U.S. Special Operations Forces have captured a top militant who was “instrumental” in the Benghazi attack in Libya in 2012 that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, an information management officer and two former Navy SEALs, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The Associated Press reported Monday that Special Operations Forces have captured the unidentified militant and are transporting the militant back to the U.S.
“The officials say U.S. commandos captured the unidentified man in Libya and are transporting him back to the U.S. The officials say the mission was approved by President Donald Trump and done in coordination with Libya’s internationally recognized government,” the AP reported, adding that the officials “weren’t authorized to speak” and “demanded anonymity.”
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The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens; U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith; and CIA contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, both former Navy SEALs, were killed in the attacks against the diplomatic compound five years ago.
The federal trial for Libyan militia leader Ahmed Abu Khattala, the alleged mastermind behind the 2012 terror attacks on the U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, started in October.
On Sept. 11, 2012, at around 9:40 p.m. local time, a large number of armed men attacked the government compound in Benghazi. Stevens and Smith died from smoke inhalation, while Woods and Doherty were killed by two separate mortar rounds that hit their position at the CIA annex.
The Benghazi attack was initially thought to be a response from an angry mob in retaliation of a recently released anti-Muslim video titled “Innocence of Muslims.” However, it was later deemed to be a terrorist attack.
A report released last year revealed that the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to protect the American diplomats.
The 800-page report revealed that in the months leading up to the attack, there was worsening security in Libya, poor bureaucratic leadership and inadequate resources. The report showed Clinton and the State Department’s inadequacy to protect the Libyan diplomatic outpost. The report also revealed that the CIA missed the threat and wrote faulty intelligence after the attack.
Clinton told a U.S. House committee that she was aware of the dangers in Libya but “there was no actionable intelligence” indicating a planned terrorist attack. The report showed that intelligence was available, but Clinton and her top aide, Patrick Kennedy, failed to realize the risk of a potential attack.
The 800 page report took more than 2 years to investigate and complete.