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Benghazi Attack Ringleader Captured in LibyaSalem-News.com
The U.S. will try him in a civilian court rather than hold him at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Ahmed Abu Khattala was taken into custody in a secret U.S. military raid in Libya on June 15.
He is now being held in a secure location outside the country, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed.
U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed in the attack.
"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 wrote in a statement.
After the announcement, President Barack Obama praised the courage and professionalism of the military, law enforcement and intelligence personnel who tracked and captured Khattala, who the U.S. describes as a "key figure" in the attack.
"With this operation, the U.S. has once again demonstrated that we will do whatever it takes to see that justice is done when people harm Americans," he said in a White House statement.
Khattala would face the "full weight of the American justice system", he said, an indication the U.S. will try him in a civilian court rather than hold him at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
In August, the New York Times reported that federal prosecutors had prepared secret charges against him, accusing him of murder for his role in the attack.
On September, 11 2012, gunmen stormed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and set it on fire.
In addition to Stevens, information technology specialist Sean Smith and security workers and ex-Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed.
The White House initially said the attack stemmed from anti-American protests over a crude video produced in the U.S. that was deemed insulting to Islam.
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