Libya condemned the United States on Wednesday for snatching a man suspected of masterminding the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, describing the arrest as a violation of Libyan sovereignty.
President Barack Obama authorized Sunday’s operation in which U.S. special forces captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah in Libya for transfer to the United States.
The action is very sensitive for the weak Libyan government which is under pressure from various militias, Islamists and armed tribesmen who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 but defy state authority in the vast desert country.
In the first official reaction from Tripoli, Justice Minister Saleh al-Marghani said Khatallah should be returned to Libya and tried there.
“We had no prior notification,” Marghani told a news conference. “We expect the world to help us with security. We expected the United States to help us, but we did not expect the United States to upset the political scene.”
He said Khatallah had been wanted by Libyan authorities for questioning but they had been unable to arrest him due to the security situation.
Diplomats say Libya has done next to nothing to make arrests over the 2012 consulate attack in which four Americans died, as the government has little sway in Libya’s second-largest city.
Hey, whaddya know-the people in charge here have done next to nothing too! In fact, had there not been yet another doozy of a scandal (it’s like this administration has a vending machine dispensing them now) to deflect attention away from, this arrest probably wouldn’t have happened.
Honestly, after the last few years it is practically impossible to keep up with which regime in various countries in the Middle East we are supposed to play nice with on any given day. If it’s that difficult for those of us who keep up with the news, imagine who hard it is for President Obama.