Last updated: 2 November, 2012

Tunisian held as US Benghazi attack suspect

A Tunisian suspected of involvement in the deadly September 11 assault on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, when the American ambassador was killed, has been detained after being expelled from Turkey, the justice ministry said on Friday.

A ministry statement said two Tunisians were arrested in Turkey and then expelled in mid-October on the basis of information supplied by US intelligence linking them to the attack in which envoy Chris Stevens and three other Americans died.

“One of the two suspects has been brought before the prosecutor in Tunis, who gave his permission for the alleged crimes he is suspected of to be investigated,” the statement said.

“The investigating magistrate questioned the suspect on October 23 and decided that he remain in custody for the duration of the inquiry,” said the statement, without mentioning what happened to the second suspect.

The ministry statement also did not say whether one of the two men was Ali Hamzi, a young man charged last week with belonging to “a terrorist group based abroad.”

Hamzi was arrested in Turkey and deported to Tunisia on October 11, a month to the day after the attack on the US mission in Libya’s main eastern city.

His lawyer denied US media reports that Hamzi was involved in the attack.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the American mission in Benghazi was mainly a secret CIA operation, adding that of the 30 US officials evacuated following the assault, just seven worked for the State Department.