US Ambassador Attack In Libya: Man Held


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US Ambassador Attack In Libya: Man Held

Last Updated 19:38 24/10/2012
A Tunisian man reportedly linked to the US consulate attack in Libya, in which the American ambassador was killed, has been detained.

The suspect, 28-year-old Ali Harzi, was in custody in the capital Tunis, said interior ministry spokesman Tarrouch Khaled, adding: "His case is in the hands of justice."

Mr Khaled did not elaborate, while the US State Department in Washington had no comment.

Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died in the attack on the US diplomatic post in Benghazi on September 11 this year.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta recently said the US has been looking into the arrests of two Tunisian men detained in Turkey reportedly over attacks on a consulate in Libya last month.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration's uncertain explanations about what happened in Benghazi has become a campaign issue ahead of the presidential election next month.

The US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said five days after the attack that it was a "spontaneous" reaction to protests over an anti-Islam film.

But two hours after the assault, the White House was told a militant group claimed responsibility for the consulate violence, according to a State Department email.

The email sent to intelligence officials and the White House situation room said the Islamist group Ansar al Sharia claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter, and also called for an attack on the US embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

The document, according to the Associated Press, may fuel Republican attempts to show that the White House knew it was a terrorist attack.

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney and politicians in his party have accused the Obama administration of misleading Americans about the nature of the atrocity.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the review board she appointed to investigate the attack is "looking at everything," rather than "cherry picking one story here or one document there."

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the email and others represented just one piece of information the administration was receiving at the time.