About the Show

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

We've moved! Come join us at our new show page.

We've moved! Come join us at our new show page.

June 17th, 2014
05:25 PM ET

Why did it take so long to capture a Benghazi suspect?

(CNN) – U.S. special forces working with the FBI captured a key suspect in the deadly 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

Libyan militia leader Ahmed Abu Khatallah was captured over the weekend near Benghazi, U.S. officials said. His is the first arrest and detention by the United States in connection with the Benghazi attack.

CNN's Arwa Damon was able to find and interview Khatallah more than a year ago. Why did it take the U.S. so long to capture him?

The Libyan government has been "well aware of" the United States' desire to track down people responsible for the September 11, 2012 attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi, says State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

"This was a U.S.-run operation, a unilateral operation run by the United States," said Psaki. "We wanted to make sure this would have a successful outcome to the degree possible we did, and we have.

Khatallah will be moved to the U.S., where he will likely be read his Miranda rights – the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney. The National Security Council said the transfer is going to take place in the coming days, which seems quick in terms of intelligence gathering.

"We weigh a range of factors, including being able to obtain actionable intelligence, as all of these decisions are made," said Psaki. But "our effort here, and our focus here, is also holding him accountable for his involvement in the terrible attacks from September 11th."

For more of our interview with the State Department's Jen Psaki, including a discussion of the crisis in Iraq, click here, or on the video below.

Posted by , ,
Filed under: World Lead
soundoff (No Responses)

Comments are closed.