Conflict & Justice

Ani al-Harzi, Benghazi suspect, extradited to Tunisia: Report


Hani al monsouri, spokesperson of the hardline Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia gives a press conference at the Ismalic business center in Benghazi on September 13, 2012, following an attack on the building late on September 11 in which the US ambassador to Libya and three other US nationals were killed.



A suspect in the Sept. 11 Benghazi consulate attack, detained several weeks ago in Turkey, has been extradited to Tunisia for trial, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday.

The Daily Beast released a detailed account of how Ani al-Harzi, who was presumably one of the two suspects arrested in Turkey earlier this month, was tracked down by US intelligence officials through social media after fleeing Libya for Turkey.

According to the Daily Beast's interviews with four unnamed US officials, intelligence was first tipped off to al-Harzi's whereabouts by an update he posted to social media.

"These people say Turkish officials held al-Harzi for less than a week at the behest of the US government, then sent him to Tunisia. There, he was kept in military custody until last week, when he was transferred to a jail in preparation for a court trial. It’s unclear what role he might have played in the attacks or what he might be charged with," the outlet wrote.

Fox News corroborated the report later on Tuesday, publishing its own confirming that al-Harzi, a Tunisian national, had been transferred to Tunisia following his arrest in Turkey.

"He is one of about two dozen individuals on a list that is being worked through by the US intelligence community and the FBI," compiled from surveillance footage and "intercepts," according to Fox.

An intelligence officer told the Daily Beast that al-Harzi, who is believed to have participated in the attacks on the Benghazi consulate that killed the US ambassador and three others, belongs to violent extremist networks in North Africa and jihadist organizations in the Middle East.

The leader of the attack is suspected to be Ahmed Abu Khattala, founder and commander of the Abu Obaida Bin Jarrah militia. He has denied any involvement, and in interviews with the media has taunted authorities seeking to find him.

More from GlobalPost: Ahmed Abu Khattala, suspected leader of Benghazi attack, denies involvement