Benghazi Consulate Attack Suspect Arrives In US

A Libyan militant charged over the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead has arrived in the US.

A spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Washington said Ahmed Abu Khattalais in federal law enforcement custody and there is increased security at the city’s federal courthouse.

Khattala faces criminal charges over the deaths of the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans.

A newly unsealed criminal complaint accusesKhattala of killing a person during an attack on a federal facility, a crime punishable by death; providing federal support to terrorists resulting in death; and using a firearm in a crime of violence.

He could face a judge as soon as Saturday for an initial court appearance, during which the government would outline the charges against him.

He will almost certainly remain in detention while the Justice Department seeks a federal grand jury indictment against him.

Khattala has acknowledged in an interview with the Associated Press that he was present during the storming of the US mission, but has denied involvement in the attack, claiming he was instead trying to organise a rescue of trapped people.

US special forces captured Khattala, the suspected ringleader of the deadly assault, in Libya two weeks ago.

Officials have been questioning him aboard a Navy amphibious transport dock ship that brought him to the US.

Libya has condemned the arrest as an attack on the country’s sovereignty and wants Khattala to return to stand trial in Libya.

The case will be a test of the Obama administration’s commitment to try suspected terrorists in the American criminal justice system, as Republicans in Congress call for Khattalaand others to be held at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

The US believes Ansar al Shariah, an Islamic militia, was behind the attack.

Washington has accused Khattala of being a member of the militia, a claim he has denied.

Gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades and stormed the mission during the assault, with many of them waving the black banners of Ansar al Shariah.

The compound’s main building was set on fire.

Ambassador Stevens suffocated to death inside and another American was shot and killed.

Later that evening, gunmen attacked and shelled a safehouse, killing two more Americans.

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Source: orange.co.uk
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