Discuss as:

Libyan president tells NBC: 'Foreigners' involved in US Consulate attack

NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin spoke to Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf about the search for the group that killed four Americans in Benghazi.

Libyans and "foreigners" carried out the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf told NBC News on Saturday.

Magariaf's interview with NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin was the first time any Libyan official has said foreigners were involved in the planning and execution of the Tuesday night attack that took the lives of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others.

"We have assumptions and we have some information, and all that information we have now leads to the same direction about the perpetrators, the criminals," Magariaf told NBC in the interview aired on "Nightly News" Saturday.

Foreigners were involved in the planning and execution of the attack, he said.

Magariaf did not identify where the foreigners came from but said he was sharing details with U.S. officials.

Many people reportedly have exploited Libya's security vacuum and loopholes, Libyans have told NBC.

The violent protests in response to an anti-Islamic film have been spreading across the Middle East and the North Africa region, with attention focused on U.S. embassies and offices. NBC News' Jim Maceda reports.

Magariaf also added that Libyan authorities have suspects in custody.


Earlier Saturday, a security official told Reuters that Libyan authorities identified 50 people involved in the attack.

"We have names and we know who they are, but there could be more," said Abdel-Monem Al-Hurr, spokesman for Libya's Supreme Security Committee.

"Four have been arrested. Some of the others may have escaped via Benghazi airport, maybe to Egypt, but this not confirmed," Al-Hurr said. "We have given their names to all of the Libyan border entry points."

This article also includes reporting by Reuters.

NBC's Mike Taibbi has more on three men suspected of producing an anti-Islam film that is sparking outrage around the globe.

Stay informed with the latest headlines; sign up for our newsletter 

More world stories from NBC News:

Follow World News from NBCNews.com on Twitter and Facebook