According to a North African news journal, Ahmed Boukhtala, the main suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on our U.S. consulate in Benghazi, is alive, well and walking the very streets stained with the blood of four dead Americans.
Magharebia, an AFRICOM sponsored online news web site dedicated to coverage of North Africa, reported Wednesday that although “conflicting reports” place Boukhtala either in or having escaped from prison, he in fact remains a free man in Libya. In addition to the Benghazi raid, Boukhtala is also suspected in the assassination of a Libyan rebel commander.
“Boukhtala is not detained, and no official charges were made against him,” political activist Samir al-Jahani told Magharebia. “However, there are many suspicions around him.”
Libyan authorities seem reluctant to get directly involved with anyone associated with terrorist organizations.
“Boukhtala belongs to an extremist group, and he is still followed by some gunmen. However, he no longer has his own militias since his Abu Obeida Bin al-Jarrah brigade was disbanded,” al-Jahani added.
Quryna, a Libyan print newspaper, conducted an interview with Boukhtala on Dec. 19, during which he neither admitted nor denied his role in the attack on our mission. In response to a direct question on the raid he said:
“Let’s first ask about the reason for their presence in Benghazi in this suspicious and secret way. The other thing is: what is the nature of work they were doing in Benghazi? What was the role that the consulate was playing and who gave it permission to violate Libya’s sovereignty and intervene in Libyan politics?”
I still recall the words of Barack Obama when he and Secretary off State Clinton honored the fallen three days after the massacre.
“We will stand fast against the violence on our diplomatic missions,” Obama said on Sept. 14. “We will continue to do everything in our power to protect Americans serving overseas, whether that means increasing security at our diplomatic posts, working with host countries — which have an obligation to provide security — and making it clear that justice will come to those who harm Americans.”
Boukhtala is banking on the fact that the president has apparently forgotten those words. I haven’t, nor will the American people.
Read more at Magharebia.