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US captures suspect in 2012 attack on diplomatic mission in Benghazi

Gianluigi Guercia, AFP | A torn-apart stars and stripes postcard at the US consulate compound in Benghazi on September 13, 2012, following an attack late on September 11 in which the US ambassador to Libya and three other US nationals were killed.

U.S. forces have captured a militant believed to have played a role in a 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, three U.S. officials said on Monday.

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The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that U.S. Special Operation Forces captured the militant in Libya in the past few days.

Two of the officials identified him as Mustafa al Imam and said he had played a role in the attack and the ambassador’s death.

The officials said the man was now in the custody of the Department of Justice and being transported back to the United States by the military.

They added that the operation was authorized by President Donald Trump and had been carried out in coordination with the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord.

In a statement, Trump said al Imam “will face justice in the United States for his alleged role in the September 11, 2012 attacks.”

The appropriate Congressional committees and the families of the Americans killed in the 2012 attack had also been notified, the officials said.

The attack on the embassy was the topic of numerous congressional hearings, with Republican lawmakers critical of the way in which then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton responded to the attack.

Earlier this month, U.S. prosecutors opened their case against the suspected ringleader, Ahmed Abu Khatallah.

Khatallah had been awaiting trial since 2014, when he was captured by a team of U.S. military and FBI officials in Libya and transported on a 13-day journey to the United States aboard a Navy vessel.

(REUTERS)

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