Ahmed Abu Khattala, a leader of the Benghazi branch of the Al Qaeda-linked militant group Ansar al-Sharia, was identified as the ringleader of the attack on the diplomatic mission and taken into custody in a secret US military raid in Libya on 15 June, 2014.
Facts about Benghazi attack
Libya is strategically important because it is an important oil producer and exporter, providing 2% of world production and massive oil reserves of approximately 50 billion barrels.
The Libyan revolutionary and draconian politician Colonel Gaddafi, branded the "mad dog of the Middle East" by President Reagan, governed Libya as its main leader from 1969 to 2011.
Colonel Gaddafi became involved in state-sponsored terrorism but his secret police prevented Al-Qaeda operatives from establishing terrorist cells in Libya.
The dictatorial regime finally crumbled, with the aid of the US, the Libyan Civil War broke out and Colonel Gaddafi was ousted, and put to death in 2011.
Following the fall of Colonel Gaddafi, Libya became subject to tribal rivalries and a growing presence of Al-Qaeda Islamist militants and closely associated groups such as Ansar al-Sharia.
Ansar al-Sharia emerged during the Libyan Civil War as an Islamist Libyan militia group that, like Al-Qaeda, advocated the implementation of strict Sharia law. Ansar al-Sharia was established by Abdul Baset Azuz, a "violent radical" sent by Al-Qaeda to set up bases and training camps in Libya.
In 2012 Al-Qaeda stated via the internet its intent to attack the Red Cross, the British, and then the Americans in Benghazi.
On May 22, 2012 a rocket-propelled grenade hit the offices of the International Red Cross and the agency left Benghazi.
On June 6, 2012 an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated just outside the Benghazi consulate compound and the British pulled out of Benghazi, together with most of the international community.
The Ansar al-Sharia Libyan terror group, close linked to Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the Red Cross and consulate attacks in Libya.
The United States, due to the strategic importance if Libya, made the decision to retain its diplomatic and intelligence presence in its embassy in Tripoli and its diplomatic mission compound in Benghazi.
Christopher Stevens was a highly respected and experienced American diplomat. Christopher Stevens was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya in June 2012.
Christopher Stevens was based in the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli but also spent time in the US Special Mission in Benghazi that had been hastily established during the Libyan Civil War as a secondary 'ad-hoc' consulate in Libya as a secondary 'ad-hoc' consulate in Libya.
The Benghazi attack was being planned against Americans to take place on September 11, 2012, to carry out the stated intent of Al-Qaeda and to memorialize the Al-Qaeda victory in the Terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was located at the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
At 9.40pm the attack begins on the US compound and, in the gunfire and confusion, Christopher Stevens and State Department information management officer Sean Smith taken refuge in the main building in the compound and are separated from the U.S. and Libyan security forces.
Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith take refuge behind a fortified door with metal bars but they are overwhelmed by smoke when the attackers set the compound on fire.
Other US personnel take refuge in another building and remain under siege for 2 hours before a CIA security team and some Libyan security forces repel the attackers.
At 1.00 am a U.S. rescue team arrived in Benghazi from Tripoli. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith were taken to Benghazi Medical Center but were pronounced dead on arrival.
At 4.00 am the compound was subjected to an assault by mortar fire and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods were killed and two other Americans were wounded.
In October 2012 Ahmed Abu Khattala, leader of the Benghazi branch of Ansar al-Sharia, was identified as the ringleader of the attack.
On 15 June, 2014 Ahmed Abu Khattala was taken into custody in a secret US military raid in Libya and was indicted on charges relating to the terror attack in Libya.
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