United States forces captured Mustafa al-Imam in Libya on Sunday, a top terrorist affiliated with the Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
American Special Forces and FBI agents assisted in bringing Mustafa al-Imam into custody, according to Fox News. The United States had been monitoring his whereabouts for some time, in conjunction with the Libyan government, and were able to capture the terrorist leader at an undisclosed location in Libya.
“Yesterday, on my orders, United States forces captured Mustafa al-Imam in Libya,” President Donald Trump said in a statement released Monday afternoon. “To the families of these fallen heroes: I want you to know that your loved ones are not forgotten, and they will never be forgotten.”
“Our memory is deep and our reach is long, and we will not rest in our efforts to find and bring the perpetrators of the heinous attacks in Benghazi to justice,” Trump continued.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknolwedged his department’s role in the capture. “I am grateful to the FBI, our partners in the intelligence community, and the Department of Defense who made this apprehension possible,” Sessions said, also in a statement. “The United States will continue to investigate and identify all those who were involved in the attack — and we will hold them accountable for their crimes.”
No U.S. troops were injured in the operation. Al-Imam’s condition is unknown. He was flown from Libya to a U.S. Navy ship and is now en route to Washington, D.C. where he will stand trial in Federal Court. The Department of Justice was clear that Al-Imam would not be sent to Guantanamo Bay, and will not spend long awaiting justice.
The mastermind of the attack, Ahmed Abu Khattala, was captured in 2014. His trial begins, coincidentally, this week.
Two former Navy SEALS, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, information officer Sean Smith, and Ambassador Christopher Stevens, perished in the Benghazi attack, which took place on September 11, 2012. Terrorists stormed the American embassy and an associated CIA outpost, brandishing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades in what we now know was a planned offensive.
Benghazi became a flash point in the 2016 presidential election because then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was revealed to have coordinated a deceptive message about the attack, claiming, through surrogates, that the violence in Benghazi arose when a peaceful protest — about an anti-Islamic YouTube video — got out of hand.