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

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora