Patterico's Pontifications


Guy Arrested for Benghazi Attack Has Been Hanging Out in Plain Sight for Ages

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:58 pm

Obama done caught him a terrorist. Yay! Except . . . what took so long?

Ed Morrissey has good analysis and this quote from a December HuffPo article:

While the U.S. government has so far been unable to catch Khattala, journalists haven’t had trouble locating him since shortly after the attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Last year, I wrote how both the New York Times and Reuters sat down with Khattala around the time he was first considered a suspect. In those reports — and in more recent ones — journalists have noted the disconnect between his status as a wanted man and casually meeting in public.

On Oct. 18, 2012, New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick ”spent two leisurely hours”with Khattala “at a crowded luxury hotel, sipping a strawberry frappe on a patio and scoffing at the threats coming from the American and Libyan governments.”

Reuters caught up with Khattala the same day and similarly reported that he didn’t appear overly concerned. “Sitting with a friend in the restaurant of a Benghazi hotel, the 41-year-old, sporting a red felt hat and a full salt-and-pepper beard, laughed gently,” wrote Hadeel Al Shalchi and Ghaith Shennib.

And that’s not the last time Khattala popped up in the western media. In August, CNN’s Arwa Damon spent two hours with him at a well-known hotel coffee shop in Benghazi. When asked on-air about locating Khattala, Damon said he’s “not a man who is in hiding.”

Hm. He sounds easy to find. If you care.

Allahpundit says he has been a prime suspect from the beginning and the criminal charges have been filed for nine months.

Doesn’t sound like Obama cared.

18 Responses to “Guy Arrested for Benghazi Attack Has Been Hanging Out in Plain Sight for Ages”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. And not once did he mention a video, contrary to what The Times is right now saying. I am disgusted.

    Gazzer (6a76d0)

  3. Of course, the Library of Congress report, shows AQ massing back in June of that year, it mention Khattalah’s militia, Obeyda al Jarrah in passing, it does list one of the two AQ detailees from Zawahiri, Anas al Libi, who is in US custody,

    narciso (3fec35)

  4. Doesn’t sound like Obama cared.

    Khattala had no value to Obama back then. Now he can point and claim that justice is being served.

    Cold comfort to the families of those who died though…

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (9940a5)

  5. CBS News also sat down with Khattala back then. They had their female correspondent, who was today in Syria (CBS seems to have only female foreign correspondents in the Arab world) talk about it tonight on the CBS Evening News.

    He claimed he had only gone to the scene to look for a friend. Libyan authorities put her in tocuh with him. when he left the interview in acafe, his bodyguard checked his car for car bombs.
    He went moreinto hiding after he got indicted or so.

    This is said to have been in the worksfor a year. They say they did it now (Sunday) because it was the best chance of no bloodshed. He surrendered peacefully.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  6. I say again.

    And not once did he mention a video, contrary to what The Times is right now saying. I am disgusted.

    Gazzer (6a76d0)

  7. Well, he claims he is innocent – why should he mention a video?

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  8. Barney had to get his bullet out, and kept dropping it.

    mojo (00b01f)

  9. 9. Well, apparently he did Sammy

    Gazzer (6a76d0) — 6/17/2014 @ 9:10 pm

    Now he’s claiming to have been upset over the video? Taking him into custody now is starting to make more sense. I don’t see him getting convicted, but he can vindicate Obama’s initial lie by repeating it.

    Steve57 (d38ceb)

  10. How DARE you insinuate that they picked this moment to nab the guy to bump the IRS story from the headlines! Why, that’s as outrageous as the idea they traded for Bergdahl just now to bump the VA story.

    Obama, the poor fellow, is simple beset by an extraordinary sequence of unfortunate coincidences.

    Estragon (ada867)

  11. Steve, I read somewhere that they have a list of about a dozen mooks they want to arrest. But this one is the only one willing to sing the right (wrong) song, so they got a pass.

    Gazzer (6a76d0)

  12. We’re gonna need a bigger bus…

    Gazzer (6a76d0)

  13. Yes, I see, but that was to people whom he admitted responsibility for that attack.

    Afterward, he offered contradictory denials of his role, sometimes trying to say that he did not do it but strongly approved. He appeared to enjoy his notoriety….

    …On the day of the attack, Islamists in Cairo had staged a demonstration outside the United States Embassy there to protest an American-made online video mocking Islam, and the protest culminated in a breach of the embassy’s walls — images that flashed through news coverage around the Arab world.

    As the attack in Benghazi was unfolding a few hours later, Mr. Abu Khattala told fellow Islamist fighters and others that the assault was retaliation for the same insulting video, according to people who heard him.

    In an interview a few days later, he pointedly declined to say whether an offensive online video might indeed warrant the destruction of the diplomatic mission or the killing of the ambassador. “From a religious point of view, it is hard to say whether it is good or bad,” he said

    Yes, it is inaccurate to say that the Cairo protest was about a video, but that is waht the Cairo embassy thought it would be about. The actual protest leaders were calling for the freedom of Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, the leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers.

    This is another thing again that goes to show that the video story originated with the attackers, not anyone in Washngton.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  14. Khatalla was like maybe a lieutenant colonel, not a general.

    The thing is, the attack was planned well in advance, and the video cover story also had to be planned in advance.

    But if you believed the video story, and that the Islamists hadn’t put that video up on You Tube themselves, you’d have to believe it wasn’t planned.

    Even now they’re not talking about anyone outside of Libya.

    Sammy Finkelman (59be71)

  15. No, he was muscle, ironically he was freed from Ali Salem prison, by the fall of Quaddafi, there were 18 names on that Africom report, 11 came from AQIM, 7 were Ansar Al Sharia, technically he was another militia altogether,

    narciso (3fec35)

  16. 14. This article also says:

    In several hours of interviews since the attack, Mr. Abu Khattala was happy to profess his admiration for Osama bin Laden and other leaders of Al Qaeda. He insisted that American foreign policy alone was to blame for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    So, to American reporters, he didn’t mention the video. He only mentioned the video to the people doing the attack.

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

  17. Khattal is being interrogated in the Obama version of secret prisons: aboard U.S. naval warships.

    He will be given his Miranda rights later.

    Let’s hope they actually allowhim to be interrogated. Who does he report to? Who gives him money> That sort of thing.

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

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