Benghazi suspect to be tried in US courts

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Libyan militant is facing trial in the United States in the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

President Barack Obama says Ahmed Abu Khattala will face “the full weight of the American justice system.”

Khattala is a senior leader of the Benghazi branch of the terror group Ansar al-Shariah. The Pentagon says he was captured by American forces on Sunday, and he’s now being held in an undisclosed location outside of Libya.

Last year, the U.S. filed charges against him and a number of others in the attack. Officials say he could face the death penalty.

Until now, no one had been arrested in the attack in which a group of militants set fire to the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

A U.S. official says the operation that captured Abu Khattala had been in the works for a long period of time, and was carried out by U.S. special operations forces.

%@AP Links

198-a-09-(Rear Admiral John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, at news conference)-“we got him”-Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, says the focus should not be on the fact that it took the U.S. nearly two years to capture a prime Benghazi suspect. (17 Jun 2014)

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197-a-10-(Rear Admiral John Kirby, Pentagon press secretary, at news conference)-“court of law”-Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, says the suspect is in U.S. custody. (17 Jun 2014)

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194-a-12-(Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with reporters)-“that will occur”-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says the capture is good news. (17 Jun 2014)

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185-a-12-(President Barack Obama, speaking to workers at TechShop)-“message very clearly”-President Obama says the raid that captured Ahmed Abu Khattala makes good on a promise he made: to bring those behind the Benghazi attack to justice. (17 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO WX302: FILE – This Jan. 23, 2013 file photo shows then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. To congressional Republicans, “Benghazi” is shorthand for incompetence and cover-up. Democrats hear it as the hollow sound of pointless investigations. It is, in fact, a Mediterranean port city in Libya that was the site of an attack on an American diplomatic compound on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. That’s nearly all that U.S. politicians can agree on about Benghazi. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) (23 Jan 2013)

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APPHOTO PAPM109: President Barack Obama speaks about the capture of Libyan militant suspected of killing Americans in Benghazi, during his visit to TechShop in Pittsburgh, Pa., Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Obama says he authorized an operation in Libya to detain Ahmed Abu Khattala. His capture marks the first apprehension of an alleged perpetrator in the 2012 attack that killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) (17 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO WX303: FILE – This April 11, 2011 file photo shows U.S. envoy Chris Stevens in the lobby of the Tibesty Hotel in Benghazi, Libya. To congressional Republicans, “Benghazi” is shorthand for incompetence and cover-up. Democrats hear it as the hollow sound of pointless investigations. It is, in fact, a Mediterranean port city in Libya that was the site of an attack on an American diplomatic compound on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. That’s nearly all that U.S. politicians can agree on about Benghazi. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File) (11 Apr 2011)

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