U.S. Embassy in Beirut Destroys Classified Documents, Prepares for Protests
September 18, 2012
Diplomats are under orders to destroy classified documents at the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, according to a State Department status report made public on Monday.
The move signals that the State Department is concerned that protesters will breach security at the embassy in Lebanon like they did in Libya where diplomat Chris Stevens and other embassy staff were killed.
The State Department has “reviewed its emergency procedures and is beginning to destroy classified holdings,” the report explains. It also notes that the embassy has sent home Lebanese employees in response to protests staged by Hezbollah over an anti-Muslim video purportedly produced by a neocon network in the United States.
On Monday, tens of thousands of people filled the streets of Beirut after Hezbollah announced a protest against the video mocking the Prophet Mohammad. “The world should know our anger will not be a passing outburst but that this is the start of a serious movement that will continue all over the Muslim world to defend the prophet of God,” Hasan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, told the crowd.