Pentagon: Benghazi suspect in US custody

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People gather to look at the site of a car bombing in Benghazi, Libya, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. A powerful car bomb exploded Wednesday near Libya’s Foreign Ministry building in the heart of the eastern coastal city of Benghazi, security officials said, one year to the date after an attack there killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. The early morning blast targeted a building that once housed U.S. Consulate  under the rule of King Idris, who former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi overthrew in a 1969 bloodless coup. (AP Photo/Mohammed el-Shaiky)

People gather to look at the site of a car bombing in Benghazi, Libya, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. A powerful car bomb exploded Wednesday near Libya’s Foreign Ministry building in the heart of the eastern coastal city of Benghazi, security officials said, one year to the date after an attack there killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. The early morning blast targeted a building that once housed U.S. Consulate under the rule of King Idris, who former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi overthrew in a 1969 bloodless coup. (AP Photo/Mohammed el-Shaiky)

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Libyan militant suspected in the deadly attack on Americans in Benghazi has been captured and is in American custody, the Pentagon said Tuesday, marking the first time the U.S. has apprehended one of the alleged perpetrators.

Officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala, a senior leader of the Benghazi branch of the terror group Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, will be tried in U.S. court. He is currently being held in an undisclosed location.

Last year, the U.S. filed charges against Khattala and a number of others in a sealed complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington. However, until now, no one had been arrested in the September 2012 attack in which a group of militants set fire to the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, killing Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

The Obama administration has come under intense criticism from Republicans for being unable to apprehend those responsible for the attack.

The Pentagon said the U.S. military, in cooperation with law enforcement personnel, captured Khattala on Sunday. Officials said there were no civilian casualties related to the operation and all of the Americans involved have safely departed Libya.

His capture was first reported by The Washington Post.

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