Tripoli: U.S. seizure of Benghazi suspect an 'infringement on Libya's sovereignty'

Libyan officials were outraged that Libyan citizen Ahmed Abu Khatallah was seized in a secret U.S. military operation on June 15, calling the action an "infringement on Libya's sovereignty."
By JC Finley   |   June 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM   |   Comments

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TRIPOLI, Libya, June 18 (UPI) -- Libyan officials condemned the U.S. seizure of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the suspected ringleader in the September 2012 attack on U.S. Consulate Benghazi.

His capture was a "regrettable infringement on Libya's sovereignty," Foreign Minister Saeed Alaswad alleged Wednesday.

Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani said that the Libyan government was in the dark and had no advance notice about the U.S. operation.

The Libyan government, Marghani asserted, should be responsible for trying Khatallah, and not the U.S. The justice minister noted that an arrest warrant had been issued in Libya for Khatallah's arrest.

The U.S. military, in cooperation with U.S. law enforcement, seized Khatallah outside Benghazi on June 15.

"Capturing Ahmed Abu Khatallah was a critical step toward bringing him to justice," said John Carlin, the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Justice Department's National Security Division, "and we will not rest in our pursuit of the others who attacked our facilities and killed our citizens."

The Pentagon acknowledged Tuesday that the "Ahmed Abu Khatallah is in U.S. custody in a secure location outside of Libya."

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