The arrest of Benghazi terror attack suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala Sunday, and revealed late this morning, begs an important question: can U.S. cable news channels locate a terror suspect more quickly than the U.S. government?
Fox News, CNN, and CBS News were able to track down and interview Khattala after the attack on the U.S Consulate in Libya. “He was markedly relaxed when we spoke with him,” Fox News’ foreign correspondent Greg Palkot said on “Outnumbered” this afternoon about his off-camera interview with Khattala five weeks after the attack.
“It was not too hard to get in touch with him,” Palkot added, reporting Abu Khattala admitted to being at the scene of the consulate attack, but vowed “he had nothing to do with the planning.”
CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer also spoke with Khattala weeks after the attack, where he called the attackers “ordinary people.” Palmer reported he “didn’t look like a wanted man, sipping mango juice across the table from me in a Benghazi hotel.”
CNN’s senior international correspondent Arwa Damon interviewed Abu Khattala last summer. “This is a man whose whereabouts most certainly are known,” she said during her report. “So of course it begs the question why has he not been spoken to just yet, if not being directly accused of being involved in the attack.”
The big news of Khattala’s arrest raises the stakes for tonight’s Fox News joint-interview featuring Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren interviewing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The interview will air live from 6:45pm-7:15pmET on both “Special Report” and then “On the Record.” CNN’s live town hall with Clinton moderated by Christiane Amanpour airs live at 5pmET.