US captures 2nd Benghazi consulate attack suspect in Libya

31 Oct 2017

US special forces have captured a second key militant linked to the deadly attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi in 2012 which killed the US ambassador to Libya and three other American personnel. President Donald Trump, who made the announcement, said US special forces captured Mustafa Al-Imam in Libya and said the action signified that the four Americans who died "will never be forgotten." "Yesterday, on my orders, US forces captured Mustafa al- Imam in Libya," Trump said in a statement yesterday. Al-Imam, 46, is in US custody in Libya, and upon his arrival to the US, he will be presented before a federal judge in Washington, said a Justice Department statement. Al-Imam is the second Benghazi suspect to be taken into US custody.
His capture comes as the attack's suspected mastermind -- Ahmed Abu Khatallah -- is currently on trial in Washington. "Because of this successful operation, Al-Imam will face justice in the United States for his alleged role in the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods four brave Americans who were serving our country," Trump said. "To the families of these fallen heroes: I want you to know that your loved ones are not forgotten, and they will never be forgotten," he said. Trump said the US will continue to support Libyan partners to ensure that Islamic State and other terrorist groups do not use Libya as a safe haven for attacks against US citizens or interests, Libyans, and others.
"Libya's long-term stability and security are linked to its ability to form a unified government and military, and we encourage all Libyans to support the ongoing reconciliation process facilitated by the UN and to work together to build a peaceful and stable country," he said. In a statement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson welcomed Trump's decision. "I am deeply grateful to the US military, law enforcement, and intelligence community for their efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks," he said. The Department of State family continues to mourn the loss of Ambassador Stevens, Doherty, Smith and Woods, and will spare no effort to ensure that justice is served for these dedicated Americans and public servants, he said.
Al-Imam has been charged for his alleged participation in the September 11, 2012, attack on the US Special Mission and Annex in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, "The murder of four Americans in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was a barbaric crime that shocked the American people. We will never forget those we lost." According to the complaint, which was filed under seal on May 19, 2015, Al-Imam is charged with killing a person in the course of an attack on a federal facility involving the use of a firearm and dangerous weapon and attempting and conspiring to do the same. He is also charged with providing, attempting and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists resulting in death, and discharging, brandishing, using, carrying and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. (PTI)