Benghazi Attacks Suspect Is Captured in Libya by U.S. Commandos
WASHINGTON — American commandos captured a suspect in the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, American officials said on Monday, bringing into custody a second man accused in the terrorist attacks that have been used by Republicans as a political spear against the Obama administration.
The man, whose name was not disclosed, was caught in Benghazi and being brought to the United States to face criminal charges, one official said. Four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed in bloody assaults at a diplomatic compound and a C.I.A. base a mile away that came under heavy fire. More than a dozen people have been charged, and one is standing trial.
The team of commandos — made up of Navy SEALs and members of the F.B.I.’s Hostage Rescue Team — surprised the suspect, the official said, adding that he was unable to resist. Details about the operation were limited, but the officials said plans to apprehend him had been in the works for months as the American military waited for authorization from the White House.
The military’s Joint Special Operations Command had been watching the man closely along with others thought to have participated in the attacks. Officials said Lt. Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, a commander of the special operations command and a former Delta Force operator, pushed hard to carry out the secret mission.
The arrest of the man shows that President Trump, who vowed during his campaign to fill the wartime prison at Guantánamo Bay with “bad dudes,” is willing to use civilian courts to prosecute terrorism suspects captured overseas. The capture lso marks a victory for F.B.I. officials, who had feared that such prosecutions would stagnate under Mr. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.