- The Washington Times - Friday, September 14, 2012

The Pentagon is deploying 50 Marines to secure the U.S. Embassy in Yemen after protesters tried to breach the facility on Thursday, a Pentagon spokesman said Friday.

It is the second deployment of the Marines’ Fleet Anti-terrorist Security Team (FAST) sent to the Arab world this week iin response to anti-U.S. protests.

“The FAST platoon is now on the ground in Sanaa. It is partly in response to events over the past two days at our embassy in Yemen, and it’s also in part a precautionary measure,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

A FAST platoon was deployed Wednesday to protect the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, after the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed during a riotous protest at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi late Tuesday.

Protesters also breached the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The Marines are being deployed from European outposts, Mr. Little said.

The protests are believed to have been sparked by Muslim outrage over a U.S.-produced film that denigrates Islam’s Prophet Mohammed.

But U.S. and Libyan authorities are investigating whether the fatal attack on the consulate was planned by militants.

U.S. officials are on watch for other signs of violent protest at other installations around the world, after an anti-Islam video reportedly produced by a U.S. citizen surfaced online.

“There have been ongoing protests at our embassy in Cairo,” Mr. Little said. “The situation hasn’t to this point necessitated a change in security posture. Naturally we stand ready to support our State Department colleagues if a request for additional military support comes through.”

Mr. Little said he consulted with colleagues in Afghanistan Friday.

“We are aware of peaceful protests in Afghanistan. We’re gratified based on what we know now that religious leaders have appealed for non-violent protests if protests are going to happen. So for the moment, we have not seen an outburst of violence against our diplomatic installations or military bases in Afghanistan,” he said.