by Bill Gertz
Libya’s government earlier this month released a key terror suspect who U.S. officials say was involved in planning the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on U.S. diplomatic and intelligence facilities in Benghazi.
Faraj al Chalabi, (also spelled Shibli) an al Qaeda terrorist also linked to the 1994 terrorist murder of two German tourists, was detained by the Tripoli government in March.
However, al Chalabi was released June 12 based on claims that there was a lack of evidence to hold him custody.
A U.S. official said the U.S. government has evidence al Chalabi was linked to the Benghazi attack but did not provide that information to the Libyan government. It could not be learned why the evidence was not used to hold the suspect.
The FBI is conducting an investigation into the Benghazi attack. An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment on al Chalabi’s release.
Chalabi, who was arrested by the Libyans in March after returning from Pakistan, is believed by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials to be one of the people who organized the attack on the diplomatic compound.
U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three others Americans were killed after dozens of al Qaeda-linked terrorists attacked the compound and a nearby CIA facility.