A Libyan militant suspected in the deadly attack on Americans in Benghazi has been captured and is in American custody, the Pentagon said Tuesday, marking the first time the U.S. has apprehended one of the alleged perpetrators.
President Barack Obama says the captured Libyan militant suspected of killing Americans in Benghazi will face the full weight of the American justice system.
On 11 September 2012, gunmen stormed the US consulate in Benghazi and set it on fire.
Obama says he authorized an operation in Libya to detain Ahmed Abu Khattala. His capture marks the first apprehension of an alleged perpetrator in the 2012 attack that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Obama says his capture is a testament to the painstaking efforts of U.S. security officials. He says the U.S. has demonstrated it will do whatever it takes to bring justice to those who harm Americans.
Obama says in a statement that the U.S. will continue to track down those responsible for the attacks. He says the U.S. must support the Libyan people as they work to build a democracy.
Khattala was taken into custody in a secret US military raid in Libya on 15 June.
He is now being held in a secure location outside the country, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed.
"I can confirm that on Sunday, June 15, the U.S. military — in cooperation with law enforcement personnel — captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a key figure in the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters Tuesday.
US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed in the attack.
"There were no civilian casualties related to this operation, and all US personnel involved in the operation have safely departed Libya," Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm John Kirby wrote in a statement.
Source – Agencies