The deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya may have been a planned operation and not a spontaneous protest that turned violent, U.S. officials told the New York Times and CNN on Wednesday. Initial reports suggested that protesters in Benghazi, Libya, were angry about an online video that mocked the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, and then attacked the consulate, killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other foreign service workers. But now, according to the New York Times, officials suspect that “an organized group had either been waiting for an opportunity to exploit like the protests over the video or perhaps even generated the protests as a cover for their attack.” U.S. sources told CNN that they don’t think Stevens was a specific target of the attack.
U.S. officials also told the New York Times that they still believe the protest in Cairo, where rioters scaled the U.S. Embassy’s walls and destroyed the American flag, was an unorganized mob angry over the video.