Two Tunisian men believed connected with the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in the Libya embassy attacks on Sept. 11 are being detained in Turkey, U.S. officials have confirmed tonight.
The officials said they’re waiting for more information about the arrests, and said it’s still unclear if the two are suspected of being witnesses or suspects in the Benghazi attack, the New York Times said.
Turkish TV reports said officials stopped the two men at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday, when they tried to come into the county by using faked passports.
The men’s names were matched to a list of possible suspects American intelligence agencies gave security services, said a Turkish newspaper.
1. Investigation Has Been Difficult
Libyan officials have issued many conflicting reports about arrests, and security issues kept the FBI from investigating the scene in Benghazi until just Thursday, over three weeks after the attacks took place.
2. The Limited Access Hasn’t Hindered All Investigation
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said in a press conference Thursday the FBI’s access hasn’t kept investigators from following other leads.
“You should not assume that all that we could do or have been doing is restricted solely to Benghazi. There are a variety of other places in country and outside the country where relevant things could be done and have been done.”
3. The Obama Administration is Under Attack
With the election getting closer, Republicans are strongly criticizing the Obama Administration’s response. The administration at first tied the attack to mob protests over the anti-Muslim film Innocence of Muslims but later called it a terrorist attack linked to al-Qaeda.
Obama’s going to try and escape criticism over Benghazi with a drone strike in Libya, I’d bet $ on it. And the media will cheer him on.
— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) October 6, 2012
Conservatives say Obama’s administration is using the death of Osama bin Laden to show al-Qaeda’s activities have been curtailed. Further, they’re accusing Obama of not providing the embassy with enough security even though terrorists had targeted the embassy before.
4. The Benghazi Compound Was Attacked Before
The consulate had already been bombed twice in the months leading up to the attacks, which were timed to happen on the 11th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks in the United States.
5. Obama Has Ordered Out the Big Guns
The president has ordered the CIA and Pentagon to track down those responsible for the attacks. It’s not yet known what he’ll do once more suspects are captured but he’s got the military’s Joint Special Operations Command on the mission.
6. Whistleblowers Warned of the Attacks
According to The Daily Beast, in the five months heading up to the attacks, there were increasing threats to the consulate and attacks on Libyans who were to provide security at missions in Tripoli and Benghazi.
7. Terrorists Used Facebook for Threats
The whistleblowers sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other top State Department officials, said the consulate and Stevens were known before the attack to be terror targets, and the terrorists made threats openly on Facebook. Talk about a status update.
8. Terrorists Knew Stephens’ Routine
Militant backers of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi used their Facebook page in June to threaten Stephens based on the route he used while on his morning jog, and posted a photo of Stevens on the site. The letter says the ambassador stopped his runs for about a week and then resumed them.
9. Eight Have Already Been Arrested
Libyan authorities have already busted eight suspects, but they’re not saying if they’re planning to prosecute the men. Without pressure from Washington, which will likely come as Obama enters the final weeks before the election, the suspects may never even face trial.
10. The FBI is Digging Deeply
The FBI was in Benghazi for 13 hours on the crime scene, and is under military protection, said Pentagon spokesman George Little.
“At the request of the FBI, the department provided logistic and security support to the investigation team in order to conduct work on-site in Benghazi. (Military) personnel completed that support earlier today and have departed Benghazi along with the investigation team.”