By CNN Staff
(CNN) — A fugitive wanted by the FBI in the killing of a U.S. diplomat in 2000 has been arrested by French forces in Mali, a source familiar with the case told CNN on Thursday.
Alhassane Ould Mohamed, also known as “Cheibani,” a 43-year-old Malian citizen, was named in an indictment unsealed in a federal court in New York in September.
He was charged with the slaying of U.S. Department of Defense official William Bultemeier in Niamey, Niger, in December 2000.
Authorities said Mohamed and another suspect confronted a group of employees of the U.S. Embassy in Niger as they left a restaurant in Niamey.
The two men, armed with a pistol and an AK-47 assault rifle, approached Bultemeier as he was about to enter his car. The suspect allegedly shot Bultemeier after asking him to turn over the keys to the diplomatic vehicle. U.S. Marine Christopher McNeely was wounded in the attack. The gunmen drove away in the diplomatic vehicle.
Bultemeier, a military attache, died of his injuries.
“U.S. diplomat William Bultemeier lost his life while representing his country overseas, and U.S. Marine Christopher McNeely was gravely wounded trying to protect him, all during the brazen armed carjacking allegedly perpetrated by the defendant and his confederate,” Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement at the time.
Mohamed was arrested in Mali in December 2000, according the FBI website. He was never formally charged and escaped in 2002.
In late 2009, Mohamed allegedly killed four Saudi Arabian nationals in northern Niger. In 2010, he was arrested and convicted in those slayings. Mohamed was serving a 20-year prison sentence in Niger when he escaped on June 1, 2013.
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