Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Lone Suspect Held in Attack in Benghazi Is Released

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Lone Suspect Held in Attack in Benghazi Is Released

Article excerpt

The decision put a spotlight on the small progress in investigating the attack that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

The only known suspect sent to jail over the deadly attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, was freed on Tuesday by the Tunisian authorities. His lawyer said he was released for lack of evidence.

The release dramatized the negligible progress in any investigation into the attack, which killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11. The feebleness of Libya's transitional government since the fall of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has stymied any progress, despite what Benghazi residents describe as an abundance of leads.

The man released Tuesday, Ali Harzi, 28, was detained in October at an airport in Turkey and deported to his home country on suspicion of involvement in the attack. F.B.I. agents investigating the Benghazi attack and another attack, on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, reportedly questioned Mr. Harzi in December. But it is not known if the questioning yielded relevant information.

His lawyer, Anwar Oued-Ali, told The Associated Press that the release on Tuesday amounted to "correcting an irregular situation" because no evidence was presented to substantiate any connection. …

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