News / Middle East

    US Mission to Nab Benghazi Suspect Draws Fire

    US Mission to Nab Benghazi Suspect Draws Firei
    X
    Aru Pande
    June 19, 2014 11:37 PM
    Libyan officials have condemned this week's U.S. operation that nabbed the alleged ringleader of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. As VOA's Aru Pande reports, after the 2011 U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the operation in Libya again raises questions of how far the United States can go to target terror suspects abroad.
    Aru Pande
    Libyan officials have condemned this week's U.S. operation that nabbed the alleged ringleader of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.  As VOA's Aru Pande reports, after the 2011 U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the operation in Libya again raises questions of how far the United States can go to target terror suspects abroad.

    The United States did not notify the Libyan government before carrying out the June 14 operation that captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah - allegedly behind the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
     
    And it did not take long for Libyan officials to express anger at the American mission.

    "The government condemns this unfortunate attack on Libyan sovereignty, without prior knowledge of the Libyan government, in a time the city of Benghazi suffers from security disruptions," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Said al Saoud in Tripoli.
     
    The current security situation, Libyan officials say, made it difficult for Libyan law enforcement to act on their own warrant for Khatallah. They are demanding the Islamist militant's return to Libyan soil for trial.
     
    U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki rejected that demand Wednesday and said the unilateral operation had been planned for some time.
     
    “It should come as no surprise, given the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2012, that we would take the opportunity to apprehend this individual and bring him to justice.  And we have long stated that as a priority of the United States,” said Psaki.
     
    Like the May 2011 special forces raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, American officials say Khatallah's capture was undertaken in accordance with the United States' “inherent right to self-defense.”
     
    Daniel Serwer, a conflict management professor at Johns Hopkins University, says it’s a grey area.
     
    “We not only nab people, we kill people in other countries.  And that may be justified on the basis of self-defense, but I don't think there is much in international law that allows it - what allows it is a lack of full sovereignty,” says Serwer.
     
    And in this case, he says – it was Libya's limited sovereignty, with the country's inability to fully control its own territory or establish law and order.
     
    “The right thing to do is to have the Libyans arrest him and extradite him.  But that's extraordinarily difficult for the Libyans.  It's difficult because they don't have the security forces to do it, but it's also difficult politically in the current situation,” says Serwer.
     
    Serwer says the preferred method is for the United States to work with viable states it enjoys friendly ties with.  But as in Pakistan, Yemen, and now Libya - that's not always the case.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston
    June 20, 2014 12:26 AM
    No Lybian sovereignty is violated while our intelligence arrested the suspected mastermind that had targetted our Benghazi consulate killing ambassoder Chris Stevens and three officials. While operating in other terror sensitive countries abroad, our govt. does certaily have links with such governments. Unquestionably, the grenade attack upon our consulate had posed a very serious threat, challenge upon our country, govt., our Amercan people, our interests......so, the very official functioning of not only our friendly diplomaticc missions abroad but for all democracies world over. Under the same sort of circumstances while our north African embassies were attacked by the al Queda during the Clinton administration, there had been cruise missile attacks upon the terror bases in Afghanistan. In the Lybian case, we have not gone for any kind of our defense attacks for that world to raise fingers upon us.The nabbed suspect should get our American justice after being convicted. We are gratus to the Lybian govt. and people.....so, kudos go to our FBI.

    by: Mark from: Virginia
    June 19, 2014 10:51 PM
    and when another country tries the same thing here in America, would they also be justified in saying it was their “inherent right to self-defense.”?
    I think not, at least not in the eyes of the American people. I'm sure the Libyans, the Syrians, the Iraqis, the Afghanis and the Pakistanis would want to bring to justice those responsible for the numerous drone strikes that have killed suspect terrorists along with some collateral civilian deaths. When they launch raids on American soil to nab those American leaders responsible, they will make the same statements our leaders are saying now to justify those raids, and without first informing our government of their intentions, as we had done...twice.
    What is good for the goose, is good for the gander.
    Right?

    Right?

    by: Not Again from: Canada
    June 19, 2014 8:48 PM
    There would be no need for the West, including the US, if these states (mentioned) that are upset, did in fact have full sovereignty over all their territories and contolled, by jailing, the terrorists in those lawless regions.
    At no time, that has been reported in the media, did the Libyan gvmt take responsibility for its absolute failure to protect an accredited diplomatic mission and its staff; nor did the libyan gvmt make any effort to apprehend and hold the murderous terrorist and their supporters accountable; their excuses are many, but it is clear that they have very little control over Eastern Libya. A gvmt that has little or no control over a region, can't really claim it has any kind of sovereignty over it or the people in it. If they did have sovereignty and control, and allowed the dastardly killings to take place, then they are complicit to the crime......; in this type of caotic situation, the gvmt of the victims, as possible, needs to take positive action to deal with the culprit(s), and as possible do it with no/minimum colateral damage, which was done.
    In any case, the capture of the terrorist lessens the load on the already highly overloaded/barely capable of functioning Libyan gvmt, and they should be thankfull for the US cleaning their mess.
    Maybe some day, the truncated Libyan gvmt, will regain control over the region. Instead of complaining it should be providing assurances, and dilligently work on the capture of the rest of the culprits, responsible/ involved in the dastardly murder of the innocent victims.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora