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US Captures Key Militant Involved in 2012 Benghazi Attack

The US forces captured Mustafa Al-Imam in Libya after President Donald Trump approved the mission.

PTI

Updated:October 31, 2017, 10:27 AM IST
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US Captures Key Militant Involved in 2012 Benghazi Attack
File photo of a protester reacting as the US Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012. (Reuters)
Washington: President Donald Trump has said that the US forces have captured a key militant believed to have involved in the deadly attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, which killed four Americans, including a diplomat.

The US forces captured Mustafa Al-Imam in Libya after President Donald Trump approved the mission.

"Yesterday, on my orders, United States forces captured Mustafa al-Imam in Libya," President Trump said in a statement.

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.

"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 Woodsfour brave Americans who were serving our country," Trump 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 move. "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 Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Tyrone 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 Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Ambassador Christopher Stevens four brave Americans who gave their lives in service to our nation".

"The apprehension of Mustafa al-Imam demonstrates our unwavering commitment to holding accountable all of those responsible for the murders of four brave Americans in a terrorist attack in Benghazi," said US Attorney Jessie K Liu for the District of Columbia.

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.

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