News / Middle East

Benghazi Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

U.S. Marshalls guard the area outside of the federal U.S. District Court in Washington Saturday, June 28, 2014, in anticipation of a court appearance by captured Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khattala
U.S. Marshalls guard the area outside of the federal U.S. District Court in Washington Saturday, June 28, 2014, in anticipation of a court appearance by captured Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khattala
VOA News

The accused ringleader of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya has appeared in a federal courthouse in Washington and pleaded not guilty to a terrorism charge.

Ahmed Abu Khatallah was flown by helicopter to Washington Saturday from a U.S. Navy ship. During a 10-minute court hearing, Khatallah was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists resulting in death. The charge against Khatallah carries a sentence of up to life in prison.

The government is expected to file additional charges which could lead to the death penalty.

U.S. special forces and the FBI arrested Khatallah earlier this month near Benghazi. Authorities questioned him aboard the ship that brought him to U.S. soil. Khatallah's next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

The United States accuses him of being the ringleader of the September 11, 2012 attack which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Gunmen stormed the U.S. consulate and a nearby U.S. safe house in Benghazi. Officials say the ambassador suffocated after the militants set the consulate on fire.

Republicans in Congress accuse the Obama administration and State Department of being negligent in providing enough security in a volatile region prone to terrorism.

Some information for this report comes from AP and AFP.

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by: Aondowase Saint John from: Makurdi,Nigeria
June 29, 2014 7:49 AM
His capture is a major victory for the Obama adminiatration.It was a horrendous act after the US assisting them to once more be free Libyans by pushing longtime dictator Ghadafi aside,what they have to pay back is shedding of innocent American blood.Let justice take it course.

by: meanbill from: USA
June 28, 2014 7:05 PM
MY OPINION? --- REMEMBER when the US President said, "the US doesn't leave their troops behind?.... (REMEMBER?)... Now convince me why the US ambassador Stevens security team of Navy Seals and Special forces, and CIA, ran like "yellow dogs" to save themselves, and leaving the US ambassador Stevens and his aid Smith to die, by "unknown" protesters, extremist/terrorists, or a CIA execution squad?

PS; Nobody in their right mind, could believe this guy planned and led the attack to kill ambassador Stevens and his aid Smith, (knowing his security team would cut and run like "yellow dogs"), and then, instead of killing Stevens and Smith with guns, decided to kill them by asphyxiation?.... (WHY would they do that?)..... and WHY kill the other CIA guys with mortar rounds, instead of bullets?.... UNBELIEVABLE?
In Response

by: a baba from: new york
June 28, 2014 8:06 PM
the fact that he did it. us will not spend all times and money to get wrong person. if you believe that he is ambassador and well protected by different law enforcement agency , remember that JFK was well protected and he killed. Anwar el Sadat was well protected and killed .

by: ali baba from: new york
June 28, 2014 4:41 PM
He plead not guilty. the court proceeding could cost taxpayer million of dollar for a thugs that does not deserve a penny on him. If we still put these thugs in a civil court with is huge expenses, it is insane . they should take him in a military court and Execute him as soon as possible .This thugs does not care about life. he is not appreciate the help that Us offered to Libya which is mistake. We should not delay his wish to die .the 72 virgins are waiting for him

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