US Nabs Suspected Benghazi Mastermind

Special forces capture Ahmed Abu Khattala
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2014 10:47 AM CDT
This Sept 13, 2012 file photo shows a Libyan man investigating the inside of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.   (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon, File)

(Newser) – US Special Forces captured Ahmed Abu Khattala, the man long suspected of leading the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, over the weekend in a secret raid, official sources tell the Washington Post. American troops, working with the FBI, apprehended Khattala near Benghazi, and are currently holding him in "a secure location outside Libya," the sources say.

Khattala has in the past admitted involvement in the attack, but denied leading it—all while mocking Libyan authorities as too "chicken" to arrest him. Federal prosecutors filed charges against him and a dozen others last year, and the State Department in January designated him as a "senior leader" of the Benghazi branch of the terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia. "When the United States says it’s going to hold someone accountable and he will face justice, this is what we mean," one official boasts. (Read more Ahmed Abu Khattalah stories.)

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