Ahmed Abu Khattala: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

benghazi leader captured

A picture shows the damage inside the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi on September 13, 2012. (Getty)

A new Washington Post report reveals that the United States has captured Ahmed Abu Khattala, a man believed to be a leader in the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

In a secret operation carried out by U.S. Special Operations, Khattala was reportedly captured and will be brought back to the United States to face charges against him.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. He Was Captured Near Benghazi

The secret operation, a collaboration between Special Forces and the FBI, occurred after months of planning and numerous postponements due to political upheaval in Libya.

It is unknown at this time if anyone else was arrested with Khattala. The Washington Post reportedly learned about the raid on Monday, but postponed the publishing of the story one day at the behest of the U.S. Government.

2. He Was Charged by the U.S. Attorney in 2013

In August 2013, the U.S. government filed formal murder charges against Khattala for the killing of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, on September 11, 2012. These charges came as the U.S. government charged several of the dozen Libyan militants suspected of being involved in the 2012 attack.

In 2013, U.S. officials told the New York Times they, “would prefer that Libya made the arrests because they did not want to be seen as taking law enforcement action in another country.”

3. The State Department Labeled Him a Terrorist in January 2014

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On January 10, 2014, the State Department officially gave Ahmed Abu Khattala designation as a terrorist for his involvement with Ansar al-Shari’a, the militant terror group responsible for the attacks in Benghazi. He is identified as a senior leader of Ansar al-Shari’a, a group accused of putting United States citizens at risk in both Libya and Tunisia.

4. He Is “En Route’ to the United States to Stand Trial

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The Washington Post reports that Khattala was being held “in a secure location outside Libya” until he could be safely transported to the United States to stand trail. It is unclear when he will arrive, but he is expected to be arraigned in Washington.

5. A Bipartisan Commission Continues to Investigate the Attacks



In May 2014, Nancy Pelosi appointed five House Democrats to join the 7 Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi. She said appointing Democrats is to assure that no more misleading information is produced by the Republicans, saying, “The Republican obsession with Benghazi has not been about the victims, the families or the country.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), Rep. Adam Smith (D-Washington), Adam Schiff (D-California), Linda Sanchez (D-California), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), have all been appointed to the select committee.

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