WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 – In cooperation with law enforcement personnel June 15, the U.S. military captured a key figure in the September 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said today.
In a statement, Kirby said Ahmed Abu Khatallah is in U.S. custody in a secure location outside of Libya.
There were no civilian casualties related to this operation, and all U.S. personnel involved in the operation have safely left Libya, Kirby added.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel later released a statement commending everyone involved in the operation.
“I want to commend all the service members who were involved in the planning and execution of the operation to capture Ahmed Abu Khatallah,” he said. “Their tireless efforts may only be known to a few, but are felt by all Americans who are proud of what they do every day to defend this nation. This successful counterterrorism operation is another example of the extraordinary capabilities of the United States military and our unrelenting commitment to hold accountable those who harm American citizens.”
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also issued a statement. “This team of professionals acted with extraordinary skill, courage and precision, successfully carrying out a dangerous and complex capture operation resulting in no casualties,” he said. “I’m proud of those who tirelessly defend our nation, our freedoms and our way of life.”