The attack on the US Consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi is still being investigated, but a reportedly key suspect in the attack, a man identified only as Karim al-Azizi, has been slain today after a multi-hour gunbattle in the Egyptian capital city of Cairo.
Azizi reportedly barricaded himself into his apartment when Egyptian forces attempted to arrest him, and exchanged gunfire with them for several hours before trying to throw a bomb out of his apartment at the police. The building caught fire when his throw missed, and his charred body was found inside. Other residents were evacuated and there is no indication anyone else was killed.
Officials say they found 17 additional bombs, four rocket-propelled grenades, and a large amount of automatic weapon ammunition in his apartment. They provided no additional details as to why he was a suspect in the first place or what his role in the attack, which killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens, may have been.
Another suspect related to the case is current in custody in Tunis, as the lawyer of the man, who has been identified as Ali Harzi, was being held in a jail on “terrorism” charges. Tunisian officials confirmed that Harzi is in custody.
Indications are that Harzi was one of the two Tunisians arrested earlier this month in Istanbul, Turkey and that they had been transferred to Tunisia about a week later. Harzi’s lawyer insisted he was a scapegoat that the Tunisian government was using to satisfy the US.
Little is known about Harzi, but US officials claim he has links to unspecified terrorist organizations. Harzi apparently posted information regarding the attack online shortly thereafter, and was trying to sneak into Syria after his flight to Turkey, likely hoping to blend into the various Sunni rebel groups fighting in that country’s civil war.