Updated: Wednesday, 12 Sep 2012, 6:20 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 12 Sep 2012, 4:47 PM EDT
DANBURY, Conn. (WTNH) -- A local professor who ran away from his homeland of Libya shared his perspective on the attacks there.
Doctor Abubaker Saad took part in a failed coup attempt that took hundreds of lives. He was only one of a few fighters who escaped.
His first reaction was sadness. Dr. Saad, a Western Connecticut State University professor, knows what it was like to live under the dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi. In fact, he was Gaddafi's personal translator. He tells News 8 the attack and the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens is heartbreaking, but he doesn't believe the attack will make things worse in Libya.
For the last day, Dr. Saad hasn't stopped looking at the latest news in the Arab world.
"He was one of the behind the scene advisers to them and he was well liked in Libya," said Dr. Saad.
So, what drove an Islamic extremist group to kill that adviser: U.S. Ambassador Stevens?
"Ambassador Stevens was actually there at the wrong time," said Dr. Saad.
His office is in Tripoli, not Benghazzi where about 20 protestors were firing gunshots and rocket propelled grenades in reaction to a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
Dr. Saad says Egyptians were the first to react to the film, which is what he first read on the internet.
"It wasn't produced yesterday," Dr. Saad said. "It was actually on the internet for more than a year."
He says the attack wasn't really a hatred of the U.S., it was a reaction to the film.
"That reaction took place by the extremists," said Dr. Saad. "The people of Libya wanted to have a good relationship with the U.S."
Dr. Saad says he's sad about the tragic event. He's started to see Libyan and American people connect since they got rid of Gaddafi, but he doesn't see the attack as a huge setback for Libya because it's still in a transition phase towards democracy.
"The central government in Libya still doesn't have control over these various militia's who fought Gaddafi and brought him down," Dr. Saad said. " We did take a couple of steps forward, unfortunately this is going to be a half a step back for a while."
Dr. Saad says his anxiety is not so much in Libya, but whether this film will have a negative reaction all across the Muslim world. He says Tunisia and Algeria are already prepared for attacks on the U.S. Embassy.
Saad says he has not watched the film and will not.