The White House wants to relax anti-terrorist rules and end the ban on Libyans training with the U.S. military, according to documents obtained by House Republicans.
The administration says relations with Libya have "normalized" over the past two years and that the Tripoli government should have better access to the U.S, which imposed the ban in 1983 after a wave of terrorist attacks involving Libya, reports the Washington Times
"We still haven't gotten to the bottom of the Benghazi terrorist attacks and continue to face additional terrorist threats from Libya, yet the Obama administration is preparing to lift a long-standing ban that protects Americans and our interests," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, whose committee obtained the draft document, told the newspaper.
"The Obama administration should focus its attention on getting answers to the lingering questions surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attacks and ensure that Americans are kept safe and sound," said the Virginia Republican.
A Homeland Security Department official told the Times that the proposal has not yet been approved but that the U.S. is trying to help Libya transition to democracy.
"We are committed to working with Libya to build its sovereign institutions and are working closely with the government to bring stability to Libya. As part of this effort, we are reviewing U.S. policies that have been in place since before the Libyan revolution to see how they might be updated to better align with U.S. interests," the official said.
Meanwhile, Tripoli is still thwarting U.S. efforts to arrest suspects in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the country's second city, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
Intelligence officials have a general idea of where they are hiding, but the Libyan government, which still has little control over parts of the country, has prevented the Obama administration from detaining them, reports The New York Times
"You cannot have an attack on the mission, 12 months later identified a good number of the participants, and have absolutely no consequences for the taking of American lives," GOP Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, who leads the House Intelligence Committee, told the Times.
Senior military and law enforcement officials reportedly believe the White House should be pressing harder for arrests.
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