YouTube video played no role in Benghazi attacks

An investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks on a U.S. consulate in Libya found that the controversial film "Innocence of Muslims" had no part in inciting the violence.


Chase Hoffberger


Published Dec 19, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 5:10 am CDT

An investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States consulate in Libya have determined that protests over a YouTube video played no part in the killing of four Americans, including U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

In fact, that day at least, Libya experienced no YouTube-related protests at all.

Early reports of the Sept. 11 scene in Benghazi initially suspected that the attacks on the consulate came as an extension of protests made against the production of Nakoula Basseley Youssef’s highly controversial Innocence of Muslims, a film that defamed the prophet Muhammad and carried an anti-Islamic sentiment that echoed throughout the world.

This investigation, ordered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and dug up by Mashable’s Alex Fitzpatrick, stipulates that “responsibility for the tragic loss of life, injuries, and damage to US facilities and property rests solely and completely with the terrorists who perpetrated the attacks.

“There was no protest prior to the attacks, which were unanticipated in their scale and intensity.”

Innocence of Muslims was one of the biggest stories on YouTube in 2012, a controversial film that sparked riots in Egypt and Pakistan and led to the video sharing site being blocked throughout the Middle East, Russia, Indian, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Though the film remains on the site, an Egyptian accomplice to the director was imprisoned for three years for his involvement in its uploading.

Photo via RussiaToday/YouTube

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*First Published: Dec 19, 2012, 3:11 pm CST