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June 18th, 2014
04:32 AM ET

Benghazi Suspect on Slow Boat to U.S.

The capture of Ahmed Abu Khatallah could be compared to a large group of trappers quietly snaring rare and dangerous prey.

For days, Army Delta Force commandos, the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies lay in wait for one of the alleged masterminds behind the deadly September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Then on Tuesday, they lured Abu Khatallah to a point south of the eastern city and nabbed him. U.S. officials said he did not put up a fight. Not a shot was fired.

But Abu Khatallah had a reputation for hiding out in the open, relaxed and self-assured.

In an interview to CNN's Arwa Damon last year, he said he was ready to talk to U.S. investigators but "not as an interrogation."

He will now have that conversation; just not on his own terms.

Where he is now

Abu Khatallah is now on a slow boat to the United States - a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean, where he is facing interrogators.

They're taking him by sea, rather than by air, in order to give investigators "maximum time to question him," U.S. officials said.

Such interviews typically are done by the FBI-led High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, or HIG, that includes agents from multiple law and intelligence agencies.

Where he is headed

When he arrives, Abu Khatallah is very likely headed to a federal trial.

That's what the Obama administration wants, a position at odds with some of the President's Republican critics.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wants to postpone criminal prosecution to give interrogation more time.

"We should have some quality time with this guy. Weeks and months," he said. "Don't torture him, but have some quality time with him."

Arizona Sen. John McCain wants to see Abu Khatallah in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"Where else can you take him to?" McCain said

Gitmo may be out of the question. It's a prison the Obama administration has been trying to shutter. And no detainees have been added there since the President took office, said national security spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

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Filed under: Ahmed Abu Khatallah • Benghazi
January 24th, 2013
08:00 AM ET

Heated exchanges between Clinton, Republicans in Benghazi hearing – Jill Doherty reports


Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday took on Republican congressional critics of her department's handling of the deadly September terrorist attack in Libya.

Conservative GOP members challenged Clinton on the lack of security at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi as well as the erroneous account that the attack grew spontaneously from a protest over an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.

At two hearings, which together totaled more than five hours, Clinton acknowledged a "systemic breakdown" cited by an independent review of issues leading up to the armed assault and said her department was taking additional steps to increase security at U.S. diplomatic facilities.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN's Jill Doherty looks at the big moments from the hearing.

READ MORE: Five things we learned from the Benghazi hearings

Filed under: Benghazi
January 23rd, 2013
10:57 AM ET

Rep. Kinzinger on Benghazi hearings: 'We need to ensure that accountability is held for what happened'

Hillary Clinton, in one of her final acts as Secretary of State, will testify about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012. Clinton will go before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, after she was unable to testify on December 20th due to a concussion and blood clot in her brain. This morning Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) joins “Starting Point” weighs in on the questions he hopes to get answers on in the attack in Benghazi.

Kinzinger, a major in the Air National Guard says he is curious about the seven hours that passed between the “two basic separate attacks” that occurred in Benghazi. He adds that he hopes the contradiction in what was determined to be the cause of the attacks will be clarified.

“It will be a very respectful hearing today,” Rep. Kinzinger says. “I respect the Secretary’s service to her country but I think the American people and we deserve a lot of answers to what’s been going on.” Kinzinger says more specifically Secretary Clinton should be asked, “Who knew what when?” "Where was she the night of September 11th?” “Was she being briefed on what was going on?”

“We need to ensure that accountability is held for what happened but also that this doesn’t happen again in the future,” Kinzinger says.

Filed under: Benghazi
January 23rd, 2013
06:47 AM ET

Secretary of State Clinton preps to face grilling on Benghazi – Jill Doherty reports


Republican members of Congress plan a host of questions for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her long-awaited testimony on Wednesday about the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Questions are expected to range from a security vacuum in Northern Africa to new cables suggesting that Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the September 11 assault, once proposed moving the compound to a more secure location adjacent the CIA Annex, sources tell CNN.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN's Jill Doherty previews two hearings where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will testify on the Benghazi attack.

READ MORE: Clinton prepping for Benghazi grilling

Filed under: Benghazi