the black flag of Islamic jihad raised in its place, as thousand participated in the attack.
CNN quotes a former top member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group Noman Benotman, currently with the Quilliam Foundation in London, as saying, "An attack like this would likely have required preparation. This would not seem to be merely a protest which escalated. "According to our sources, the attack against the consulate had two waves. The first attack led to U.S. officials being evacuated from the consulate by Libyan security forces, only for the second wave to be launched against U.S. officials after they were kept in a secure location." Benotman said. He also said that the group claiming responsibility for the attack, the Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades “prepared for a military assault; it is rare that an RPG7 [Rocket-Propelled Grenade] is present at a peaceful protest."