State Department leaders are concerned riots could occur at U.S. embassies in the Middle East after President Trump re-tweeted videos of Muslims engaging in acts of violence.
A White House official validated to CNN that they were contacted by the State Department about the possibility of riots at U.S. embassies in the Middle East.
In September 2012. mass protests erupted following the release of the Innocence of Muslim trailer, a movie that depicted Prophet Muhammed in an unfavorable light, the Guardian reported.
Rioters in Cairo climbed the walls of the U.S. embassy and replaced the U.S. flag with a black flag, which was later adopted by ISIS, before setting the U.S. flag on fire.
“Say it, don’t fear: their ambassador must leave,” the crowd chanted.
According to State Department officials, embassies have been on high alert all day but no incident have been reported yet.
“It didn’t manifest in anything actionable, but it was a big concern,” said a State Department official. “We saw in Cairo and other places that simply posting something on the internet, even if nothing was intended by it, could have real consequences.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders defended the President’s decision to re-tweet the videos, saying the President was highlighting a real “threat.”
“Whether it is a real video, the threat is real,” Sanders said in a press conference the next day. “That is what the President is talking about, that is what the President is focused on is dealing with those real threats, and those are real, no matter how you look at it.”
MPs in Britain have called on Prime Minister Theresa May to cancel President Trump’s state visit, with one Labour MP calling Trump “either racist, incompetent, unthinking or all three.” Despite mounting pressure, May has refused to cave and said a date is to be set.
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