US didn't issue high alert about Mideast unrest threat

By REUTERS
September 14, 2012 03:00

 
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WASHINGTON - Although US authorities believe anti-American violence that erupted on Tuesday in Libya and Egypt was triggered by an Arabic talk-show broadcast three days earlier, US officials said high-alert warnings were not issued to American outposts in the region about the possibility of unrest.

An Egyptian TV network, al-Nas, broadcast on Saturday what its presenters described as extracts from an English-language film denigrating the Prophet Mohammad, which it said had been uploaded on the YouTube website by "migrant Coptics," a reference to exiled members of a Christian sect with a large minority presence among Egypt's Muslim majority.

The clips broadcast on al-Nas were taken from a short film called "Innocence of Muslims," which portrays the Prophet, played by what appears to be a young American actor, as a womanizer, thug and child molester.

While US government officials were aware of the film's inflammatory content, three officials said the broadcasts did not prompt strong warnings from intelligence agencies or the State Department of possible threats to US diplomatic missions in the Islamic world.

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