Fox News Sources: Obama Admin Letting Benghazi Suspects Off the Hook
According to Fox News sources, the United States is letting suspects of the Benghazi attack “off the hook.”
Despite President Obama's promise to stay focused on hunting down those responsible for the 2012 Benghazi attack -- and despite a recent arrest touted as a major takedown -- sources say little has been done to nab the other suspects.
According to multiple sources on the ground, including some with direct knowledge of the operations to identify and hunt the Benghazi suspects, intelligence that could have been acted upon at times has been ignored or put on hold. Further, they say, the recent capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala -- now on a ship bound for the U.S., expected to arrive this weekend -- was an easy one.
"He was low-hanging fruit," one source told Fox News. "We could have picked him up months and months ago and there was no change, or urgency to do this now."
Former Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack. Khattala was long thought to be involved, but is also considered by some to be rather low on the suspect list.
According to sources, the United States has a "target list" that initially contained about 10 suspects identified within days of the attack and eventually grew to more than 20 as American Special Forces conducted surveillance in and around Benghazi.
The four groups on the "target list" include Ansar al-Sharia, with the top target being the "Emir of Ansar al Sharia," Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu. He was a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay for more than five years and at the time was classified by analysts at the prison as "a probable member of Al Qaeda." Despite this significant threat to American security and allies, bin Qumu was released as part of an amnesty for militants in 2008. Sources told Fox News that intelligence has shown his involvement in the attacks, and actionable intelligence has for some reason been ignored.
In this same group, but at the bottom of the list, is Khattala.
Tonight on The Kelly File, Kirsten Powers said it’s telling that President Obama hasn’t made apprehending the Benghazi suspects a priority.
“Part of that could be because it’s not a particularly helpful issue to him. [...] It doesn’t make his administration look good to have Benghazi in the news," Powers said, adding, "It doesn’t make his sort of heir-apparent Hillary Clinton look very good."