WGN Terrorism Analyst on the Benghazi arrest

The capture of Ahmed Abu Khatallah could be compared to a large group of trappers quietly snaring rare and dangerous prey.

For days, Army Delta Force commandos, the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies lay in wait for one of the alleged masterminds behind the deadly September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Then on Tuesday, they lured Abu Khatallah to a point south of the eastern city and nabbed him. U.S. officials said he did not put up a fight. Not a shot was fired.

But Abu Khatallah had a reputation for hiding out in the open, relaxed and self-assured.

In an interview to CNN’s Arwa Damon last year, he said he was ready to talk to U.S. investigators but “not as an interrogation.”

He will now have that conversation; just not on his own terms.

Where he is now

Abu Khatallah is now on a slow boat to the United States – a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean, where he is facing interrogators.

They’re taking him by sea, rather than by air, in order to give investigators “maximum time to question him,” U.S. officials said.

Such interviews typically are done by the FBI-led High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG, that includes agents from multiple law and intelligence agencies.

Where he is headed

When he arrives, Abu Khatallah is very likely headed to a federal trial.

That’s what the Obama administration wants, a position at odds with some of the President’s Republican critics.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wants to postpone criminal prosecution to give interrogation more time.

“We should have some quality time with this guy. Weeks and months,” he said. “Don’t torture him, but have some quality time with him.”

Arizona Sen. John McCain wants to see Abu Khatallah in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The capture of Ahmed Abu Khatallah could be compared to a large group of trappers quietly snaring rare and dangerous prey.

For days, Army Delta Force commandos, the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies lay in wait for one of the alleged masterminds behind the deadly September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Then on Tuesday, they lured Abu Khatallah to a point south of the eastern city and nabbed him. U.S. officials said he did not put up a fight. Not a shot was fired.

But Abu Khatallah had a reputation for hiding out in the open, relaxed and self-assured.

In an interview to CNN’s Arwa Damon last year, he said he was ready to talk to U.S. investigators but “not as an interrogation.”

He will now have that conversation; just not on his own terms.

Where he is now

Abu Khatallah is now on a slow boat to the United States – a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean, where he is facing interrogators.

They’re taking him by sea, rather than by air, in order to give investigators “maximum time to question him,” U.S. officials said.

Such interviews typically are done by the FBI-led High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG, that includes agents from multiple law and intelligence agencies.

Where he is headed

When he arrives, Abu Khatallah is very likely headed to a federal trial.

That’s what the Obama administration wants, a position at odds with some of the President’s Republican critics.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wants to postpone criminal prosecution to give interrogation more time.

“We should have some quality time with this guy. Weeks and months,” he said. “Don’t torture him, but have some quality time with him.”

Arizona Sen. John McCain wants to see Abu Khatallah in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“Where else can you take him to?” McCain said

Gitmo may be out of the question. It’s a prison the Obama administration has been trying to shutter. And no detainees have been added there since the President took office, said national security spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

 

TM & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

 

1 Comment

  • Diane

    Gee, think this has anything to do with Hillary Clinton's book tour ? Two years of watching this individual " hiding out in the open, relaxed and self-assured." Katallah knew our president had no intention of interfering in his activities.

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