Terrorism

Claimed leader in Benghazi slaying of US ambassador is captured, will be tried here


In a secret raid over the weekend, the U.S. captured a suspected leader of the fatal Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy compound in Benghazi in which the American ambassador to Libya was slain.

Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured Sunday near Benghazi by U.S. Special Operations forces and is being held “in a secure location outside Libya,” reports the Washington Post (reg. req.). No one was killed during the raid.

The suspect, whose last name is spelled as Khattalah on a charging document but without the final letter in news reports, will be tried in U.S. court, Obama administration officials told the Associated Press. He was charged last year with three offenses in a recently unsealed federal criminal complaint (PDF) in the District of Columbia.

The charges against Khattala are: Killing a person in the course of an attack on a federal facility Involving the use of a firearm and dangerous weapon and attempting and conspiring to do the same; providing, attempting and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists resulting in death; and discharging, brandishing, using, carrying and possessing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

In addition to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, a 52-year-old law graduate of the University of California-Hastings, three others died during two assaults that were hours apart on Sept. 11, 2012, and Sept. 12, 2012.

The New York Times (reg. req.) and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) also have stories.

The text of a White House press release about the capture of Khattala is provided by the Washington Post (reg. req.).

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “US Ambassador Fled to Safe Room at Libyan Embassy During Sept. 11 Attack, But It Filled with Smoke”

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