Doubts over consulate attackers in Libya

(CBS News) There are diverging views on who is responsible for the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last week that killed four, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.

In the five days since Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in Libya, violent protests against the U.S. have reached more than 50 cities.

Clashes with security forces outside the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday left at least one protester dead and 8 others injured.

Over the weekend, the U.S. was busy evacuating non-essential personnel from Sudan and Tunisia, urging American citizens to get out.

On Sunday on "Face the Nation," Libyan President Mohamed El-Magariaf said he believes the last week's deadly attack in Benghazi was premeditated.

"The way these perpetrators acted, and moved -- I think we, and they're choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, I think we have no...this leaves us with no doubt that this was pre-planned, determined...pre-determined," El-Magariaf said.

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But U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice disagreed, saying that it was a spontaneous protest, hijacked by well-armed extremists.

"I think it's clear there were extremist elements that joined and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libya-based extremists or al Qaeda itself I think is one of the things we'll have to determine," Rice said.

The administration has been reluctant to provide details about the ongoing investigation, but it has beefed up security at U.S. missions, including 50 Marines at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen.

But the continuing violence has opened up a new line of criticism against President Obama.

Some Republicans blamed the administration for lack of leadership in the region. Senator John McCain called the White House "disengaged."

"We're leaving Iraq. We're leaving Afghanistan. We're leaving the area. The people in the area are having to adjust and they believe the United States is weak and they are taking appropriate action," McCain said.

As the Obama administration tries to contain the damage, the White House has asked Google -- the YouTube parent company -- to review the anti-Muslim film that sparked initial protests in Egypt and Libya. Google temporarily blocked the video in those two countries, but says the film does not violate its terms of use and it will remain online.

  • Anna Werner

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