The Slatest

U.S. Raid Captures Suspected Militant in 2012 Benghazi Attack in Libya

An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.


The U.S. announced on Monday the capture of one of the suspected perpetrators of the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. A weekend raid by U.S. Special Forces netted Mustafa al Imam, a Libyan national, who is thought to be one of the armed men who stormed the diplomatic compound, setting buildings on fire. The fires ultimately took the lives of two Americans, one of which was the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. Two other Americans were also killed in a subsequent attack on a CIA compound about a mile from the consulate.


It’s not totally clear what role Imam played in the organization and execution of the attack. “Al-Imam is charged with ‘killing’ a person in the course of an attack on a federal facility involving the use of a firearm and dangerous weapon and attempting and conspiring to do the same,” according to a Justice Department statement. The Wall Street Journal reports there is no evidence linking Imam to Ansar al Sharia, the terrorist group suspected of being behind the attack.

U.S. officials have said very little about the details of the raid. Imam was reportedly transferred to a U.S. ship offshore and is expected to be brought to the U.S. in a matter of days to face the charges. Another suspected participant in the Benghazi attack, Abu Khattala, was captured in 2014 and went on trial earlier this month.