In the wake of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., says Americans need to understand the complexities of the political situation in the north African country.
On NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Ellison said the people who attacked the embassy and killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans are do not represent the Libyan people as a whole.
Ellison says after the attack some Libyans held up signs apologizing for it.
"The so-called Arab street is not one monolithic thing," Ellison said. "And we need to understand that everybody's not on the same side. You have some radicals who want to push back, some extremists who want to exploit the situation, and you have people who want a democratic society."
Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, says several Libyan security personnel were killed in the attack.
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., says the attack was not premeditated.
But President Mohammed el-Megarif of Libya says al-Qaida planned the attack and used Libyans to carry it out.