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Defense / National Security

Global Muslim Protests Spread

Libyan followers of Ansar al-Shariah Brigades burn the U.S. flag during a protest in front of the Tibesti Hotel, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Around 150 members of Ansar al-Shariah Brigades chanted "Obama, Obama, we are all Osama."(AP Photo / Mohammad Hannon)

photo of Matt  Berman
September 15, 2012

Muslim protests around the world that began on Tuesday against an anti-Muslim film have continued into the weekend. The protests, which came to dominate the U.S. presidential campaign this week when U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was killed, have been largely focused on the embassies of the United States and those of its allies in the Middle East. 

The protests spread far from the Middle East on Saturday, when riot police were brought in to quell unrest at the U.S. Consulate in Sydney, Australia. That clash with roughly 200 protesters was the only reported protest-related violence of the day.

The U.S. also sought to increase security at its embassy in Khartoum, Sudan Saturday by sending in a platoon of Marines, but was rebuffed by the Sudanese government. Sudan's foreign minister said that Sudan would be "able to protect the diplomatic missions in Khartoum and the state is committed to protecting its guests in the diplomatic corps."

 

Also on Saturday, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula -- al-Qaida's Yemen branch -- released a statement calling for more attacks on U.S. embassies in Muslim nations. The group hailed the attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya, which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three others, as a model for attackers to follow. The group also claimed that the violence in Libya was prompted by the killing of Abu Yahya al-Libi, then al-Qaida's second in command, in a U.S. drone strike earlier this year. There has so far been no evidence that al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has played a direct role in the Middle East protests.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a filmmaker linked to the anti-Muslim movie, was interviewed by federal officers Saturday but was not detained or arrested.

You can follow along with the weekend's developments here.

FROM NATIONAL JOURNAL:

Major Garrett: Mitt Romney's Situational Awareness

Pictures: Muslim Protests Around the World

The Crisis at Home: Who's Getting it Right?

Interactive: A Map of the Protests

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