News

Benghazi suspect expected to arrive in U.S. this weekend

Benghazi suspect expected to arrive in U.S. this weekend

BENGHAZI ATTACK:Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khatallah was taken aboard the USS New York, an amphibious transport ship, after his seizure in a raid on the outskirts of Benghazi on June 15. He is expected to be prosecuted in the U.S. criminal justice system. He is the suspected leader of the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, seen above. Photo: Reuters

By Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A suspected leader of the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, captured by U.S. forces and spirited out of Libya, is expected to arrive in the United States this weekend after his journey at sea, U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday.

Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khatallah was taken aboard the USS New York, an amphibious transport ship, after his seizure in a raid on the outskirts of Benghazi on June 15. He is expected to be prosecuted in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Two U.S. officials told Reuters that Khatallah was due back in the United States in a couple of days. A third specified it would be this weekend.

No further details on Khatallah were immediately available.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in the Benghazi attack. Khatallah is charged with killing a person on U.S. property, a firearms violation and providing material support to terrorism.

The charges were filed in July 2013 but kept under a court seal until last week.

The U.S. Justice Department filed the charges against Khatallah in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., a venue that prosecutors have only rarely used for criminal cases involving those suspected of terrorism.

The courthouse is three blocks from where Congress meets. The White House is 12 blocks in the opposite direction.

Khatallah told Reuters in a 2012 interview that he was present during the Benghazi attack but was not one of the ringleaders.

Khatallah’s capture was seen as a victory for President Barack Obama, who has been accused by Republicans of playing down the role of al Qaeda in the 2012 attacks for political reasons and being slow to deliver on promises of justice.

The United States has publicly given few details of the operation near Benghazi, an area where Tripoli struggles to assert its rule – a reflection of the chaos in the oil producer three years after the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.

Khatallah’s brother Abu Bakr told Reuters in an interview last week that he was told “he drove away with a friend on Sunday and that was the last we heard of him.”

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Sandra Maler and Eric Beech)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

Fresh
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith (99) against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended for nine games by the NFL

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

little

A look at the biggest stories and best photography in sports this week.

in Entertainment

WATCH: 10 best ‘Simpsons’ episodes

In this photo released by Fox, Homer explains why he wants to bring back the annual 4th of July fireworks display, after it's cancelled for budget reasons, in the "Yellow Badge of Cowardge" Season Finale episode of "The Simpsons," in May 2014. The full 25-year run of "The Simpsons" will arrive on cable channel FXX with a summer marathon, to be paired this fall with a digital extravaganza that could turn other TV shows yellow with envy. "I'm not going to over-promise, but I think this website will provide you with affordable health care," longtime "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean told a TV critics' meeting Monday, July 21, 2014.

The recent marathon of all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons" inspired us to sit down and come up with our 10 favorite episodes. Enjoy!

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

yankees

A complete look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in Music

Robert Plant urges Jimmy Page to give up Led Zeppelin reunion

2012 Kennedy Center Honorees and members of the band Led Zeppelin, from left, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Robert Plant chat on the red carpet after arriving at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors Performance and Gala Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 at the State Department in Washington.

Robert Plant has urged his former Led Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page to end his war of words with the singer and concentrate on recording new music.

Bellingham Traffic