U.S. operatives captured a senior suspect in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, in a nighttime raid on Libyan soil that set the stage for a high-profile trial of an alleged terrorist in U.S. civilian court.
The suspect, Ahmed Abu Khatallah, is being interrogated outside the U.S. by a special group of intelligence investigators, said U.S. officials familiar with the case. Mr. Khatallah is the most prominent of those wanted in the attack on two U.S. compounds, in which four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed.
The attack prompted sharp criticism of the Obama administration by Republican lawmakers, in part for the lack of action against suspects in the Sept. 11, 2012, incident.
Mr. Khatallah was captured Sunday night in a stealthy raid on the outskirts of Benghazi, in which no shots were fired and no U.S. personnel were injured, U.S. officials said. President Barack Obama authorized the raid and the U.S. didn't give the Libyan government any advance notice, officials said.
Mr. Khatallah was captured at a time and place where the operation wasn't observed, so many in his inner circle weren't aware he was missing, said a U.S. official.
U.S. intelligence officials had been closely tracking his movements as he frequently moved between residences in the Benghazi area and decided to swoop in and grab him when he was isolated at one of them, said an official. He wasn't captured at his own home, officials said.