KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Two U.S. Navy guided missile destroyers are heading to the coast of Libya after the attack of an American consulate.
The attack at the Libyan consulate left at least four U.S. citizens dead, including the American ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.
That attack followed a protest at the U.S. embassy in Cairo.
Both incidents have been linked to reactions to an anti-Muslim film made in the United States.
A Knoxville resident with Egyptian ties said he was shocked to hear the news Wednesday morning.
"I couldn't believe it, an ambassador," Mohammed Saleh said. "Usually you hear of people on the street dying, some random citizens."
Saleh moved to Knoxville from Egypt a month ago. He is one of the University of Tennessee's many international students who had to spend a significant amount of time at a busy, high security U.S. consulate to get here.
"Let's say the embassy opens at 9 a.m. You have to get there at 6 a.m. to get a seat," Saleh explained. "Anytime after that, the line is too long."
To him, an attack that killed an ambassador is unimaginable.
"And all because some people got mad at a video? Big deal," Saleh said. "People are entitled to an opinion, (and) they can make any video they want."
Saleh referenced talking about a low-budget, anti-Islamic movie that could have triggered the attack. The movie makes fun of Prophet Muhammad.
A representative of Knoxville's Muslim community said the movie's central theme may not have been an intelligent choice.
"The video is foolish and unwise," Nadeem Siddiqi said.
Saleh hopes that as a new Muslim migrant, the attack will not create more of negative Islamic stereotypes in a post-9/11 world.
"Most people see the bad stuff on the news. It makes it harder for the rest of us to say we're not like that. We're regular people," Saleh said.