Death of U.S. Soldiers in Niger Sparks FBI Probe, Criticism

Death of U.S. Soldiers in Niger Sparks FBI Probe, Criticism by Ben Kesling and Julian E. Barnes – Wall Street Journal

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined the investigation into how a group of militants thought to be Islamists killed four American soldiers in Niger two weeks ago, a move that comes as U.S. officials face criticism over their struggle to answer questions about the incident.

U.S. military officials said Thursday that they are trying to piece together a timeline of what happened, while lawmakers impatient for information criticized the Pentagon and White House for a lack of transparency.

The FBI’s involvement comes amid an absence of details on the ambush, which has become the center of a political firestorm over how President Donald Trump has interacted with relatives of the dead soldiers.

Bringing the bureau into the probe of a military operation gone awry isn’t unprecedented, FBI officials said. The FBI has the authority to take over the investigation but hasn’t yet done so, the officials said.

FBI investigators are helping gather and evaluate evidence about the militants considered responsible for the ambush and how members of the group learned of the joint U.S.-Nigerien patrol…

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