President Barack Obama on Wednesday condemned the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three consulate employees in Benghazi and ordered increased security at U.S. diplomatic missions across the globe.
"I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens," Obama said in a statement.
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed after the diplomatic facility in Beghazi was attacked by an armed mob angry over a U.S.-produced film that is said to be insulting to Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
Stevens had been paying a brief visit to the city, which was the stronghold of resistance against the rule of late former leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed by rebel militia in October last year.
Obama also said he had ordered "all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe" and praised the late ambassador as “a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also issued a statement, saying that the attack victims were "committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future."
Libyan leader Mohammed Magarief apologized for the attack on the consulate.
"We apologize to the United States, the people and to the whole world for what happened," Magarief said at a live press conference on the Al Jazeera television network.
Protesters also attacked the U.S. consulate in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Tuesday.
The incidents occurred on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
The video that triggered the attacks, Innocence of Muslims, has been actively promoted by a Florida pastor, Terry Jones, who gained notoriety for threatening to burn and then burning a Koran that set off riots in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011, the New York Times reported.
Jones has proclaimed September 11 to be “International Judge Muhammad Day.”
A statement on his website said the video “is an American production, not designed to attack Muslims but to show the destructive ideology of Islam. The movie further reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad.”
Sam Bacile, a real estate developer in California who has called Islam a “cancer,” said he financed production of the video with $5 million provided by Jewish donors, the Wall Street Journal said.