The U.S. has captured one of the key suspects believed to be involved in the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, according to a report from The Washington Post.
A U.S. official confirmed to Business Insider that Ahmed Abu Khattala is in U.S. custody. It is the first time one of the individuals suspected to be involved in the 2012 attack has been apprehended. The assault claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
According to the Washington Post report, which the U.S. official described as “broadly accurate,” Abu Khattala was captured near Benghazi by American troops, who were working hand-in-hand with the FBI. He was apprehended in a secret raid last weekend.
“He is in U.S. custody in a secure location outside of Libya. There were no civilian casualties related to this operation, and all U.S. personnel involved in the operation have safely departed Libya,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.
U.S. officials have repeatedly called Abu Khattala one of the “ringleaders” of the attack. The U.S. had quickly made it a priority to capture Abu Khattala and others secretly charged in the attack. But efforts to apprehend him had stalled, despite the fact he was hiding in plain sight and openly spoke with journalists.
For almost two years, the attack in Benghazi has continued to be a political lightning rod in Congress. Republican lawmakers have accused the Obama administration of covering up key details about the attack in its immediate aftermath and attempting to stonewall their investigation. In early May, House Republicans formed a select committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack.
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