Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) slammed the administration for issuing a criminal complaint against a militant leader in the Benghazi attack but making apparently no effort to detain the terrorist.
“I mean, right before we left for August to come home, obviously, we wrote and we wrote the new FBI director, a group of us, and said, give us an update on this investigation. And then subsequently, we learned that Abu Khattala, who is part of an Islamist militant — militia group in eastern Libya, has been charged,” Ayotte said last night on Fox.
“But he’s giving interviews to the media. He has claimed that neither the Libyan authorities nor American authorities have even spoken to him. And if we’ve charged him, why is he roaming loose in Libya?” she continued.
“Apparently, we know where he is because the media — media like CNN have been able to interview him, and yet we have not taken him into custody. I don’t understand it. He should be interrogated, obviously. The others that have been charged, that alleged to have been charged recently should be interrogated so we can get to the bottom of this.”
Ayotte reiterated a longstanding concern from members of Congress that they still haven’t been able to talk with survivors of that night.
“But in terms of public safety, here we have people who are charged with a terrorist attack, where an ambassador and three Americans have been murdered. And he’s roaming around Libya. We haven’t picked him up. The Libyan authorities haven’t picked him up,” she said of Khattala.
Khattala has told media that he’s no longer part of the militant group and is now working as a contractor.
“I am a Libyan citizen and the American government has nothing to do with me,” he said. “I am in my city, having a normal life and have no troubles and if they have an inquiry to make, they should get in touch with Libyan authorities.”
“Why isn’t he being interrogated. Why isn’t he in custody?” Ayotte asked. “If it’s important enough to charge him, and we — and we’ve alleged that he’s been involved — now, the charges haven’t been made public yet — why is he not in custody? It doesn’t make any sense.”
“…Something is really wrong. And think about it. Ansar al Shariah claimed responsibility right after the terrorist attack. So this is a key group in all of this. He himself, by the way, has admitted to being at the consulate, but claiming that he only came to help Libyans that were in distress. I mean, that explanation doesn’t make any sense. It’s something he said to The New York Times, as well. He’s given so many interviews at this point. Yet apparently, according to him, the Libyan authorities nor the FBI have interviewed him. It just doesn’t add up.”