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Benghazi suspect talks; CIA agents polygraphed

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A month after the attacks in Benghazi, a key suspect was smirking at the United States and sipping a strawberry frappe on a hotel patio with a New York Times reporter. This week, he’s b-a-a-a-ck.

Abu Khattala — who told NYT in October that he was not a member of al-Qaida but admired the terrorists’ “puritanical zeal for Islamic law” — is talking to CNN. “He’s really not that difficult to find,” says Arwa Damon, the CNN reporter. “This is not a man who is in hiding.”

But no American or Libyan official has tried to contact him, Khattala tells Damon.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is outraged: “How come the FBI isn’t doing this and yet CNN is?”

CNN is on a roll lately with Benghazi reports.

According to Jake Tapper on Thursday, “dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and … the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing remains a secret.”  CIA operatives have been subjected to frequent polygraphs, Tapper reports. Some say it’s an effort at intimidation.

Tidbits include:

  • Khattala suggests that U.S. envoy Chris Stevens died of asphyxiation because he was trying to burn documents.
  • How many Americans were involved the night of the attack? “A source tells CNN that number was 35, with as many as seven wounded, some seriously.”
  • “Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels.”
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