WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta captured suspected Benghazi ring leader Ahmed Abu Khattala on Sunday. Delta Force commandos carried out the covert operation with FBI officials in Libya.
Khattala was an Islamist militia commander in Libya, who commanded extremist group Ansar al-Sharia. He is suspected of participating in the 2012 Benghazi attack on the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, in which the American Ambassador and three other Americans were killed. In a December 2013 investigation of the attack, the New York Times described him as a central figure. Abu Khattala denies killing the Americans or being part of the attack.
On June 17, 2014, President Obama released the following statement: “The United States has an unwavering commitment to bring to justice those responsible for harming Americans. 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.”