The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now part of the investigation looking into the deadly ambush of the joint patrol of U.S. and Nigerien forces in Niger earlier this month, which took the lives of four American soldiers.
Although it is not typical for the FBI to be involved with an investigation regarding a military operation, it isn't unprecedented, FBI officials told the Wall Street Journal. The FBI has not taken over the investigation, even though it has the authorization to do so.
The FBI will assist collecting and checking evidence concerning those responsible for the attack, which occurred on Oct. 4, and how they were informed about the joint U.S. patrol.
As U.S. military officials are still determining a timeline for how the attack transpired, lawmakers have condemned the Pentagon and the White House for not providing more clarity on the matter. Additionally, questions still loom regarding whether the U.S. force had sufficient resources and if the mission had a clear purpose.
The U.S. has maintained a force in Niger to assist the nation to combat several jihadist groups in southwest Niger.
Officials said the joint U.S. Nigerien patrol stopped at a village and engaged with local leaders as they were picking up supplies. It is not clear whether villagers intentionally held up the troops from leaving to allow the attackers to prepare the ambush.
The White House announced on Tuesday that President Trump has spoken over the phone with all four of the families of the members of the U.S. Army Special Forces killed in Niger.