NEW YORK, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Libyan President Mohamed Magarief said Wednesday the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was pre-planned, not a reaction to an anti-Muslim film.
Speaking on the NBC "Today" show, Magarief discounted claims the movie, produced in California and available in part on YouTube, provoked the burning of the consulate on Sept. 11, saying the film had "nothing to do with" the attack.
Reaction to the film "Innocence of Muslims" has provoked anti-American demonstrations throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
He noted the film was available months before the attack, saying, "Reaction should have been, if it was genuine, should have been six months earlier. So it was postponed until the 11th of September. They chose the date to carry a certain message."
Magarief called the assault "a pre-planned act of terrorism," and said he believes the attackers had training and experience using rocket-powered grenades and mortars, adding that although 40 people have been questioned, no mastermind has been arrested.