White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters today that the Middle East protests were in response to a video.
“These protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region… The unrest we’ve seen in the region has been in reaction to a video.”
The Muslim protests were planned back in August – before the film was ever released.
The protest in Cairo was organized by the terror group, Jamaa Islamiya.
USA Today reported:
The protest was planned by Salafists well before news circulated of an objectionable video ridiculing Islam’s prophet, Mohammed, said Eric Trager, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
The protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was announced Aug. 30 by Jamaa Islamiya, a State Department-designated terrorist group, to protest the ongoing imprisonment of its spiritual leader, Sheikh Omar abdel Rahman. He is serving a life sentence in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
When the video started circulating, Nader Bakkar, the spokesman for the Egyptian Salafist Noor party, which holds about 25% of the seats in parliament, called on people to go to the embassy. He also called on non-Islamist soccer hooligans, known as Ultras, to join the protest.
On Monday, the brother of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri, Mohamed al Zawahiri, tweeted that people should go to the embassy and “defend the prophet,” Trager said.
Zawahiri justified al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks in an interview with Al Jazeera last month.