Made by Israeli-born director Sam Bacile, who has described Islam as a "cancer" and has since gone into hiding, "Innocence of Islam" takes aim at the Prophet Muhammed, a religious icon whose perceived mistreatment has led to previous killings by enraged followers. In 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed by an Islamic militant after he made "Submission," a film that criticized the religion's treatment of women.
When a trailer for the low-budget "Innocence" aired on Egyptian TV Tuesday, it sparked riots in Egypt and Libya, including at the U.S. embassy. The murders prompted public statements from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama, who strongly condemned the attacks.
"On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States," said the president. "Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss."