U.S. Forces Capture Key Militant in Benghazi Attack

The American special operations forces captured a militant in Libya accused of playing instrumental role in the Benghazi attacks and President Donald Trump identified him as Mustafa al-Imam. The aim of the operation was to bring the perpetrators to justice five years after the deadly violence. According to Trump, the capture is a sign that the four America who lost their lives will never be forgotten, the Associated Press reports.

“Our memory is deep and our reach is long, and we will not rest in our efforts to find and bring the perpetrators of the heinous attacks in Benghazi to justice,” Trump said.

Al-Imam will be extradited to the U.S. and will probably be tried in federal court. The militant was captured in Misrata and was taken to a U.S. Navy ship at the port for transport by military plane to Washington. He will probably arrive in the U.S. within the next two days and will face trial in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia as the FBI continues to investigate. He faces three criminal charges: killing or conspiring to kill someone during an attack on a federal facility, providing support for terrorists, and using a firearm in connection with a violent crime. These charges were filed in May 2015 but were recently unsealed. It is unknown how Al-Imam was involved in the September 11, 2012 violence, but it is known that he is a Lybian national and about 46 years old.

The president thanked the U.S. military, intelligence agencies and prosecutors for tracking the militant and enabling his capture. Unnamed officials said that the operation was coordinated with Lybia’s internationally recognized government.

Al-Imam is not the first person accused in the Benghazi attack. Abu Khattala, was captured during President Barack Obama’s tenure and he went on trial in federal court in Washington earlier this month. He pleaded not guilty to the 18 charges against him.

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