Pentagon: Arrest of Benghazi suspect not the end

2014-06-17 21:44
A vehicle sits smouldering in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi. (AFP, File)

A vehicle sits smouldering in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi. (AFP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A Libyan militant suspected in the deadly 11 September 2012, attack on Americans in Benghazi has been captured and is in US custody, marking the first US apprehension of an alleged perpetrator in the assault that killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Obama administration officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala, a senior leader of the Benghazi branch of the terror group Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, will be tried in a US court. He was captured by US forces on Sunday and is being held in an undisclosed location outside of Libya, according to the Pentagon press secretary, Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the capture makes clear that the US is fulfilling its pledge to bring to justice those responsible.

"The capture of Abu Khattala is not the end of that effort but it marks an important milestone," Carney said.

Stevens was the first US ambassador to be killed in the line of duty in more than 30 years.

Last year, the US filed charges against Khattala and a number of others in a sealed complaint filed in US District Court in Washington. However, until now, no one had been arrested in the attack in which a group of militants set fire to the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

The Obama administration has come under intense criticism from opposition Republicans for being unable to apprehend those responsible for the attack.

According to a US official, the operation that captured Abu Khattala was planned over a long period of time and executed by US special operations forces. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorised to disclose sensitive details by name, said the operation was conducted in conjunction with the FBI.

Politicising a tragedy

In the immediate aftermath of the stunning attack, political reaction formed along partisan lines that hold fast to this day.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and others said President Barack Obama had emboldened Islamic extremists by being weak against terrorism. But the public still credited Obama with the successful strike against al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden a few months earlier in Pakistan.

The accusation that took hold was a Republican charge that the White House intentionally misled voters by portraying the Benghazi assault as one of the many protests over an anti-Muslim video made in America, instead of a calculated terrorist attack under his watch.

Obama accused the Republicans of politicising a national tragedy. He insists that the narrative about the video protests was the best information available at the time.

After 13 public hearings, the release of 25 000 pages of documents and 50 separate briefings over the past year and a half, the arguments are the same.


- AP

Read more on:    ahmed abu khattala  |  barack obama  |  libya  |  us  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Bellville - 09:23 AM
    Road name: Voortrekker Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bill Bezuidenhout Avenue
  • Friday Parow - 09:17 AM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    HEAVY DELAYS between Plattekloof Road and the M5 Koeberg Interchange
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.