U.S. officials confirms that one of the key suspects involved in the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya has officially been captured.
Ahmed Abu Khattala, a Libyan militant and senior leader of the terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia, has been apprehended by U.S. officials and is being held in an undisclosed location. Khattala has been regarded as one of the leaders of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
"He is in U.S. custody in a secure location outside of Libya,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby. “There were no civilian casualties related to this operation, and all U.S. personnel involved in the operation have safely departed Libya.”
Following Khattala’s capture, President Barack Obama made a statement praising those who helped apprehend the terror suspect.
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"The United States has an unwavering commitment to bring to justice those responsible for harming Americans,” said President Obama. "Since the deadly attacks on our facilities in Benghazi, I have made it a priority to find and bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of four brave Americans. I recently authorized an operation in Libya to detain an individual charged for his role in these attacks, Ahmed Abu Khattala. The fact that he is now in U.S. custody is a testament to the painstaking efforts of our military, law enforcement and intelligence personnel. Because of their courage and professionalism, this individual will now face the full weight of the American justice system."
House Speaker John Boehner also praised the successful mission and added that the Obama administration needs to allow the military to conduct their investigation of the suspect.
"It is obviously good news that this terrorist is now in American custody, and I am grateful for the work of our military - assisted by the FBI - in capturing him," said Boehner. "I look forward to hearing more details regarding the raid, and I expect the administration to give our military professionals time to properly gather any useful intelligence he has."
This is the first Benghazi terror suspect capture since the attack happened in September 2012.