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Release of Benghazi Terror Suspect Raises Questions

Libya releases key terror suspect allegedly involved in planning the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on US diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
By Rina Tzvi
First Publish: 6/28/2013, 1:16 AM

Fire near U.S. consulate in Benghazi
Fire near U.S. consulate in Benghazi
AFP/File

The Libyan government earlier this month released a key terror suspect allegedly involved in planning the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on United States diplomatic and intelligence facilities in Benghazi, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

Faraj al Chalabi, an al Qaeda terrorist also linked to the 1994 terrorist murder of two German tourists, was detained by the Tripoli government in March, according to the report.

However, al Chalabi was released June 12 based on claims that there was a lack of evidence to hold him custody. 

An American official said the U.S. government has evidence al Chalabi was linked to the Benghazi attack but did not provide that information to the Libyan government. It could not be determined why the evidence was not used to hold the suspect and an FBI spokeswoman declined to comment on the case.

The FBI is conducting an investigation into the Benghazi attack, which resulted in the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Chalabi, who was arrested by the Libyans in March after returning from Pakistan, is believed by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials to be one of the people who organized the attack on the diplomatic compound, the Free Beacon reported.