Over a year and a half after the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Ahmed Abu Khattala, the suspected leader behind the attack has been captured by U.S. forces.
President Obama said earlier today, Khattala would face the “full weight of the American justice system.” Khattala will face charges related to the attack in a federal court in Washington DC.
This is a shift away from transferring terrorist suspects to Guantanamo Bay for a military tribunal.
Some of the charges include providing material support to terrorists and killing a person in the course of an attack on a federal facility but new charges could be added.
The capture took place this past Sunday by Special Operation Forces and FBI personnel inside Libya, and government officials are saying no civilians were hurt during the operation. Officials have also said all personnel involved in the capture are safely out of Libya.
The attack on the embassy has been at the center of an investigation led by House-Republicans. The investigation has focused on accusations of President Obama and his administration covering up the involvement of militant groups in the attack to help in President Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the investigation would remain ongoing, “even as we begin the process of putting Khattala on trial and seeking his conviction before a jury…”
Khattala, in an interview with the New York Times after the initial attack, said he “was not a member of Al Qaeda,” but he would be “proud to be associated with Al Qaeda’s puritanical zeal for Islamic law.”