U.S. nabs suspect in Benghazi attack

One of the suspected ringleaders of the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi was captured by U.S. Special Operations forces in a secret weekend raid in Libya, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.

The suspect, who is being held in a secure location outside Libya, was identified as Ahmed Abu Khattala, a senior leader of the Benghazi branch of the terror group Ansar al-Sharia in Libya.

The operation marks the first apprehension of a suspected leader of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, that claimed the lives of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

There were no civilian casualties related to this operation and all U.S. personnel involved have safely departed Libya, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

Officials said Khattala will be tried in U.S. court, the Associated Press reports. Last year, the U.S. filed charges against Khattala and a number of others in a sealed complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.

The operation was first reported Tuesday by Fox News and The Washington Post.

U.S. officials tell the Post that Khattala was captured near Benghazi by American troops, working alongside the FBI, following months of planning.

Khattala has operated freely in Benghazi in the months following the attack, and has even given lengthy interviews with foreign journalists, including a reporter for The New York Times.

The Post reported in December that attempts to capture Khattala, as well as about a dozen other people who have been secretly charged in the attack, had stalled.


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