AP News in Brief at 10:58 p.m. EDT

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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Obama’s focus shifts away from airstrikes as imminent option for stopping insurgents in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials say President Barack Obama is not expected to approve imminent airstrikes against Iraq in part because there are few clear targets that could blunt a fast-moving Islamic insurgency.

Officials say Obama had made no final decisions and did not rule out the possibility that airstrikes could ultimately be used, particularly if the administration is able to identify a strong target. But they emphasized that the strikes were not the current focus of the administration’s ongoing discussion about how to respond to the crumbling security situation in Iraq.

The president planned to brief top congressional leaders on the matter at the White House Wednesday afternoon.

The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the ongoing deliberations by name.

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Nearly two years after deadly Benghazi attack, US nabs Libyan militant, aiming for US trial

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. special forces seized a “key leader” of the deadly Benghazi, Libya, attack and he is on his way to face trial in the U.S. for the fiery assault that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, the Obama administration announced Tuesday. It was the first breakthrough in the sudden overseas violence in 2012 that has become a festering political sore at home.

President Barack Obama said the capture on Sunday of Ahmed Abu Khattala sends a clear message to the world that “when Americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible and we will bring them to justice.”

“We will find you,” Obama declared.

As recently as last August, though, Abu Khattala told The Associated Press that he was not in hiding nor had he been questioned by Libyan authorities about the attack at the diplomatic compound. He denied involvement and said that he had abandoned the militia. Administration officials said Tuesday that despite his media interviews, he “evaded capture” until the weekend when military special forces, including members of the Army’s elite Delta Force, nabbed him.

Whatever the path to his capture, he was headed for the United States to face what Obama called “the full weight of the American justice system.” Obama called the Libyan an “alleged key leader” of the attack.

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Nabbed Libyan suspected militant lived openly but kept low-profile in Benghazi

CAIRO (AP) - The Libyan militant suspected in the deadly Sept. 11, 2012 attack on Americans in Benghazi was not a difficult man to find.

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