Benghazi attack suspect captured; in U.S. custody


The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group in this file photo taken September 11, 2012. Photo by Esam Al-Fetori/Reuters

WASHINGTON — 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.

Officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala, a senior leader of the Benghazi branch of the terror group Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, will be tried in U.S. court. He is currently being held in an undisclosed location.

Last year, the U.S. filed charges against Khattala and a number of others in a sealed complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington. However, until now, no one had been arrested in the September 2012 attack in which a group of militants set fire to the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

The Obama administration has come under intense criticism from Republicans for being unable to apprehend those responsible for the attack.

His capture was first reported by the Washington Post.

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