MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Ever since the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, the FBI’s terrorism task force has been investigating the assault – promising to bring those responsible to justice.
The attack – which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans – set off both outrage and a political firestorm over what led to the fiery assault.
On Tuesday, U.S. Special Forces combined with the FBI to capture one of the prime leaders of the attack.
FBI Director James Comey was in the Twin Cities to visit the agency’s new Minneapolis field office, which is located in Brooklyn Park. But it was the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala that brought national headlines.
“The message is that we will shrink the world to find you, we will shrink the world to bring you to justice and this is a good example of that,” Comey said.
The FBI director also spoke about the efforts being made by his Minneapolis agents to battle terrorism here at home. The work includes the success in curbing more young Somali-American men from heading overseas to join terror groups like Al-Shabaab.
“It is most likely that a sheriff’s deputy or police officer is gonna see or hear about a traveler looking to go or travel and return, and we have to make sure we are connected closely to those people, so hear about it and respond to it,” he said.
In his nine months as FBI director, Comey has also made combating cyber terrorism a top agency priority.
“That’s where bad people come to harm your children, to steal your identity, to steal your health care information, to steal your money, to damage your country,” he said.
Comey wouldn’t elaborate on how long his agents had Khattala under surveillance or details of the special joint operation. He did say Khattala is one of many alleged attackers named in a sealed indictment and being hunted down.