US embassy attack suspects arrested

Fri, Oct 5, 2012, 01:00

Two suspects in the killing of US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens have been detained at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, Turkish broadcaster Kanal D reported today.

It said Turkish police held the two suspects, described as Tunisian citizens, as they tried to enter the country with fake passports.

Police in Istanbul declined comment on the report. Mr Stevens was one of four Americans who died when Islamist gunmen stormed the Benghazi consulate last month

A team of US investigators travelled for the first time to the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi yesterday to analyse the crime scene where the US ambassador was killed in an attack last month, Libyan and US sources said.

FBI agents were sent to Libya after the assault on the US diplomatic mission and on another facility.

But, until now, they had mainly remained in Tripoli and had not visited the site of what the United States has called a "deliberate and organised terrorist attack", partly because of security concerns.

"An American team has been visiting the compound," one Libyan security source said. Another security source said: "They have been assessing the damage, collecting evidence."

The FBI team was on the ground in Benghazi for about 13 hours looking at the crime scene before leaving, two US government sources said on condition of anonymity.

In Washington, US attorney general Eric Holder suggested the probe had been active despite the weeks-long delay in getting FBI agents to Benghazi.

"You should not assume that all that we could do or have been doing is restricted solely to Benghazi. There are a variety of other places, in-country and outside the country, where relevant things could be done and have been done," Mr Holder said at a news conference.

"This is a matter that's been under active investigation almost since the time of the incident, and I'm satisfied with the progress that we have made," he said.

Separately, the Pentagon said yesterday US military personnel provided support for the FBI visit to Benghazi.

"At the request of the FBI, the department provided logistic and security support to the investigation team in order to conduct work on-site in Benghazi," Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters. US department of defence "personnel completed that support earlier today and have departed Benghazi along with the investigation team."

In Benghazi, the road leading to the compound's front gate was blocked by vehicles mounted with weapons belonging to the Libyan security forces, a witness said.

Libyan deputy foreign minister Mohammed Abdel Aziz said on Tuesday that the FBI team would soon be heading to Benghazi but that Tripoli and Washington had yet to agree on how the two sides would conduct a joint investigation.

Reuters