U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. wants Ahmed Abu Khattala, the man suspected to be the mastermind behind the attacks on the embassy in Benghazi, taken to Guantanamo Bay for detention and interrogation immediately.
It was announced Tuesday that the unrepentant suspect was captured and will face criminal federal charges on at least three counts for the deaths of the four Americans killed in Benghazi Libya in 2012, including one charge which could carry the death penalty. According to Fox News:
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby called Khattala a “key figure in the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi.” He said there were no civilian casualties in the weekend operation, and all U.S. personnel have “safely departed” Libya.
Khattala, until this past weekend, had loomed as an almost taunting presence. A month after the attack, he admitted to Fox News that he was at the scene of the attack, though claimed he did not plan it. At the time, he claimed he was just directing traffic and looking after fellow militia members guarding the complex.
At briefings on Tuesday afternoon, State and Defense department officials were questioned repeatedly on why reporters were able to get in touch with Khattala after the attack but U.S. forces apparently were not.
“Terrorists go to great lengths to evade capture, and it can be a complicated process trying to get at them,” Kirby said. “What matters is … that we got him.”
Rubio released the following statement Tuesday to express the importance of transferring the terrorist to GITMO without delay.
“It is long overdue that justice be delivered to the terrorists who conducted the attacks of Sept. 11, 2012, against U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya and killed four Americans,” Rubio said.”The capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala is welcome news, and a testament to the bravery and skill of U.S. special forces and the FBI. The Obama administration should immediately transfer him to the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay for detention and interrogation. In order to locate all individuals associated with the attacks that led to the deaths of four Americans, we need intelligence. That intelligence is often obtained through an interrogation process.”
“At times, this administration has been more interested in the politics of the war on terrorism than the execution of it, and we have not had an articulable detention policy in six years. I look forward to hearing from the administration how they plan to obtain information from Ahmed Abu Khattala, where they intend to detain him, and what the next steps are for going after those responsible for these attacks,” Rubio said. “America remains at war and a return to the failed law enforcement approach of the 1990s is not an adequate response to the very real threats we face.”