Ambassador Chris Stevens was still
breathing when Libyans stumbled across him inside a room in the American
Consulate in Benghazi, cheering, "Alive, alive" and "God is great" when
they discovered he was still breathing and then trying to rescue him
after last week's deadly attack in the eastern Libyan city, witnesses
told The Associated Press on Monday.
al-Bakoush, a freelance videographer, was among the Libyan civilians
roaming freely through the consulate after gunmen and protesters
rampaged through it last Tuesday night. Al-Bakoush said he heard someone
call out that he had tripped over a dead body.
group of people gathered as several men pulled the seemingly lifeless
form from the room. They saw he was alive and a foreigner, though no one
knew who he was, al-Bakoush said.
breathing and his eyelids flickered, he said. "He was alive," he said.
"No doubt. His face was blackened and he was like a paralyzed person."
taken by al-Bakoush and posted on YouTube shows Stevens being carried
out of a dark room through a window with a raised shutter by a crowd of
men. "The man is alive. Move out of the way," others shout. "Just bring
him out, man."
"Move, move, he is still alive!"
"Alive, Alive! God is great," the crowd erupts, while someone calls to take Stevens to a car.
The next scene shows Stevens lying on a tile floor, with one man touching his neck to check his pulse.
video has been authenticated since Stevens' face is clearly visible and
he is wearing the same white t-shirt seen in authenticated photos of
him being carried away on another man's shoulders, presumably moments
later. Two colleagues of al Bakoush who also witnessed the scene
confirmed that he took the footage.
and three other Americans were killed in the attack on the consulate,
part of a wave of assaults on U.S. diplomatic missions in Muslim
countries over a low-budget movie made in the United States that
denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.
of all three witnesses mesh with that of the doctor who treated Stevens
that night. Last week, the doctor told The Associated Press that Stevens
was nearly lifeless when he was brought by Libyans, with no other
Americans around, to the Benghazi hospital where he worked. He said
Stevens had severe asphyxia from the smoke and that he tried to
resuscitate him with no success. Only later did security officials
confirm it was Stevens.
photographer who was with al-Bakoush at the scene, Abdel-Qader Fadl,
said Stevens was unconscious and "maybe moved his head, but only once."
Shams, a 22-year-old arts student who works with the two, said the
group cried out "God is great" in celebration after discovering he
wasn't dead. "We were happy to see him alive. The youth tried to rescue
him. But there was no security, no ambulances, nothing to help," he
The men carried Stevens to a private car to drive him to the hospital since there was no ambulance, all three witnesses said.