The suspect in the Benghazi attacks “likely” did not provide useful intelligence during his two-week detention aboard a ship to the United States, said Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House intelligence committee on Sunday.
The White House announced the capture earlier this month of Ahmed Abu Khatallah — the suspected ringleader of the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans.
Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, told CNN’s Candy Crowley that Abu Khatallah was “compliant but not cooperative” during his interviews with interrogators.
“You can imagine that he was not obstinate. He was not pushing back, but he was likely not providing information,” Rogers said.
A U.S. official told CNN that Abu Khatallah was questioned before being advised of his Miranda rights but continued to provide intelligence even after officials read him his right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination.
Rogers said the time that investigators had with Abu Khatallah aboard the USS New York was insufficient.
“Ten days is not enough. And you’ll find no investigator, interrogator, that would say I know I can do it in 10 days,” he said. “Everybody’s different. You can get that rapport building and that cooperative spirit, but sometimes it takes a month or two months.”
Rogers, like many Republicans, contends that the alleged terrorist should go through a military tribunal at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, instead of being tried in a federal court. The White House has defended its decision to try Abu Khatallah domestically, as the administration continues its efforts to close the detention facility.
On Saturday, Abu Khatallah pleaded not guilty at a federal courthouse in Washington to one count of providing material support to terrorists.