Benghazi Attack Suspect to Arrive in U.S. on the Weekend
Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the suspected leader of the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, is expected to arrive in the United States this weekend after recently being captured by American troops.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Khatallah was taken aboard the USS New York, an amphibious transport ship, after his seizure in a raid on the outskirts of Benghazi on June 15. He is expected to be prosecuted in the U.S. criminal justice system.
Two American officials told Reuters that Khatallah was due back in the United States in a couple of days. A third specified it would be this weekend.
No further details on Khatallah were immediately available.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in the Benghazi attack. Khatallah is charged with killing a person on U.S. property, a firearms violation and providing material support to terrorism.
The charges were filed in July 2013 but kept under a court seal until last week.
Khattala, a leader of the terrorist organization Ansar al-Sharia, has previously denied any connection to the Benghazi attack.
His capture was seen as a victory for President Barack Obama, who has been accused by Republicans of playing down the role of Al-Qaeda in the 2012 attacks for political reasons and being slow to deliver on promises of justice.
Libya, however, was outraged that the United States had arrested Khatallah on its soil, and demanded that he be returned to Libya and tried there.