To many, the ferocity of the incident came as little surprise.
They blamed rising extremism, lawlessness and uncontrollable militias for the worsening security situation in Libya, almost one year after the downfall of Col Muammar Gaddafi.
On Tuesday, eight Libyans and four Americans were killed in the attack, including the US ambassador to Libya, J Christopher Stevens.
The attack was apparently provoked by a film that mocked the Prophet Muhammad and was allegedly produced in the US and excerpted on YouTube with dubbing in Arabic.
The circumstances surrounding the attack are not clear but it is believed that it was carried out by extremists.
They have armed groups here in Libya and they are trying to impose the law of the jungle on the overwhelming majority of moderate Libyans. We are the true voice of Islam.” “The radicals are sweeping in the elections not only in Libya but in the so-called Arab Spring countries,” fumed Essam al-Firjani, a 56-year-old civil servant.
Mohammed Alwarfili, a 35-year-old Arabic teacher, said he saw the trailer of the controversial movie and was “deeply offended, but there is not excuse to kill innocent lives. All Libyans really feel for the family of the ambassador of a country that helped liberate us from a dictator like Muammar Gaddafi,” Mr Alwarfili said.
Supporters of radical groups in Benghazi, such as Ansar al-Sharia, have taken part in the protests outside the consulate but distanced themselves from the attack.
Ansar al-Sharia and other radical groups adopt a strict interpretation of Islam. More recently, they desecrated Sufi Muslim shrines and World War II graves.
Read More: BBC