- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
Benghazi suspect’s release spurs calls to punish Tunisia
Lack of evidence cited by judge
Question of the Day
A Tunisian judge’s decision to release the only man arrested in connection with the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has angered congressional Republicans, with one lawmaker demanding that the U.S. cut off millions of dollars in aid to newly democratic Tunisia.
Ali Harzi, 26, of Tunisia, was released Monday due to a lack of evidence against him, his lawyer said. His release dealt a blow to a slow-paced investigation into the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, State Department official Sean Smith and former Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
“For months following the attack, the Tunisian government blocked the FBI from interviewing Harzi,” said Mr. Wolf, Virginia Republican. “Now they allow the guy, who has been involved in killing four Americans, to walk the streets of Tunisia.”
Noting that the U.S. has provided $320 million in aid to Tunisia since 2011, Mr. Wolf said: “I find it morally wrong to support a country that has obstructed FBI efforts to bring these terrorists to justice.”
“The fact that this suspect linked to the Benghazi attack has been released is troubling on many fronts,” Mrs. Ros-Lehtinen told The Washington Times.
“It has been nearly four months since the attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi, and we have yet to hold any person or persons accountable for this atrocious act of terror perpetrated against the United States,” she said. “It raises further concerns over the ability and willingness of the Tunisian and Libyan governments to contribute to the investigation and assist U.S. agencies leading the effort to find those responsible and bring them to justice.”
Mr. Harzi’s lawyer, Anwar Oued-Ali, said his client had been “conditionally freed” and described the release as “correcting an irregular situation” because authorities never had any real evidence, The Associated Press reported. Mr. Harzi must remain in the greater Tunis area in case he is needed by the court.
“The FBI continues to pursue all investigative leads into the deaths of the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi on Tuesday, September 11, 2012,” Kathleen Wright, the FBI spokeswoman, said in response to a question on the status of the investigation.
Libyan sources have identified Ahmed Abu Khattala, a Benghazi-based Islamist, as having led the attack on the consulate.
Mr. Abu Khattala, who has acknowledged being at the consulate at the time of the attack, has not been arrested. He has been linked to Ansar al-Shariah, an Islamist group that U.S. intelligence officials suspect was behind the attack.
Mr. Abu Khattala escaped an assassination attempt Sunday, when a bomb exploded as two men tried to plant it under his car in Benghazi. One of the would-be assassins was killed in the blast.
The investigation into the consulate attack has made little headway because of Libya’s weak central government and militias that have taken the law into their own hands.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- Boko Haram takes credit for abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls, threatens to sell them
- Al Qaeda core degraded, but 'more aggressive' affiliates still pose threat to U.S.
- Political uncertainty and violence in first Iraqi election since U.S. withdraw
- Egypt judge sentences 683 Islamists to death over Morsi-tied violence
- Doctor's killing in latest Afghanistan attack puts NGOs in crosshairs
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq