5 Years After Attack, SEALs Bust Benghazi Suspect

Libyan national is headed to federal court in DC
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 31, 2017 7:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – US special operations forces captured a militant in Libya accused of playing an instrumental role in the Benghazi attacks in a high-stakes operation designed to bring the perpetrators to justice five years later, reports the AP. President Trump on Monday identified the militant as Mustafa al-Imam and said his capture signified that the four Americans who died "will never be forgotten." Justice Department officials were escorting al-Imam by military plane to the United States, where he's expected to be tried in federal court. "Our memory is deep and our reach is long, and we will not rest in our efforts to find and bring the perpetrators of the heinous attacks in Benghazi to justice," Trump said. The Navy SEAL-led raid marked the first publicly known operation since Trump took office to target those accused of involvement in Benghazi.

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Al-Imam was taken to a Navy ship at Misrata for transport to Washington, where he's expected to arrive within two days. Once on American soil, al-Imam faces three charges filed in May 2015 but only recently unsealed: killing or conspiring to kill someone during an attack on a federal facility, providing support for terrorists, and using a firearm in connection with a violent crime. Trump said he'd ordered the raid, and thanked the US military, intelligence agencies, and prosecutors. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US would "spare no effort" to ensure al-Imam is held accountable. Al-Imam will face court proceedings in US District Court, in a departure from Trump's previously expressed desire to send militants to Guantanamo Bay. Earlier this month, another man accused in Benghazi, Ahmed Abu Khattala, went on trial in federal court.

(Read more Benghazi stories.)

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