Photo Credit: FacebookAhmed 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.
U.S. officials said the joint Special Operations and FBI mission had been planned for months and was approved by President Obama on Friday. The Pentagon said that there were no civilian or other casualties and that all involved U.S. personnel had safely left Libya.
The administration provided few details about the operation itself, where Abu Khattala is being held or the timing of his first appearance in court. After news of the capture became public Tuesday morning, Obama, on a visit to Pennsylvania, said Abu Khattala “is now being transported back to the United States.” Administration officials said they expected him to appear in court here within days.
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