Egypt impulsive, Libya planned
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PETER BAKER, DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK & ALAN COWELL
The Obama administration suspects that the fiery attack in Libya that killed the US ambassador and three other diplomats may have been planned rather than a spontaneous mob getting out of control, US officials said Wednesday.
Officials in Washington studying the events of the past 24 hours have focused on the differences between the protests on the American embassy in Cairo and the attack on the consulate in Benghazi, the Libyan city where Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and the other Americans were killed.
The protesters in Cairo appeared to be a genuinely spontaneous unarmed mob angered by an anti-Islam video. By contrast, it appeared the attackers in Benghazi were armed with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.
President Obama strongly condemned the killings and ordered increased security at American diplomatic posts around the world. American defence officials said 50 Marines were en route to Libya to strengthen security at US diplomatic facilities, and the State Department ordered all "nonemergency" personnel out of the country and warned Americans not to go there, suggesting that further attacks were possible.
The death of Stevens late Tuesday, the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, was the first of an US envoy abroad in more than three decades.
In line of fire
Five US ambassadors have been killed by terrorists:
Adolph Dubs, in Afghanistan, 1979
Francis E. Meloy Jr., in Lebanon, 1976
Rodger P. Davies, in Cyprus, 1974
Cleo A. Noel Jr., in Sudan, 1973
John Gordon Mein, in Guatemala, 1968
Ambassadors killed in plane crashes:
Arnold L. Raphel, in Pakistan, 1988
Laurence A. Steinhardt, in Canada, 1950
Friend of 'new Libya'
Christopher Stevens assumed his ambassador post in May after having served as an envoy to the Libyan rebels who overthrew Colonel Gaddafi. He was widely admired by the Libyan rebels for his support of their struggle, and others who knew Stevens described him as an extraordinarily talented and insightful diplomat.
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