Libya approves U.S. missions to get Benghazi suspects

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Libyan government has given the United States "tacit approval" to conduct missions inside Libya to capture suspects involved in the terror attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi last year, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

The official has direct knowledge of the arrangements but declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the information.

Approval for a mission against Benghazi suspects, which was granted in recent weeks, is the same type of agreement that allowed a U.S. raid this past weekend in Tripoli.

In that operation, Army Delta Forces captured Abu Anas al Libi, an al Qaeda operative wanted for his alleged role in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Under these approvals, key Libyan government officials are aware of potential U.S. operations but may not know the exact timing and place of a mission.

This means the United States could at any point decide to conduct a Benghazi operation using intelligence and military operatives in the region.

CNN previously reported the United States has a target list of Benghazi suspects the Obama administration has tracked through intelligence.

Tracking efforts include drone surveillance and operatives, who have moved in and out of Libya in recent months.

Some details of the Libyan arrangements were first reported by the New York Times.