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Ahmed Abu Khattala had returned home Sunday night after a day of militia skirmishes in Benghazi when U.S. military commandos swarmed his residence south of the waterfront city and took him captive, quickly moving him out of Libya to a U.S. warship.
“He was isolated,” a U.S. official said. “It was pretty clean.”
One of the suspected ringleaders of the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi that killed four Americans, Abu Khattala is the first of the alleged perpetrators to be apprehended. He now awaits a transfer to the United States and a federal trial in the District.
So when news came last weekend that U.S. forces had picked up Abu Khattala, the chief suspect, in a long-planned secret raid, all the politicians who have proclaimed their anguish over the murders of our diplomatic and intelligence personnel ought to have been elated. They should have sent congratulations, if not apologies, to the White House.
But if the Benghazi tragedy has revealed anything, it is the utterly partisan obsession of those who have tried to stoke the “scandal.” So naturally, the same Republicans who have been preparing yet another Capitol Hill show trial—their “select committee” to investigate Benghazi—were barely able to conceal the dismay they so obviously felt over Khattala’s capture.
It is astonishing to watch the long faces of these elected officials, who yield to none in their flag-waving super-patriotic posturing, when the Obama administration manages to neutralize a dangerous enemy of the United States. Their animosity toward the president always seems far more intense than their hatred of our country’s actual adversaries. It is equally remarkable to listen to their petty complaints and phony arguments, as they try in every instance to diminish his achievement.
President Barack Obama said at a White House press conference on Friday afternoon that the administration has a “sealed indictment” of unnamed and unnumbered terrorists involved in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Amb. Chris Stevens, State Department Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and CIA security personnel Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
CNN had reported on Tuesday that the administration had charged “several suspects” in the Benghazi attack and that one of them was Ahmed Abu Khattala, reportedly a leader of the Ansar al Sharia militia.
Obama: We Have ‘Sealed Indictment’ of Benghazi Terrorists (August 9, 2013)
Mr. Abu Khattala, 41, wearing a red fez and sandals, added his own spin. Contradicting the accounts of many witnesses and the most recent account of the Obama administration, he contended that the attack had grown out of a peaceful protest against a video made in the United States that mocked the Prophet Muhammad and Islam.
So, the one guy who will substantiate the White House claim that the YouTube video animated a “peaceful protest” is the only one caught, after two years, when he’s walking around mocking the charges? And it happens to be during a time when Obama’s foreign policy is collapsing and the administration is mired in scandals.
I’m sure it’s all a coincidence.
This Is Why Benghazi Suspect Khattala Was Apprehended, And Not the Dozen Others Charged