The Tunisian man arrested over the deadly terror attack in Benghazi that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens, his aid Sean Smith, and two Navy SEALs dead has now been identified through facial recognition software as having been present at the U.S. diplomatic outpost during the siege, senior U.S. intelligence officials told Fox News Tuesday. The only problem is that Ali Ani al Harzi, who was detained at a Turkish airport in the days following the attack for travelling with false documents, has now been transferred to Tunisia, where U.S. interrogators are unable to reach him.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, frustrated by the incident, blames the Obama administration for U.S. officials being unable to access the Tunisian militant, who may have ties to al Qaeda.
“This individual in the hands of Tunisians is a classic example of what happens when you have lack of policy for detention for interrogations,” the Georgia Republican said.
“Once the president in January of 2009 signed the executive order, saying we are going to shut down Guantanamo … there are no policies in place to take possession and interrogate him in a way to gain valuable information.”
“I don’t know what the total supply of foreign aid going into Tunisia is now, but I would be looking at substantial reduction if they don’t start cooperating, beginning tomorrow,” Bolton told Van Susteren.
NewsMax adds that, earlier in the broadcast, Graham said that he was “stunned to hear the Tunisians are denying us access to question this man [Harzi]” and that he is currently questioning officials at the Tunisian Embassy in Washington.
Of course, the senator also suggested that Harzi might be connected to al Qaeda.
“It would be very disturbing if al-Qaeda operatives in Libya can talk to al-Qaeda operatives in Tunisia. That shows they have a regional effect,” Graham said. He indicated that if such a level of coordinated communication exists, it would be troubling.
During the interview, Graham broached the subject of suspending foreign aid to Tunisia in an effort to spur the country’s authorities.
“I’m the ranking Republican on our foreign aid subcommittee on appropriations. You know, we’re in charge of the money,” he told Van Susteren.
“I’m going to ask the Tunisians why can’t we have access to this person that we believe was involved in the attack on our consulate.”
Meanwhile, Fox reports that The State Department has thus far not offered a comment on why access to Harzi is being obstructed by Tunisian authorities.