Man accused of attack on US consulate in Benghazi pleads not guilty

Man accused of attack on US consulate in Benghazi pleads not guilty
The scene outside the consulate on September 13, 2012, the day after the attack.

A Libyan militant has pleaded not guilty to charges arising from the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, including US ambassador Chris Stevens.

Ahmed Abu Khattala, 43, entered the plea through his lawyer in a 15-minute court proceeding before a federal judge.

An 18-count grand jury indictment handed up last week makes Abu Khattala eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Abu Khattala’s lawyer, federal public defender Michelle Peterson, said she is waiting for the justice department to turn over additional material – much of it classified – on the charges her client faces. The next court date in the case was set for December 9.

Abu Khattala’s lawyer has said previously that the government has failed to show he was connected to the attacks.

The charges against him include murder of an internationally protected person, murder of an officer and employee of the United States and killing a person in the course of an attack on a federal facility.

Abu Khattala is the first militant to be prosecuted for the Benghazi attacks.

The September 11 2012 attack by militants killed Mr Stevens and communications specialist Sean Smith and set the mission ablaze.

Nearly eight hours later at a CIA complex nearby, two more Americans, contract security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, died in a mortar attack that showed clear military training, retired general Carter Ham told Congress in closed-door evidence earlier this year.

The administration apprehended Abu Khattala in June and brought him to the United States to stand trial on terrorism charges.

More in this Section

Donald Trump calls sacked whistleblower ‘a disgrace’Donald Trump calls sacked whistleblower ‘a disgrace’

Coronavirus: US states scramble for equipment as death toll mountsCoronavirus: US states scramble for equipment as death toll mounts

Trudeau to speak with Trump over mask export banTrudeau to speak with Trump over mask export ban

Donald Trump warns US poised for ‘a lot of death’ in coming weekDonald Trump warns US poised for ‘a lot of death’ in coming week


Lifestyle

With documentary film ‘Fantastic Fungi’ set to take the world by storm, Joe McNamee looks at the fabulous world of mushroomsDocumentary explores the magic of mushrooms

I lead a very busy life — I’m a mature student in college — and I separated from my partner but the separation was my decision. I hate myself when it beckons as it ultimately makes me fatter, it has the reverse effectDear Louise: I had my bulimia under control. But the demon has returned

This year has been particularly difficult and stressful, and I think that’s an even more important reason to make time for your health.Derval O'Rourke: Resistance is far from futile and necessary

Best-selling author Faith Hogan is keeping the faith during the lockdown, thanks to her Moy Valley haven in Ballina, Co Mayo.Shape I'm in: Keeping the Faith during lockdown

More From The Irish Examiner