Americans didn’t expect to capture Benghazi suspects

U.S. Special Operations forces have captured Ahmed Abu Khattala, an alleged ringleader of the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Here is what is known about Abu Khattala. (Tom LeGro/The Washington Post)

The United States has captured its first alleged perpetrator of the 2012 attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

And the American people weren't sure this day would ever come.

A Fox News poll conducted a year ago showed that Americans were split about whether the Benghazi suspects would ever be caught and brought to justice, with 47 percent saying they would be, and 48 percent saying they would not be.


Even though the Obama administration caught and killed Osama bin Laden, Americans weren't sure it could accomplish the same feat in this case. And Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have been adamant about decrying the lack of justice for the attacks' victims.

Of course, catching one accused perpetrator and catching them all are two different things. And we would submit that the administration's problems on Benghazi have less to do with catching the suspects than with the lack of security in advance of the attacks and how it handled them in immediate aftermath.

But it's also clear that, politically, this is a step in the right direction for the administration. And it did something people weren't sure it could do.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discusses the capture of the Benghazi suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala. Diplomatic correspondent Anne Gearan adds her context and commentary to Clinton's interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour during a town hall event. (Divya Jeswani Verma/The Washington Post)
Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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