Benghazi Suspect: Army Too 'Chicken' to Arrest Me

Says he was at consulate, but denies leading attack

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 19, 2012 8:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – If Ahmed Abu Khattala is worried about being arrested, he's doing a good job hiding it. The man authorities believe helped lead the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi has given interviews to both Reuters and the New York Times. "Here I am in the open, sitting in a hotel with you," he says in one. In another, he smirks at the idea of Libya's army arresting the culprits, calling it a "national chicken." He admits being at the consulate, but denies being a ringleader. He's also sticking to the story that the attack grew out of a spontaneous protest over The Innocence of Muslims.

He says the US fired into the crowd first, and even says the protesters found the weapons they were carrying inside the consulate. He called the video a "direct attack on our values," adding, "If they want to do it with force, they will be met with force." Initially, US intelligence did buy into the idea of a spontaneous attack, the Wall Street Journal reports today, in a piece detailing the timeline of the administration's shift on the story. By the time Susan Rice said as much on television, new intelligence to the contrary was already coming in—but no one had told Rice.

In this Sept. 13 file photo, a Libyan man investigates the inside of the US consulate in Benghazi, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon, File)
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