John Stevens testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his nomination to be ambassador to Libya March 20, 2012 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Ambassador 'loved Libya so much' (2012)
02:18 - Source: CNN

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NEW: Two U.S. Navy warships are moving toward the Libyan coast, U.S. officials say

United States boosts security after killing of ambassador to Libya

Marines head to Libya to help secure U.S. interests there

Not possible to eliminate all risk surrounding diplomacy, former envoy says

CNN  — 

The United States moved to increase embassy security around the world after the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three staffers.

“I have directed my administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe,” President Barack Obama said in a statement issued Wednesday morning in response to the attack.

The United States deployed a group of Marines called a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team to Libya to help secure U.S. facilities, two U.S. officials said Wednesday. Such units are specially trained to retake or guard diplomatic installations and other U.S. facilities in troubled regions.

About 50 Marines were headed to Tripoli and could deploy elsewhere in Libya after their arrival, U.S. officials said.

Six things to know about the attack

Other U.S. troops and units abroad have been notified they could be ordered to move to embassy installations around the world to provide additional security, a senior U.S. military official said.

The official added that the Pentagon is involved in intensive discussions with the State Department and White House on how to implement Obama’s order to step up diplomatic security.

“We are looking at the requirements, what we need and identifying what assets could have to move,” the official said, adding that could include troops, aircraft, ships and other equipment if needed.

Two U.S. Navy warships were moving toward the Libyan coast Wednesday, two U.S. officials said. Both are equipped with Tomahawk missiles that could be used if a strike was ordered, which “will give the administration flexibility” if action is ordered against targets in the country, a senior official said.

The moves come a day after the attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens amid protests at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Heavily armed protesters assaulted the consulate, said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Demonstrators also attacked the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday. Protesters in both countries were apparently angry about an online film considered offensive to Islam.

On Wednesday, the State Department urged Americans to avoid the area around the embassy in Kharthoum, Sudan, due to “anti-U.S. protests outside.” There was no immediate word of violence.

“There’s a lot of skittish people at the State Department right now,” CNN foreign affairs reporter Elise Labott said.

Protesters attack U.S. diplomatic compounds in Egypt, Libya

It is unclear whether Stevens’ death resulted from the broader anti-American protests or a separate, local plot against the ambassador, for