The United States on Tuesday seized a "key leader" of the deadly Benghazi, Libya, attack
The United States on Tuesday seized a "key leader" of the deadly Benghazi, Libya, attackWikimedia Commons/ White House Official photos

The United States on Tuesday seized a "key leader" of the deadly Benghazi attack, in which the US ambassador and three other Americans were killed two years ago, the Obama administration announced.

President Barack Obama said in a statement that he had authorized the operation in Libya on Sunday, in which the Special Forces captured Admed Abu Khatallah. In an address to an audience later in Pittsburgh, he said that the suspect was being transported to the United States.

"Since the deadly attacks on our facilities in Benghazi, I have made it a priority o find and bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of four brave Americans," he said in his statement adding that Khattallah would "face the full weight of the American justice system."

Obama said that the capture of the suspect 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," the US President declared.

More Attacks Planned

Soon after the capture of the suspect, United States told the United Nations' Security Council that the ringleader of the deadly 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi had plans to target more Americans and therefore, his capture was justified.

In a letter obtained by Reuters on Wednesday, US Ambassador to the United States, Samantha Power informed the council of the Sunday's capture further notifying that he had plans for more attacks.

"The investigation also determined that he continued to plan further armed attacks against US persons," Power wrote in the letter.

"The measure we have taken to capture Abu Khatallah in Libya were therefore necessary to prevent such armed attacks, and were taken in accordance with the United States' inherent right of self-defense," she wrote adding that she was writing to the Council under Article 51 of the UN Charter that requires countries to report to the Security Council of any measured taken in self-defense against armed attack.

The brief letter also stated that Khatallah would be presented to US Federal Court for criminal prosecution.

Death Penalty

The suspected terrorist linked to the 2012 attack will face criminal federal charges on three counts, including one that could possibly carry death penalty.

The Justice Department said in a statement late on Tuesday that Khatallah, who will be facing more charges in the coming days will be tried in federal court in Washington DC.

"Our nation's memory is long, and our reach is far," Fox News quoted Attorney Genral Eric Holder. "The arrest of Admed Abu Khatallah represents a significant milestone in our efforts to ensure justice is served for the heinous and cowardly attack on the US diplomatic facility in Benghazi."