The FBI has identified five men it believes were involved in last year’s delicate attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
Washington has not officially asked the Libyan government to be acquainted the men, but Al Jazeera has learned that US officials have tried to get powerful armed groups to co-operate.
The US initially said that the violence was in rush to a video prescient online that was insulting to Islam, however recent evidence suggests it was a planned attack.
The attack left four Americans dead including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who died from smoke inhalation.
Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr reporting from Benghazi said that the FBI had released photos of the suspects earlier this month, captured by security cameras during the attack.
When our correspondent spoke to a commander of the Libyan Sheild Brigade in Benghazi, he said there is confusion as to whether the violence started after the protesters came under fire from inside the consulate.
“They need to give us evidence. Then we can capture them,” Adel Belgaid said. “But we will channel out our own investigation and they would face trial here. And if US uses ground troops to capture them, this would violate our sovereignty and it will be confronted.”
Another member of a different brigade told our correspondent that the US should have heeded his warnings three days before the attack about the deteriorating security.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, David Mack, former ambassador to Libya, said that Libya is facing a situation of turmoil in which various groups are contesting for power.
“The government faces some serpentine constraints in maintaining order,” he said. “We want to help that but we must insist that the perpetrators of this crime be brought to justice.”
Mack added that it was too premature to talk about the US going into Libya unilaterally. He said the important task right was to reassert the Libyan presence in terms of security and it is up to the Libyans to decide whether their justice system is up to dealing with the suspects.
Washington no longer has an official presence in Benghazi. But recently, a confirmation hearing of Stevens’ successor, Ambassaor Deborah Jones, was high in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The appointment has yet to be endorsed by the full Senate.