Breaking: US captures first suspect in Benghazi attack

posted at 11:47 am on June 17, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

The White House is enjoying a rare piece of good news in a season of disarray on foreign policy and national security.  The US have finally captured the first suspected ringleader of the attack on the Benghazi consulate 21 months ago. US special forces seized Ahmed Abu Khattala in a raid this weekend in Libya, which has now been made public after all personnel have left the country:

U.S. Special Operations forces captured one of the suspected ringleaders of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in a secret raid in Libya over the weekend, the first time one of the accused perpetrators of the 2012 assault has been apprehended, according to U.S. officials.

The officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured near Benghazi by American troops, working alongside the FBI, following months of planning, and was now in U.S. custody “in a secure location outside Libya.” The officials said there were no casualties in the operation, and that all U.S. personnel involved have safely left Libya.

Khattala’s apprehension is a major victory for the Obama administration, which has been criticized for having failed so far to bring those responsible for the Benghazi attacks to justice.

One jubilant official called Khattala’s capture “a reminder that when the United States says it’s going to hold someone accountable and he will face justice, this is what we mean.”

Can’t blame them for being jubilant, but it’s not as if this should have taken 21 months, either. Khattala lived openly in Libya after the deadly attack on the State Department and CIA facilities, enjoying himself too. Michael Calderone noted last December for Huffington Post the oddity of seeing Khattala giving media interviews in Benghazi and elsewhere while the Obama administration insisted that it was doing everything it could to bring the attackers to justice:

While the U.S. government has so far been unable to catch Khattala, journalists haven’t had trouble locating him since shortly after the attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Last year, I wrote how both the New York Times and Reuters sat down with Khattala around the time he was first considered a suspect. In those reports — and in more recent ones — journalists have noted the disconnect between his status as a wanted man and casually meeting in public.

On Oct. 18, 2012, New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick “spent two leisurely hours”with Khattala “at a crowded luxury hotel, sipping a strawberry frappe on a patio and scoffing at the threats coming from the American and Libyan governments.”

Reuters caught up with Khattala the same day and similarly reported that he didn’t appear overly concerned. “Sitting with a friend in the restaurant of a Benghazi hotel, the 41-year-old, sporting a red felt hat and a full salt-and-pepper beard, laughed gently,” wrote Hadeel Al Shalchi and Ghaith Shennib.

And that’s not the last time Khattala popped up in the western media. In August, CNN’s Arwa Damon spent two hours with him at a well-known hotel coffee shop in Benghazi. When asked on-air about locating Khattala, Damon said he’s “not a man who is in hiding.”

So yes, this is a win for the US, but it’s still going to raise questions about how much effort the US put into capturing Khattala until now. At the time of Calderone’s piece, the White House insisted that they couldn’t act without destabilizing the government in Tripoli. What’s changed since then? Last week, incoming PM Ahmad Maiteeq offered his resignation after a court ruled his election was unconstitutional and current PM Abdullah Al Thani refused to recognize his legitimacy.  This hardly seems like a propitious time for a Special Forces raid if the previous delays were taken to promote stability.

The big fish still remains to be found. Abu Safian bin Qumu has long been suspected of commanding the attack, despite an inexplicable New York Times claim to the contrary. The US had bin Qumu in custody, too — until the Bush administration released him from Gitmo in 2007. This good news will serve as a reminder of the dangers of releasing terrorists back into the war, a reminder that the White House probably would prefer to avoid at the moment.

Update: It’s worth noting that the Libyan government arrested Faraj al-Shibli in March 2013 in connection to the attack, and allowed the FBI to interrogate him. To date, though, the US has not taken Shibli into custody, or at least no such report comes up on a search.

Update: It’s the first suspect in the attack to be taken into US custody, but not the first US arrest, as Jeff Dunetz points out. That arrest took place in my old hometown of Cerritos, California, and put a YouTube filmmaker behind bars — ostensibly for parole violations, but more accurately for thoughtcrime and political expediency.

Update: Barack Obama says this demonstrates American resolve:

What did the previous 21 months of Khattala holding court with American media demonstrate?


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How can you guys not realize that this belief is a product of the conditioning your right wing media has given you?

Every single time anything happens you and your media say it’s just a distraction from whatever scandal is “hot” at the time.

Obamacare was a “distraction” from the economy. Benghazi was a “distraction” from Obamacare. IRS was a “distraction” from Benghazi. Unemployment was a “distraction” from IRS. The economy was a distraction from unemployment.

They have you guys so twisted into their scandal pretzel that you guys can’t think straight.

everdiso on June 17, 2014 at 12:55 PM

You are right, we have been conditioned. Never before have there been so many scandals coming from one administration at the same time.

Sven on June 17, 2014 at 1:08 PM

ConservativePartyNow,

Umm. this guy was not actually in hiding

Kim Kardashian keeps a lower profile than this guy.

Mike Honcho on June 17, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Still waiting for an answer, everdiso. What do you want to do to this guy? GITMO, trial, or drone strike?

blink on June 17, 2014 at 1:05 PM

I think everdisco would prefer that Barky & Moochelle plan a State Dinner for their fellow jihadist. You know, they could invite Jay Z, Beyonce’, and maybe one of Iran’s Mullahs or two…Maybe Mahmoud Aquadinnerjacket has some spare time, since he’s no longer running the caliphate…

bimmcorp on June 17, 2014 at 1:10 PM

You are right, we have been conditioned. Never before have there been so many scandals coming from one administration at the same time.

Administration “ScandalFurious”

Buckshots on June 17, 2014 at 1:11 PM

It’s obvious who can’t think straight.

blink on June 17, 2014 at 1:03 PM

you denying it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, because it has.

everytime one of your fruitless scandal hunts runs dry, you say it
s a distraction from some other scandal.

everytime this admin actually tries to do something – health care, climate change, women’s rights, gay rights, Killing Osama, getting this guy – no matter what it is, to you guys it’s just a political distraction from whatever scandal you think you have some hot leads on at the time.

and then, when those hot leads inevitable dry up, that faded scandal is called a distraction from the next one…the one that “really” matters.

you can deny it if you want, but you know it’s the truth.

everdiso on June 17, 2014 at 1:12 PM

everdiso on June 17, 2014 at 1:12 PM

The quality of trolls around here has diminished greatly since Salem, huh?

Eric in Hollywood on June 17, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I don’t understand.
How can it be a big deal to catch a perpetrator of a “Fake Scandal”?

ORconservative on June 17, 2014 at 1:16 PM

at what point could they have caught this guy, and it wouldn’t have been “interesting timing” to you guys?

everdiso on June 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Before the NYT interview?

GWB on June 17, 2014 at 1:17 PM

I don’t understand.
How can it be a big deal to catch a perpetrator of a “Fake Scandal”?

ORconservative on June 17, 2014 at 1:16 PM

It took 3 pages to get to the Thread Winner

faraway on June 17, 2014 at 1:17 PM

and then, when those hot leads inevitable dry up, that faded scandal is called a distraction from the next one…the one that “really” matters.

When those hot leads inevitable dry up or the IRS computers crash that faded scandal is called a distraction from the next one…the one that “really” matters.

Buckshots on June 17, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Obama to trade this guy and an A-10 for a Palestinian popcorn vendor with ingrown toenails and halitosis in 3… 2… 1…

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Amb Stevens are dead, and squirrels are alive!

faraway on June 17, 2014 at 12:29 PM

zero’s new introduction:

The squirrels are alive
And they’re out to get me…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 17, 2014 at 1:18 PM

you denying it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, because it has.

everytime one of your fruitless scandal hunts runs dry, you say it
s a distraction from some other scandal.

everytime this admin actually tries to do something – health care, climate change, women’s rights, gay rights, Killing Osama, getting this guy – no matter what it is, to you guys it’s just a political distraction from whatever scandal you think you have some hot leads on at the time.

and then, when those hot leads inevitable dry up, that faded scandal is called a distraction from the next one…the one that “really” matters.

you can deny it if you want, but you know it’s the truth.

everdiso on June 17, 2014 at 1:12 PM

How do you know it’s true? Which scandal is no longer producing new info? Ok the Professor Gates at Havard, have to give you that one.

Sven on June 17, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Wow. I think the standard “I question the timing” sums up this development.

deepdiver on June 17, 2014 at 1:20 PM

you denying it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, because it has.

everytime one of your fruitless scandal hunts runs dry, you say it
s a distraction from some other scandal.

everytime this admin actually tries to do something – health care, climate change, women’s rights, gay rights, Killing Osama, getting this guy – no matter what it is, to you guys it’s just a political distraction from whatever scandal you think you have some hot leads on at the time.

and then, when those hot leads inevitable dry up, that faded scandal is called a distraction from the next one…the one that “really” matters.

you can deny it if you want, but you know it’s the truth.

everdiso on June 17, 2014 at 1:12 PM

This is what we call “projection”. Liberals often do that when they are losing any argument. Instead of falling back on facts, they “project” upon their detractors exactly what they are doing. Classic.

Johnnyreb on June 17, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Still waiting for an answer, everdiso. What do you want to do to this guy? GITMO, trial, or drone strike?
blink on June 17, 2014 at 1:05 PM

He is going to have a Criminal Trial in New York, where he will be prosecuted personally by Eric Holder for the wow factor. He will not see one day in Club Gitmo. They are flying him in now. Need the distraction value

Brock Robamney on June 17, 2014 at 1:22 PM

you can deny it if you want, but you know it’s the truth.

everdiso on June 17, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Do you believe the lost e-mails story?
Do you believe the health care claims?
Do you believe that help for Benghazi was unavailable?
Do you believe that Holder/Obama knew nothing of Fast & Furious?
Do you believe that we are in an economic recovery?
Do you believe anything at all that comes out of O’Liar’s mouth?

If you do, you are a blithering idiot. No other way to put it, everdisco. Only a gullible sycophant would believe any of this tripe.
I suppose you even believe that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

bimmcorp on June 17, 2014 at 1:22 PM

everytime this admin actually tries to do something – health care, climate change, women’s rights, gay rights, Killing Osama, getting this guy – no matter what it is, to you guys it’s just a political distraction from whatever scandal you think you have some hot leads on at the time.

and then, when those hot leads inevitable dry up, that faded scandal is called a distraction from the next one…the one that “really” matters.

everdiso on June 17, 2014 at 1:12 PM

That is eerily similar to how the establishment GOP kept saying, “this is not the hill to die on” and moved the goalposts. Guess the rutabaga doesn’t fall far from the USDA-subsidized turnip truck out in the Heartland.

antisense on June 17, 2014 at 1:23 PM

ABC News ✔ @ABC

Pres. Obama on Benghazi suspect capture: US shows “we will do whatever it takes to see that justice is done when people harm Americans.”
12:32 PM – 17 Jun 2014

*cough*

Newtie and the Beauty on June 17, 2014 at 1:23 PM

It’s always amusing seeing you guys criticize something you’ve been saying is of the utmost importance, just because Obama did it.

You guys are completely deranged.

everdiso on June 17, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Just wait until this terrorist is coaxed and/or bargained with by the Chi-Thug crew and announces the true intent of their attack was based solely on a YouTube video.
Considering the unbelievable BS this admin gets away with and how with the cult-like MSM protecting these punks; it will happen.

Deranged? No, disgusted is more like it.
Deranged is the drone-set who follow their Boy King blindly and without question.
All leftists who support this Royal D-bag are deranged, disturbed, depraved, and devoid of intelligence.

StubbornGreenBurros on June 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM

You sound so stupid right now that I almost feel sorry for you.

blink on June 17, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Not me. I’m popping more corn and melting another cube of butter, myself..

bimmcorp on June 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Do you believe the lost e-mails story?
Do you believe the health care claims?
Do you believe that help for Benghazi was unavailable?
Do you believe that Holder/Obama knew nothing of Fast & Furious?
Do you believe that we are in an economic recovery?
Do you believe anything at all that comes out of O’Liar’s mouth?

If you do, you are a blithering idiot. No other way to put it, everdisco. Only a gullible sycophant would believe any of this tripe.
I suppose you even believe that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.

bimmcorp on June 17, 2014 at 1:22 PM

I had a gyro for lunch. It was fantastic, but I forgot to get the hot sauce on it that I normally do. Might have been a good thing since it is 98 degrees and humid as crap out here. But then again many cuisines from hot places have spicy food, so maybe it isn’t just a preservation technique?

antisense on June 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Oh come on … It must be pretty bad when they resort to using Benghazi to distract from the mess in Iraq …

djl130 on June 17, 2014 at 11:50 AM

HOPE YOU DON’T MIND IF I TWEET THAT?

Bambi on June 17, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Squirrel!

kingsjester on June 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM

another one? Gee, we are being invaded by them…

dogsoldier on June 17, 2014 at 1:25 PM

everdipshit, the unfortunate reality is that there is no reason whatsoever to take anything that comes out of this administration at face value, and every reason to presume that there is a substantial amount of lie in everything they say.

I wish it weren’t true, but it is.

It’s because of a video!
The computer crashed and no evidence exists!
Billions of new Obamacare signups!
Unemployment going down!
Biggest deporter of illegals ever!
You can keep your plan and your doctor!
You’ll save thousands every year!
Red line!
What do you mean, I never said ‘red line’!

Dude, seriously, this list could go on all f*cking day and not capture it all.

You’d have to be a brain-dead moron *not* to be skeptical.

Again, people don’t *want* this to be the case – *this* is the reality that the Obama admin has provided. Sorry, pal.

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 1:26 PM

This just in from the NYT

a renegade general based in Benghazi is currently waging a low-grade military campaign against local Islamist militants like Mr. Abu Khattala, and the United States may have sought to arrest the suspect before the general, Khalifa Heftar, killed him in the fighting there.

They arrested him to save him? At least they want to create that impression for some people who might have an issue with the arrest happening because Obama doesn’t like Khattala.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/18/world/middleeast/us-captures-benghazi-suspect.html?_r=0

Buddahpundit on June 17, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I had a gyro for lunch. It was fantastic, but I forgot to get the hot sauce on it that I normally do. Might have been a good thing since it is 98 degrees and humid as crap out here. But then again many cuisines from hot places have spicy food, so maybe it isn’t just a preservation technique?

antisense on June 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM

You put hot sauce on a gyro? What the f*ck is wrong with you?

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

You put hot sauce on a gyro? What the f*ck is wrong with you?

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

The video made me do it.

antisense on June 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

You put hot sauce on a gyro? What the f*ck is wrong with you?

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

My question, precisely.

Oy vey.

Eric in Hollywood on June 17, 2014 at 1:34 PM

You put hot sauce on a gyro? What the f*ck is wrong with you?

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

The video made me do it.

antisense on June 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

You should be ashamed.

Hot sauce on a gyro – the very thought. Ugh.

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM

And perhaps they are setting up a narrative that “Khalifa Heftar” killed all the other terrorists so Obama can’t bring them to justice.

I don’t know if I can buy the premise that there is such a military campaign going on against Islamist militants in a place that is packed with heavily armed Islamist militants. But it sounds interesting. I suppose it could be Egypt purging the Arab Spring armies from the region.

Buddahpundit on June 17, 2014 at 1:38 PM

No response or another computer crash?

Buckshots on June 17, 2014 at 1:08 PM

lester doesn’t have a good answer.

Schadenfreude on June 17, 2014 at 1:39 PM

You put hot sauce on a gyro? What the f*ck is wrong with you?

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

My question, precisely.

Oy vey.

Eric in Hollywood on June 17, 2014 at 1:34 PM

No kiddin’.

kingsjester on June 17, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Make sure Team Obummer checks Ahmed Abu Khattala’s Youtube browsing history. The case then will be solved and Hillary will be absolved!

Krupnikas on June 17, 2014 at 1:42 PM

That arrest took place in my old hometown of Cerritos, California, and put a YouTube filmmaker behind bars — ostensibly for parole violations, but more accurately for thoughtcrime and political expediency.

…but, actually, for parole violations.

Conservative paranoia aside, if the idiot hadn’t chosen to violate his parole he would not be in prison no matter his political bent.

See Dinesh for example. He’d beeen a right wing dip wad for decades but it was only when he egregiously violated campaign finance law that he went to prison.

Tlaloc on June 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

You put hot sauce on a gyro? What the f*ck is wrong with you?

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Read his posts. That ought to give you a clue or two.

bimmcorp on June 17, 2014 at 1:44 PM

antisense on June 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM

A-yup…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 17, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Tlaloc on June 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Eric in Hollywood is right. These new trolls are weak.

The Benghazi 4 remain unavailable for comment.

kingsjester on June 17, 2014 at 1:45 PM

…how convenient!

JugEarsButtHurt on June 17, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Obama on FNC commenting on the arrest….

“Look, squirrel….”

“I did something, now get off my back on this and the other fake scandals….”

“I’d rather be playing golf again today, but let me pander to the manufacturing unions…..”

Athos on June 17, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Squirrel!

kingsjester on June 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM

another one? Gee, we are being invaded by them…

dogsoldier on June 17, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Squirrel Mafia. Ask any dog.

katy the mean old lady on June 17, 2014 at 1:46 PM

See Dinesh for example. He’d beeen a right wing dip wad for decades but it was only when he egregiously violated campaign finance law that he went to prison.
Tlaloc on June 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

A-yup…egregious

Newtie and the Beauty on June 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Justice would have been dropping troops in while the attack was ongoing and putting bullets into everyone attacking the consulate. Now a suspected ring leader will get a show trial. Pathetic. Now, ojackass is speaking about the capture of this guy. Meanwhile veterans were dying and odipshit was nowhere to be found. Fuck him. Douche bag.

JAGonzo on June 17, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Yes, because ALL parolee activities are investigated and violators are apprehended and sent to prison. /

blink on June 17, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Uh no, this guy chose to make his parole violation very public by giving interviews under assumed names to NBC and the AP about the video after the fact. The AP got suspicious when he claimed that 500 Jews donated $5 Million dollars to make the video and then they called the cops.

Johnnyreb on June 17, 2014 at 1:59 PM

See Dinesh for example. He’d beeen a right wing dip wad for decades but it was only when he egregiously violated campaign finance law that he went to prison.
Tlaloc on June 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

If he’d been choomed Holder would have released him. Get your head out of obama’s azz, before you choke on it.

Schadenfreude on June 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM

This monster is going to be tried here in america and that’s insane to me. He is not an American and doesn’t deserve any of our rights! More amnesty I guess. And this is just another distraction for all the other disasters Obama is a part of.

sadsushi on June 17, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Well, Ben Gazzara has been solved even after it no longer mattered. That’s your resolve in action right there.

BL@KBIRD on June 17, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Squirrel!

kingsjester on June 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Yup, with all hell breaking loose in Iraq, it was time to trap a “Squirrel!”

Fallon on June 17, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Press conference: “I’m not going to go into that” X 1000.

bigGwillie on June 17, 2014 at 2:11 PM

You put hot sauce on a gyro? What the f*ck is wrong with you?

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 1:28 PM

The video made me do it.

antisense on June 17, 2014 at 1:31 PM

You should be ashamed.

Hot sauce on a gyro – the very thought. Ugh.

Midas on June 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM

He must not have a Harvard degree….

dentarthurdent on June 17, 2014 at 2:18 PM

See Dinesh for example. He’d beeen a right wing dip wad for decades but it was only when he egregiously violated campaign finance law that he went to prison.
Tlaloc on June 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

He hasn’t gone to prison and, as far as his ‘egregious violation’, prosecutors routinely do not seek felony convictions and prison time for what he did.

Andy McCarthy:

Why such a heavy-handed indictment? Because Congress deemed campaign-finance violations worth less than $25,000 to be so trivial that a maximum jail sentence of only two years is prescribed (see Title 2, U.S. Code, Sec. 437g(d)(1)(D)). You can also be certain the sentencing guidelines would prescribe no jail time at all. Yet, by gratuitously piling on another felony, Obama and Holder portray D’Souza as a serious crook and subject him to the onerous potential of seven years in prison — all for an episode that ordinarily would not be prosecuted at all.

As Legal Insurrection’s Bill Jacobson notes, the 2008 Obama campaign was caught illegally hiding not $20,000 but nearly $2 million in irregular contributions (in addition to dragging its feet on the return of millions more in suspect donations). You probably don’t remember that because — I know this will shock you — the Obama Justice Department didn’t prosecute anyone. It was considered a mere hiccup: resolved by a fine considerably smaller than the $500,000 in bail D’Souza was forced to post lest he be detained pending trial on his multiple-felony indictment for conduct worth 25 times less that amount.

Obama supporter and Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz:

‘This is clearly a case of selective prosecution.’

Resist We Much on June 17, 2014 at 2:27 PM

See Dinesh for example. He’d beeen a right wing dip wad for decades but it was only when he egregiously violated campaign finance law that he went to prison.
 
Tlaloc on June 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

 
Good to see you. We’ve missed you on the IRS hard drive threads.

rogerb on June 17, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Some completely innocent camel jockey…

claudius on June 17, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Guess what was behind door #2? Obama released 12 Al Qaeda operatives from Afghanistan!!!

Brock Robamney on June 17, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Just wait until this terrorist is coaxed and/or bargained with by the Chi-Thug crew and announces the true intent of their attack was based solely on a YouTube video.

StubbornGreenBurros on June 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM

5… 4… 3…

petefrt on June 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Squirrel! Benghazi suspect conveniently captured to deflect attention from all the other nightmares

Written by Allen West on June 17, 2014

Is it a case of “wag the dog” and a convenient shift from the countless evident failures of Obama or something credible? Not so sure…

Fallon on June 17, 2014 at 3:30 PM

So, this admin will bargain with terrorists to get back a deserter, and anyone would imagine this guy is not a paid shill that will say, “yeah, we did it cuz of the video.” ?

This is total bullshit. This administration would make Stalin blush.

a5minmajor on June 17, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Soon we will be hearing a new excuse for concealing the evidence about Benghazi: It’s part of an ongoing criminal investigation, and therefore *can’t* be released.

An utterly corrupt Attorney General Holder, and a DOJ staffed with political hacks, can be so useful!

novaculus on June 17, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Anyone else following the World Cup?

antisense on June 17, 2014 at 3:42 PM

everdiso on June 17, 2014 at 1:12 PM

The quality of trolls around here has diminished greatly since Salem, huh?

Eric in Hollywood on June 17, 2014 at 1:15 PM

It’s the same old trolls. HotAir believes in recycling. They get tax credits for sequestering and reducing the carbon emissions that the trolls emit.

HumpBot Salvation on June 17, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Obama’s efforts to close Guantanamo Bay

3h
National Security Council spokeswoman on decision to try Benghazi, Libya, terror suspect in US: ‘The Administration’s policy is clear on this issue: We are seeking to close Guantanamo, not add to its population’ – @NBCNews
======================

United States
3h
Suspect in custody for Benghazi, Libya, attack faces 3 charges in Washington, DC, federal court, including ‘killing a person’ and supporting terrorists, court papers say – @Reuters

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Guantanamo, Guantanamo, CU
1h
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Benghazi, Libya, terror suspect: ‘He belongs in Guantanamo and in the military justice system, not in the US civilian court system’ – @ChadPergram
End of alert

Guantanamo, Guantanamo, CU
2h
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Benghazi, Libya, terror suspect capture: ‘The Obama Administration should immediately transfer him to the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay’ – @ChadPergram

Bengazi, بني غازي, LY
3h
Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Benghazi, Libya, terror arrest: ‘This capture is a reminder of the remarkable capabilities of the United States and its commitment to justice and accountability. The United States and Libya are both safer now that Abu Khatallah is off the streets’ – via @NBCNews

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 4:12 PM

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/us-consulate-attacked-in-libya/

Bengazi, بني غازي, LY
13m
United States did not notify Libyan government before operation to capture Benghazi suspect, official tells @Reuters

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Remind me ( I’m an ignorant product of Oregon) is this the result of the neocon portion of Obama’s brain?
Just trying to keep up. While Iraq is blowing up, the IRS is losing emails and illegals are pouring into the US, Obama runs an operation (doesn’t tell anybody) into Libya to capture a perpetrator of a “Phony Scandal” that can be phony tried in a court in Wash DC?

I never thought I’d be nostalgic for Billy Jeff.

ORconservative on June 17, 2014 at 4:24 PM

I mean you guys did read the excerpt of that email specifically titled “Benghazi”, right?
And you noticed that there was not one reference to a video in that section, right?
I mean, you read it, right?

everdisodumb on April 30, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Schadenfreude on June 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM

https://twitter.com/ChadPergram

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 56m

Inhofe on #Benghazi arrests: The President is more focused on his legacy of closing Guantanamo Bay than preventing future terrorist attacks

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 1h

Reid on #Benghazi suspect arrest: This is actual news Some Republicans are trying to downplay this..”no big deal”

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 1h

#Benghazi cmte chair Gowdy on suspect arrest: Ilook forward to learning more information about this operation.

Replied to 0 times

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 1h

#Benghazi cmte chair Gowdy arrest: I applaud our military and law enforcement officials for apprehending this terrorist..

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Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 2h

Sen Graham wonders if Obama Admin now hopes to hold suspects on ships: Once you take Gitmo off the table, where do you put him? #Benghazi

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 2h

Sen Lindsey Graham on #Benghazi suspect: I don’t mind trying him in an Article III Court.

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 2h

Sen Lindsey Graham on #Benghazi suspect: The most important thing is gathering intelligence. He probably has a treasure trove

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 2h

Sen Ted Cruz on #Benghazi suspect: He belongs in Guantanamo and in the military justice system, not in the U.S. civilian court system

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 2h

McConnell on #Benghazi suspect: There has been a tendency by this administration in the past to treat this like a law enforcement matter.

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 2h

Top D on #Benghazi cmte Cummings says operation demonstates US “will bring to justice those who attack our country or our people”

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 3h

McKeon: Before any prosecution ..it’s vital..Khatallah be..interrogated (and) we learn all we can..before we read him his rights #Benghazi

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 3h

Armed Svcs Chair McKeon: “The world is safer now that Ahmed Abu Khatallah is no longer at liberty #Benghazi

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 3h

Rubio on #Benghazi capture: The Obama Administration should immediately transfer him to the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 3h

#Benghazi cmte mbr Schiff: We will hold these killers accountable. I commend the..personnel involved in this operation..

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 3h

Sen Ayotte hopes US doesn’t Mirandize #Benghazi capture. Wants to get intel on future attacks.

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Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 3h

Boehner: I expect the administration to give our military professionals time to properly gather any useful intelligence he has. #Benghazi

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 3h

Boehner on #Benghazi capture: It is obviously good news that this terrorist is now in American custody..

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 3h

Feinstein: I congratulate the military, intelligence & law enforcement..whose dedicated work made this capture successful. #Benghazi

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 3h

Royce on #Benghazi capture: This is overdue, considering that this individual has made himself available to multiple media outlets

Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 5h

Name of #Benghazi suspect US picks up is Abu Khattala. Arrested on Sunday near Benghazi. Returning to US via ship.

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Chad Pergram @ChadPergram · 5h

US military picks up suspect linked to #Benghazi attack. Captured in Libya. En route to US.

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 4:33 PM

So if this guy AAK says the video made him do it will BO release him on his own recognizance??

gracie on June 17, 2014 at 4:37 PM

https://twitter.com/frankthorpNBC

Frank Thorp V @frankthorpNBC · 2h

Gowdy on Khattala capture: “I applaud our military and law enforcement officials for apprehending this terrorist…”

Frank Thorp V @frankthorpNBC · 4h

Boehner on Khatallah: “I expect the administration to give our military professionals time to properly gather any useful intel he has.”

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Frank Thorp V @frankthorpNBC · 4h

Boehner on capture of Khatallah: “It is obviously good news that this terrorist is now in American custody…”

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Results for #Benghazi

https://twitter.com/hashtag/Benghazi?src=hash

Max Boot ‏@MaxBoot 21m

A welcome win for Obama–and US foreign policy. My take on capture of #Benghazi terrorist: http://bit.ly/1vICtm3

Retweeted 328 times
Allen West ‏@AllenWest 3h

Squirrel! #Benghazi suspect conveniently captured to deflect attention from all the other nightmares http://bit.ly/1uB6eCN #tcot

Bret Baier ‏@BretBaier 3h

Chairman Royce on #Benghazi suspect: This is overdue, considering he has made himself available to multiple media outlets in last 19 months

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 4:41 PM

What’s changed since then? How about the IRS finally pleading the 5th as an institution?

Squirrel!

BKeyser on June 17, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 4h

Full statement from #SecKerry on Khatallah capture: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/06/227685.htm … #Benghazi
===================================================================

Libya: Ahmed Abu Khatallah

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 17, 2014

Since September 11, 2012, we have mourned the four Americans killed that day, cared for the survivors in our State Department family, and focused with intensity on strengthening security at our high-threat posts around the world. But we have also been focused on another mission of unfinished business: bringing to justice the terrorist murderers responsible for the attacks in Benghazi.

This weekend, that work took a dramatic step forward. Ahmed Abu Khatallah, an alleged key leader of the attacks in Benghazi, is now in U.S. custody. He will face a court of law and be held accountable for his actions. This bold action by the superb United States military is a clear reminder to anyone who dares do us harm that they will not escape with impunity.

The United States stood by the Libyan people three years ago as they stood up to the brutality of the Qadhafi dictatorship. We continue to support them in their desire to build a democratic government that will provide them with security, protect their universal rights and help rebuild their economy. The Libyan people face great challenges, but the vision of a peaceful and productive new nation will guide Libya’s future, and they will have a friend and partner in the United States.

The State Department felt the loss of our colleagues in Benghazi acutely. They volunteered to serve in a dangerous place because they believed in the power of the United States to help people. They represented the very best of America. We continue that mission in their name today.

###

http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/06/227685.htm

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 4:58 PM

I don’t understand.
How can it be a big deal to catch a perpetrator of a “Fake Scandal”?

ORconservative on June 17, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Why dear Sir! The ORIGINAL perpetrator was jailed for a film mocking Islam, which began the attack on Benghazi after 7 requests for additional security made to Hillary Queen Clinton went unheeded and while Egypt fell apart.

This guy they arrested is probably a member of Obama’s Czar Cabinet. Or did he dissolve that already? Remember the Czars?

Where did they all go with our money?

Key West Reader on June 17, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Hopey brings out his Big Stick,..boasting on Benghazi,….
……Iraq, not so much:

https://twitter.com/markknoller

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 3h

Pres Obama says those who serve America “need to know that this country has their back and will go after those who go after us.”

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 3h

POTUS says the capture show that when Americans are attacked, US will bring those responsible to justice “no matter how long it takes.”

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 3h

Pres Obama says Khatallah now being transported back to the US.

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Mark Knoller @markknoller · 3h

In Pittsburgh, Pres Obama trumpets capture of Khatallah, “alleged to be one of the masterminds of the attack” on Americans in Benghazi.

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Mark Knoller @markknoller · 4h

POTUS says capture of Khatallah demonstrates “we will do whatever it takes to see that justice is done when people harm Americans.”

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Mark Knoller @markknoller · 4h

POTUS says we pause to remember the 4 fallen Americans in Benghazi: Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty.

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Mark Knoller @markknoller · 4h

Pres Obama says he authorized operation to capture Khatallah. Says he “will now face the full weight of the American justice system.”

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Mark Knoller @markknoller · 5h

Carney says Pres Obama believes no military solution will solve Iraq’s problem. Urges Iraq Govt to govern in non-sectarian manner.

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Mark Knoller @markknoller · 5h

On Iraq, @PressSec says of efforts by National Security team to draft options for US action: “that work is ongoing.”

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Mark Knoller @markknoller · 5h

Asked if Khatallah was the mastermind of the Benghazi attack, Carney says “he was a key figure in the attack.”

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Mark Knoller @markknoller · 5h

On Air Force One, @PressSec says capture of Khatallah not the end of the Benghazi investigation, “but marks an important milestone.”

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Mark Knoller @markknoller · 5h

Adm Kirby says there were no civilian casualties related to the capture. And US personnel involved in the operation have safely left Libya.

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Mark Knoller @markknoller · 5h

.@PentagonPresSec confims Benghazi suspect in US custody “in a secure location outside of Libya.”

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Retweeted by Mark Knoller
Major Garrett @MajorCBS · 5h

SAO confirms Ahmed Abu Khattala, suspect in Benghazi attacks, was captured outside Benghazi in joint military-FBI raid this weekend.

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

The Associated Press @AP · 33s

Libyan Benghazi suspect lived open but low-profile life in his hometown: http://apne.ws/1kL5ENq

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nabbed-libyan-militant-lived-openly-benghazi

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Why did we trade 12 prisoners from Parwan prison for a guy who CNN tracked down 2 years ago?

Brock Robamney on June 17, 2014 at 5:08 PM

US consulate attacked in Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 11, 2012
4m
White House asked where the Benghazi suspect will be tried, says federal court system has been used to convict and incarcerate ‘hundreds of terrorists’ – @Reuters

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 5:12 PM

John Hinderaker @ Power Line:

I still don’t understand why a terrorist who led a military attack on an American facility overseas should be brought back to the U.S. and prosecuted under a criminal statute. It would make more sense to process him through a military tribunal and then (assuming his participation in the attack is confirmed) shoot him. The criminal prosecution route suggests that the Obama administration has no intention of punishing any more of the hundreds of terrorists who participated in the Benghazi attack, but rather will let Khattala stand in, symbolically, for the whole.

We all know what happened the last time a Democrat pResident treated terrorism as a law enforcement matter instead of as a national security matter.

And that attitude cost us over 3,000 American lives (only 55 of which were members of the US military) on 9/11/2001/

Del Dolemonte on June 17, 2014 at 5:15 PM

MeanWhile,……………………..:

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 49s

Pres Obama now at first of 3 Dem fundraisers in NYC: an event for the Senate Majority Pac. No press coverage.

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 5:15 PM

I suppose Hope and Change didn’t work out.

BobMbx on June 17, 2014 at 5:18 PM

SAO confirms Ahmed Abu Khattala, suspect in Benghazi attacks, was captured outside Benghazi in joint military-FBI raid this weekend.

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Nakoula Nakoula was jailed for his offense!!

Key West Reader on June 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

From Huff Post

The REAL perpetrator was already apprehended and arrested.

Key West Reader on June 17, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Hillary Queen Clinton went unheeded and while Egypt fell apart.

This guy they arrested is probably a member of Obama’s Czar Cabinet. Or did he dissolve that already? Remember the Czars?

Where did they all go with our money?

Key West Reader on June 17, 2014 at 4:59 PM

KWR: Hey, I hope your doin fine,..considering, Speaking of HilRod:)
===================================================================

https://twitter.com/CNNPR

Retweeted by CNN Public Relations
CNN’s Gut Check @GutCheckCNN · 13m

HAPPENING NOW: Hillary Clinton #CNNTownHall. Follow our @Tumblr live blog as you watch http://cnn.com/townhall

CNN ‏@CNN 6m

“We send Americans into perilous, dangerous places all the time. And I believe that’s the right decision.” -@HillaryClinton on #Benghazi

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 5:23 PM

SAO confirms Ahmed Abu Khattala, suspect in Benghazi attacks, was captured outside Benghazi in joint military-FBI raid this weekend.

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

He was in open view for the last two years.

Key West Reader on June 17, 2014 at 5:30 PM

I think the WH was looking for a foreign affairs win. It’s wag the dog.

COgirl on June 17, 2014 at 5:54 PM

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

He was in open view for the last two years.

Key West Reader on June 17, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Key West Reader:

I’m beginning to think,..that when it gets Politically Hot,
or National Security Crisis,..like Iraq, arises,

all along,….Obama has had tabs on the where-abouts, of these Goons like OBL,
for instances, and authorizes a take-down, as a distraction of
his current affairs!

Very Nixonian Sneaky!!!———————————-:0

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 5:59 PM

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Nakoula Nakoula was jailed for his offense!!

Key West Reader on June 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

KWR: Yup,..I’ll say it plainly,..he got F***ed Over by the Obama
Administration!—–:0

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 6:01 PM

So now we send Special Forces to grab ‘Protesters?” I am confused. I thought this was like a bunch of Code Pink Libyans happening to walk by the embassy while watching a video on their iPhones. Which is it? A spontaneous demonstration or a hed of a terror cell? I an confused……

mouell on June 17, 2014 at 6:12 PM

US consulate attacked in Benghazi, Libya, Sept. 11, 2012
5m

Hillary Clinton says questions remain about Benghazi attack after ringleader captured – @NBCNews
Read more on nbcnews.com
========================

Hillary Clinton says Questions Remain About Benghazi Attack
By Andrew Rafferty
******************

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she is “very pleased” that the suspected ringleader of the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi was captured, but added “there is a lot we don’t know” about the assault.

“I’m very pleased, this is another indication, as President Obama said in his statement today, that the United States has an unwavering commitment to bring to justice those who are responsible for attacks on Americans, no matter where they are, no matter how long it takes,” Clinton said during a CNN-sponsored town hall discussion on Tuesday.

Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured in a weekend raid in Libya, officials announced on Tuesday. Khattala has been wanted for the deadly 2012 attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi.

Clinton added that much is still unknown about the attacks, and Khattala’s capture may help answer some of the outstanding questions.

“ I’m still looking for answers because it was a confusing and difficult time,” Clinton said.

“There’s a lot we don’t know,” she added.

Republicans have accused Clinton of failing to secure the compound and say the Obama administration misled the public about the circumstances surrounding the attack for political reasons.

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-says-questions-remain-about-benghazi-attack-n133976

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Anyone else following the World Cup?

antisense on June 17, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Yeah, but only when I need something to put me to sleep.

hawkeye54 on June 17, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Jen Psaki
Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
June 17, 2014

LIBYA

Arrest of Ahmed Abu Khatallah

TRANSCRIPT:
1:34 p.m. EDT
MS. PSAKI: Hi, everyone. Thank you for your patience.

MS. PSAKI: Okay. Matt. I know there’s quite a bit in the world going on today, so go ahead.

QUESTION: There is. And as much as I would like to follow up on that question, her question, I will have – it will have to wait until a little later in the briefing.

MS. PSAKI: Okay. That is no problem.

QUESTION: The breaking news of the last two hours, the arrest of the suspect in the Benghazi attack, we have seen the Secretary’s statement on it. I’m just wondering, is this building – are people in this building disappointed or concerned at all that it took so long to arrest this guy, considering that he wasn’t really hiding? It’s not like this was a bin Ladin type character in the – hiding in the – I mean, he was hanging out in cafes and hotels and restaurants in Benghazi.

One, do you know why it took so long? And two –given that he was not hiding? And two, is there any concern in this building that there was such a delay?

MS. PSAKI: Well, let me first say that U.S. forces conducted this operation as soon as the President and his national security team were confident that the mission could be carried out successfully and consistent with our policies for undertaking such operations. And the operations have clearly been underway for some time. This planning – this final step was a painstaking process through – that many were involved in, including, of course, many in this building. But I’ll say that any time our law enforcement officials are engaged in an operation in a country overseas, that’s incredibly challenging and they deserve to be applauded.

And the comparison to the fact that a member of the media, with all due respect, had contact with or interviewed this individual is not relevant. That is not uncommon. It’s far from unprecedented for members of the media to interview terrorists or interview individuals along these lines. We’ve seen that occur in other cases. And frankly, it’s not a surprise that an individual like this would show up for an interview. We don’t think they would show up for a scheduled meeting with the special forces, so obviously it’s more challenging to undertake our operations.

QUESTION: Okay. But I – I appreciate the answer. I’m not sure I mentioned having him giving interviews, though. I just –

MS. PSAKI: Well, you mentioned being out there, visible.

QUESTION: Well, he’s hanging out at the cafe. Exactly. I mean, he wasn’t – so there is no – the second part of the question there. There isn’t any – people in this building are universally glad that this arrest has been made and no one is concerned about the fact that it took so long? Is that correct?

MS. PSAKI: Correct. We were closely involved, as would come in – as no surprise in the planning and the operations.

QUESTION: Okay. Can you say what changed on the ground that made it the right time to act on Sunday, as opposed to, say, Thursday or Friday of last week or months earlier?

MS. PSAKI: There are not operational details that I can brief out from here.

QUESTION: Can you describe what those circumstances that – what they might have been just in broad general terms? I mean, the security situation on the ground, that kind of thing?

MS. PSAKI: There aren’t other details I can share on that front at this time.

QUESTION: Can I ask on that?

MS. PSAKI: Go ahead, Jo.

QUESTION: There are several people who are identified as possible suspects in the Benghazi attack. Are there any indications of where the others might be? Are there any – I’m sure you’re not going to give us a heads up if there’s an operation coming, but were there anybody else – was there anybody else detained or apprehended at the same time as this gentleman?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any other details to share. As you know and as was noted in the Secretary’s statement, apprehending those responsible is a top priority for the – not just the State Department but the United States Government, and I can assure you we will remain focused on that goal.

QUESTION: Can I just ask also – there was quite a deal made a few months ago about the fact that these – that there have been no rewards posted for their apprehension. Can I ask you if the Rewards for Justice Program was in any way helpful in the apprehension of this person in Libya?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I believe since that time we had provided additional information publicly about Rewards for Justice. In terms of the specific involvement here, I don’t have any information on that. I’m happy to check if there was a direct involvement that we can share.

QUESTION: Jen –

QUESTION: Was the Libyan –

MS. PSAKI: Let’s just do one a time. Go ahead, Lesley.

QUESTION: Was the Libyan Government informed ahead of time?

MS. PSAKI: This was a unilateral U.S. operation. I’m not going to get into specifics concerning our diplomatic communications, but it was U.S. run and done under the operations of the United States.

QUESTION: Let me try it a different way. There was a period of at least several weeks, if memory serves, after the September 2012 attack on the consulate where U.S. law enforcement in particular were not allowed to come into the country to conduct the investigation. At the time, they indicated that there was a lot of concern that critical evidence as well as finding suspects might have been impeded because of the Libyan Government’s refusal to let them in.

Going back to Lesley’s point, was there permission for the U.S. military and for U.S. law enforcement to be on Libyan territory? Because I can already see the headlines being drawn: Is this another bin Ladin type situation?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’ve long – the United States has long made clear to successive Libyan governments our interest in holding the perpetrators of the September 11, 2012 attacks accountable. That should come as no surprise. We’ve taken every necessary step in this case. I would refer you to any comments from the Libyan Government.

QUESTION: Was there any resistance during that period of appeal from Libyan authorities to having U.S. authorities on their territory to conduct their search, to conduct their investigation, were there security concerns about alerting them ahead of the efforts to bring in Khatallah?

MS. PSAKI: I just am not going to have more to share. I am sure that they will have their own comments to make, and I would refer you to them.

QUESTION: One of the things that’s been cited as a potential reason for not having acted before is the fear of some kind of retaliation. I’m wondering if that is still today a fear and if the – if there’s any – a new Travel Warning or any new advice that’s going to be coming out of the Embassy in Tripoli.

MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, Matt, we take the security and safety of our men and women serving overseas incredibly seriously. We evaluate that on a day-to-day basis. I have nothing to project in terms of changes on that front.

QUESTION: And you don’t – so as of now, the Embassy is still staffed the way it was last week?

MS. PSAKI: Correct.

QUESTION: Is he being held on a U.S. Navy vessel? Is he being held in a third country, perhaps, at a U.S. military installation? Where is he, and how quickly would you expect that he would be brought to the U.S. for prosecution?

MS. PSAKI: Well, DOD has confirmed that he is in U.S. custody outside of Libya. I don’t have any other details to confirm. In terms of the timing, I would point you to the Department of Justice.

QUESTION: Has the Libyan Embassy or any of its representatives at the UN contacted the U.S. Government about having access to him?

MS. PSAKI: Consular access – as you know, we of course are committed in general to the principle of consular access. We’ll meet our obligations for consular access as and when appropriate. We’ll have that discussion with the Libyans, but I don’t have any other updates for you.

QUESTION: Have you determined yet to which federal court he might eventually appear?

MS. PSAKI: I would point you to the Department of Justice. Obviously they’ll be handling all of the legal and process components.

James, to what do we owe this? (Laughter.) I’m sure it’s this issue. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Actually, I’m covering a different story today, but insofar as this is the current thread of discussion, I wish to further pursue it with you, Jen. (Laughter.) In furtherance of Matt’s line of questioning, first, would you, in fact, agree that there has been a rather egregious delay seen in this case in finally apprehending this individual?

MS. PSAKI: I would disagree. This is a case where there’s no one more committed than the leaders in the United States Government, whether that’s the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, in apprehending those responsible for the horrific acts that occurred just a few years ago. But again, there are a range of factors that are taken into account in terms of the right timing for operations along these lines. The President made the decision with the support of the national security team about the timing, and obviously it was successful.

QUESTION: And so from where this government stands, from your point of view, a delay of what you just identified as just a few years between the commission of a given offense and the apprehension of one of the suspected individuals, that’s not egregious as a delay, just a few years?

MS. PSAKI: Well, James, our focus has been on apprehending those responsible, and we’ve taken every step possible to do that as quickly as possible. But taking on operations of these kinds are difficult, and there are a range of factors involved, and we did this – this was undertaken as quickly as was possible, given the circumstances.

QUESTION: In response to Matt’s questioning, you stated – I’m paraphrasing, but faithfully – that we should not be surprised that a suspected terrorist might more readily agree to show up for an interview with a reporter than he or she would for a scheduled meeting with the U.S. Special Forces. And respectfully, I submit to you that that is not properly framing the question, as no one would expect a terrorist to show up for a scheduled meeting with the U.S. Special Forces. The question being put to you, it seems to me, is why U.S. Special Forces couldn’t have an unscheduled meeting with this individual in a period of time less than, as you put it, just a few years.

MS. PSAKI: Well, James, with all due respect, I would say there are reasons why individuals, including terrorists, meet with reporters to gain more attention for their issues or their agenda. That is entirely different from any operation to take these individuals into custody. And there are a range of factors taken into account. Where we are today is that this individual, with the support and leadership of the military, the Justice Department, a range of officials in the interagency has been apprehended, and that is an important step forward in our view.

QUESTION: So I guess the question, along – following your own logic, the next question to be propounded to you is: Why didn’t we pose as a reporter to capture him then?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we appreciate your view. If you’re volunteering yourself for future endeavors, we’ll take that into account.

QUESTION: In other words – you’re still not addressing the central question, Jen. You’re not answering the question of why a reporter was able to get within six inches of this guy, and U.S. Special Forces weren’t for more than two years. What is the answer to that?

MS. PSAKI: Well, the answer, James, is that reporters have interviewed a range of terrorists in the past. There’s nothing new about that. They have their own desire to get their story heard, their agenda heard. That’s entirely different from taking the steps necessary to apprehend someone in a country – a third – a second – not the United States, as has happened in this case. We did it as expeditiously as possible, took into account a range of factors, and where we are today is that the outcome was successful.

QUESTION: Would you say that the most recent developments in Libya, like the coup or the – the coup by General Hiftar made the situation more likely or more ideal for apprehension or made it more urgent that you act now?

MS. PSAKI: I wouldn’t weigh in with that as a factor. I will just take this opportunity to confirm for all of you that General Hiftar, of course, had no involvement in this case.

QUESTION: No Libyan whatsoever was involved or informed that –

MS. PSAKI: Again, it was a United States unilateral U.S. operation.

QUESTION: Is that likely to –

MS. PSAKI: Go ahead, Matt.

QUESTION: Is that likely to sort of undermine U.S. efforts in the future for cooperation?

MS. PSAKI: With the Libyan Government? I –

QUESTION: With the Libyan or any other government in apprehending suspected terrorists.

MS. PSAKI: I think the United States has made no secret of our desire to apprehend those responsible.

QUESTION: You’ve mentioned now several times a range of factors that were taken into account in terms of the timing of this, but you don’t seem to want to say – even give us a hint as to what that range of factors were – was, except for the fact that General Hiftar was not involved. So can you give us a very general outline of what factors you’re talking about that led to the capture of this guy on Sunday rather than in the previous almost two years?

MS. PSAKI: Well, without getting into too many specifics, the decisions are made –

QUESTION: Or any specifics.

MS. PSAKI: — based on when and how an operation can be carried out successfully and consistent with our policies as the United States in carrying out these operations. I don’t have other specifics I’m going to lay out.

QUESTION: Well, right, but can you even at least say – I mean, it would seem obvious and not classified or anything like that that security – the security situation on the ground would be one of those factors, as would the political situation on the ground. Would one be wrong in saying that those were part – among the range of factors?

MS. PSAKI: One would not be wrong in assuming there are a range of factors that are taken into account, Matt.

Go ahead, James.

QUESTION: When was Secretary Kerry informed about this operation? Before its execution or afterward?

MS. PSAKI: Oh, absolutely before. The Secretary and the Secretary of Defense and other senior officials in the government have been engaged and involved in the decision-making process.

QUESTION: And when were the families of Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues notified about the arrest?

MS. PSAKI: They – I don’t have an exact timing for you, Roz, but they have – we have been in touch with them and they have been informed.

QUESTION: Jen, why you – you’ve intended to make clear that General Hiftar didn’t cooperate with the U.S.?

MS. PSAKI: I assumed that was a question you might have and I wanted to proactively answer it for you.

QUESTION: Can you tell us whether in addition to the capture of this suspect, the special forces also managed – as in, for example, the bin Ladin raid – to obtain or acquire any cache of evidence or materials associated with him or his operations?

MS. PSAKI: I certainly understand your question. I don’t have any other details on this. As you know, this is an ongoing now Justice case, so I don’t have any more I can share.

QUESTION: Was anybody injured in this operation on either side?

MS. PSAKI: Not that I’m aware of. I would certainly point you to the Department of Defense, who undertook the operation.

Go ahead.

QUESTION: Bearing in mind that it’s a Justice case at this point, maybe you can help clarify for us: When was Mr. Khatallah charged and when were those – there were sealed indictments filed months ago. Was his case one of those, or was it a recently –

MS. PSAKI: I would point you to the Department of Justice, as – on timing. I believe the complaint was unsealed today.

QUESTION: But it was filed months ago –

MS. PSAKI: I would point you to them for the specific timing.

QUESTION: — presumably after The New York Times interviewed him.

MS. PSAKI: For the specific timing, I’d point you to the Department of Justice.

Do we have more on this issue, or should we move on? Oh, another one? Go ahead, Matt.

QUESTION: No no, not on this.

MS. PSAKI: Okay. New topic?

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2014/06/227708.htm

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Who has bets on the idea this guy will say he was inflamed over a video and spontaneously grabbed a mortar tube and started chucking mortars at the compound?

Anything to save Hillary.

Guarantee the video will come up with this guy.

ButterflyDragon on June 17, 2014 at 6:59 PM

all along,….Obama has had tabs on the where-abouts, of these Goons like OBL, for instances, and authorizes a take-down, as a distraction of
his current affairs!

Very Nixonian Sneaky!!!———————————-:0

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Tabs?

Pft, he probably has their numbers in his Rolodex.

ButterflyDragon on June 17, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Mark Knoller @markknoller · 1m

On @CBSEveningNews, Bob Orr reported Khatallah first undergoes an intelligence team interrogation and only after would be Mirandized.

canopfor on June 17, 2014 at 7:37 PM

I am duly unimpressed by his capture. He’s been doing interviews in the open for over a year. A raid huh? Not likely.

He was only ‘captured’ for political reasons, otherwise this administration could care less who he is or what he’s done.

TfromV on June 17, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Just wait until this terrorist is coaxed and/or bargained with by the Chi-Thug crew and announces the true intent of their attack was based solely on a YouTube video. StubbornGreenBurros on June 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Taa daaaa!

The New York Times now says Khattala planned the attack because he was upset about the American-made online movie.

After Colonel Qaddafi fell, Mr. Abu Khattala was one of the disgruntled veterans of the uprising who kept Benghazi on edge. Though he had friends among the militia leaders of the city who were close to American and British diplomats who took residence in the city, he kept his distance from foreign diplomats and rallied his own supporters to protest what he viewed as foreign interference in Libya’s affairs.

What he did in the period just before the attack has remained unclear. But Mr. Abu Khattala told other Libyans in private conversations during the night of the attack that he was moved to attack the diplomatic mission to take revenge for an insult to Islam in an American-made online video.

Akzed on June 17, 2014 at 8:15 PM

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