Even when answers seem to arrive on the controversial Benghazi attack, the questions never fade away: Faraj al-Shibli, a man thought to be involved in the September 2012 attacks on the American consulate, has been captured in Libya, according to two sources speaking to CNN, as Republicans back home refused to let the issue fade.
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Though details on al-Shibli's capture are fairly scant, sources indicated to CNN's Barbara Starr that he is a known member of the Libyan Islamist Fighting Group, which has long been considered an auxiliary unit of al Qaeda. al-Shibli is the latest of several individuals reportedly arrested in conjunction to the attacks. In October 2012, officials in Turkey detained a Tunisian man thought to be involved in the attacks, and in December Egyptian police captured the known terrorist terrorist Mohammad Jamal Abdo Ahmed, who allegedly assisted in the attacks.
The arrest coincides with a high-profile panel discussion, hosted by the conservative gathering CPAC, about the Obama administration's response to the attacks in Benghazi, which killed four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Conservative columnist Justin Green at The Daily Beast was one of the first to note the coincidence:
In a dash of awkward irony, the news [of Faraj al-Shibli's arrest] comes as I'm sitting at a CPAC Panel on why Benghazi is the biggest scandal of political history. I'm not kidding when I say that the final statement/question from the moderator was "What do you think Obama was doing the night of Benghazi? Have fun with this one."
As hinted at by Green, the attacks in Benghazi furnished several powerful Republican leaders with a seemingly endless amount of outrage, eventually prompting U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who had been enlisted by Obama officials to explain the timeline of the attacks, to withdraw herself from consideration for Secretary of State. It's unclear if today's panel found any resolution in al-Shibli's arrest. According to Politico media reporter Dylan Byers, the panel focused on the notion that media outlets had conspired with the White House to conceal the administration's incompetence:
"American journalism is dead," Roger Noriega, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former assistant Sec. of State under President George W. Bush, announced at today's Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland. Noriega was speaking on a panel about last September's terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and said reporters had interfered with conservatives' attempts to get more information about the attacks, acting as "hockey goalies in front of Barack Obama's net."
- Politics & Government