Libyan officials have arrested four people in connection with the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, the CNN reported on Friday.
Monem Elyasser, the chief aide to Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur told the news agency that the arrested suspects were not directly involved in the ghastly attack on the US consulate that claimed the lives of the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomats.
Elyasser had earlier revealed in an interview that one arrest was made on Thursday and had explained three or four other suspects were still being pursued.
The deadly attacks in Libya followed protests in Cairo where mobs attacked the US embassy, outraged over the release of an American film that ridicules Islam and portray the Prophet Mohammed as a child molester, womanizer and ruthless killer.
Google Inc. has since blocked access to the film in both Egypt and Libya, but the video was reportedly left up on YouTube, according to the New York Times. Another report revealed that YouTube has also restricted viewing of the anti-Islam film.
United States officials are still trying to determine if the attack was a fallout of the outrage over the anti-Islamic film that sparked protests in Egypt or a planned attack on the US consulate in Libya.
They believe attackers used the protest as a diversion, CNN reported.
“I think the degree to which we’re able to update this information or deepen it, it’s going to be in the context of beginning to interview our employees who are coming out and beginning to participate in the investigation that the Libyans are doing,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Thursday.
A U.S. intelligence official speaking on the basis of anonymity told the CNN that it is unlikely that al Qaeda in Libya is behind the attack.
While some U.S. officials have said they see no signs indicating that this was a planned attack, State Department Under secretary Patrick Kennedy told the CNN that the extensive damage and “proliferation” of small and medium weapons at the scene suggest otherwise.
The US has further denied allegations that they had received intelligence about a possible Benghazi attack 48 hours prior to the actual incident. The United States is deploying warships and surveillance drones in its hunt for the killers of the diplomatic staffers, and a contingent of 50 Marines has arrived to boost the security of Americans in the country, CNN reported.