Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

Ship carrying Benghazi suspect has gone dark

Where is the USS New York?

At 684 feet long and displacing more than 24,900 tons, the Mayport-based San Antonio-class Amphibious Transport dock is no smart car of the seas. Yet the vessel has gone "dark" for more than a week now.

The low profile might have to do with the ship carrying the recently captured Ahmed Abu Khattala, one of the accused ringleaders of the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi terrorist attacks that left four Americans dead.

While any ship's location is supposed to be a well-guarded secret when deployed, the New York is in a unique position because it's thought to be steaming toward Washington, where Abu Khattala is expected to be arraigned soon.

The ship's crew has been noticeably absent from social media, most likely because the entire ship's outbound communications have blacked out, or as the military calls it: "River City." River City is usually implemented when a soldier is wounded or killed during combat operations. It allows the Defense Department to notify family members before word gets out through unofficial means.

Officials have said Khattala must be flown directly from the ship into Washington for legal reasons.

The distance, as the crow flies, between Washington and Benghazi is about 5,280 miles. The New York could make that distance in just under 11 days. Because Khattala was captured 10 days ago, there's a strong chance the New York is getting ready to pay the East Coast a visit.

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