Qaeda seen behind US envoy killing: Libya assembly chief

The head of Libya's national assembly on Friday blamed Al-Qaeda for an attack on the US consulate in the city of Benghazi that killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Mohammed al-Megaryef laid a bouquet of flowers in front of the consulate where Stevens died on Tuesday when suspected Islamic militants fired on the compound with rocket-propelled grenades and set it ablaze.

Visibly moved, the General National Congress president said he regretted the loss of "a friend of Libyans who rendered laudable services to Libya."

Surrounded by heavy security, Megaryef was accompanied by Libya's military chief of staff Yussef al-Mangush.

US officials are investigating the possibility that the assault was an Al-Qaeda-linked plot using a protest against an anti-Islam film as cover to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Megaryef pointed a finger at the militant group.

"The film was made six months ago. How can you explain that this incident coincided with September 11. We mustn't lie to ourselves," he told AFP, without naming Al-Qaeda.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Megaryef had blamed the attack on both Al-Qaeda elements and remnants of Moamer Kadhafi's regime which was toppled last year in a brutal conflict.

Later on Friday, several dozen radical Islamists staged a protest against the anti-Islam film, carrying placards and shouting slogans.

"Obama, Obama, we are all Osama," an AFP reporter said they chanted of US president Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda founder killed by US special forces in Pakistan last year.

Veiled women were among the protesters outside the city's Tibesti Hotel, where the international press corps has gathered following the attack that killed Stevens.

  • Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day 11 hours ago
    Look, don't touch: Flickr photo of the day

    If there's one car that's particularly sought-after among today's well-heeled car collectors, a Ferrari 250 would be it. Usually it's the GTO variant, like the 1963 that sold for a record $52 million last year. A 250 of any sorts demands unfathomable cash, however, which is why we can but gawk at this 250 Testa Rossa. It's as close as any mere mortal will ever come to owning one.

  • Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners 12 hours ago
    Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners

    Buyers of Ferraris or Jaguars are used to perks from manufacturers – including racetrack lessons to help master their exotic machines. But for enthusiasts on a tighter budget, the Ford ST Octane Academy might be the sweetest deal in motoring: Buy a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST hatchback, and the reward is a free day of training at one of America’s longest, most-lavish road courses.

  • Why you can't buy America's greenest car 15 hours ago
    Why you can't buy America's greenest car

    Ask me or any auto expert what's the fastest car you can buy for any given amount, and we could easily cough up several options. Same for most luxurious, or off-roadable, or any other measurement. Yet there's one type of question that's far harder to answer: What's the greenest, most environmentally friendly car you can buy today?

  • Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia
    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Armed pirates boarded a Singapore-managed oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The attack occurred early Tuesday off Malaysia's west coast, said Noel Choong, head of IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. The diesel oil tanker was believed to be en route to Myanmar. "IMB is aware of the attack on the Singapore-managed ship in the Malacca Straits.

  • David Moyes statement after Man United firing
    David Moyes statement after Man United firing

    Statement released by David Moyes on Wednesday, a day after Manchester United announced he left as manager after less than a season in charge.

  • Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake
    Indonesian general says his flashy watch is a fake

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's military commander said critics who called him out for wearing an especially luxurious watch should be quiet because the timepiece is actually a cheap Chinese fake.