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Trial of Accused Benghazi Ringleader Begins in Washington

Trial of Accused Benghazi Ringleader Begins in Washington

Prosecutor: Khattala “hates America with a vengeance.”

The trial for Ahmed Abu Khattala, the alleged ringleader of the Benghazi, Libya, attack in September 2012, began today in Washington, D.C.

The attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Khattala has stressed that “he was only a bystander” during the attack.

Beginning of the Trial

Reuters reported:

In his opening statement, federal prosecutor John Crabb said Khatallah hates America “with a vengeance” and played a leading role in organizing the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

Khatallah “didn’t do the killing by himself,” he said. “He didn’t light the fires and he didn’t fire the mortars but you will hear he is just as guilty as the men who lit those fires and the men who fired those mortars.”

Crabb said that Khatallah “incited others to do his dirty work.” The Washington Times reported that the prosecutors put forth evidence in their opening statements, which included “snippets of security footage that showed Mr. Abu Khatallah walking into the Benghazi mission with an AK-47 in hand after the gates to the complex”

The prosecutors also said they have a lineup of witnesses that will testify against Khatallah and explain how he prepared for the attack. This includes one key witness that the U.S. paid a hefty price for. The Washington Times continued:

One key witness, referred to as “Ali,” was paid $7 million by the U.S. government for providing information to investigators, Mr. Crabb said. Ali befriended Mr. Abu Khatallah after the attack at the request of the U.S. government and provided details about his whereabouts and ultimately arranged the 2014 trip during which the military captured Mr. Abu Khatallah.

Mr. Crabb said Ali will testify that at a meeting in Libya, Mr. Abu Khatallah said he “attacked the American embassy” and later told Ali privately that “he would have killed all the Americans that night … if others had not gotten involved and stopped me.”

Khatallah pleaded not guilty to 18 counts. These charges include “conspiracy, murder and material support of terrorists in the deaths of Stevens, State Department communications expert Sean Patrick Smith and security contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty.”

As Reuters pointed out, this trial “represents a high-profile test in the use of a federal court to try a foreign terrorism suspect, as opposed to holding him at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where he would face military legal proceedings.”

His Capture

U.S. Military commandos surrounded Khattala’s residence in Benghazi in June 2014 and captured him. One official said the capture “was pretty clean” and the suspect “was isolated.”

The joint Special Operations and FBI planned the mission “for months” and executed it after President Barack Obama approved it. No one released details of the operation.

The U.S. transported Khatallah on a Navy Ship, which took about 13 days to arrive back to the states. Reuters explained that U.S. intelligence officials questioned him before anyone read him “his Miranda rights and questioned by FBI agents.” Reuters continued:

He waived his rights to remain silent and have a lawyer present before speaking with the agents. His attorneys had sought to suppress the statements, saying the government had violated his rights.

However, U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper issued a lengthy ruling in August that found his statements could be admitted at trial.


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This is going to turn into a zoo, fast.

“The trial for Ahmed Abu Khattala, the alleged ringleader of the Benghazi, Libya, attack in September 2012, began today in Washington, D.C.”

I thought the ring leader was Hillary?

    Khattala’s view is more in line with the left: a focused hatred for America, freedom, Jews, etc.

    Hillary clinton hates EVERYONE with a vengeance. She spreads herself too thin to ring-lead anything. Nor has the competence to lead anything.

    Khattala is primed to be the democrat candidate in 2020.

He’ll probably become commissioner of the NFL.

Two unindicted co-enablers to this are President Obama and Sec of State Clinton. A slowed response to the attack may have been to let there be no survivors…

ugottabekiddinme | October 2, 2017 at 9:01 pm

I’d like to know the answer to a more fundamental question, seriously . . . this guy made war on an official diplomatic outpost of the USA which in international law means it is an extra-territorial space that legally actually is the USA.

So why was he not simply shot dead when captured as an enemy combatant? Where the he]] does he get off getting the right that a US citizen has, to a trial by jury? And on criminal charges that require proof beyond a reasonable doubt?

He ought to be brought before a summary military tribunal and dispatched forthwith.

If this guy walks, imagine the propaganda victory. The US has been at war with terrorists at least since 2001, so I really do not get this.


    And even if he gets convicted he just goes to prison and starts a jihadi radicalization program behind bars.

    Just put a bullet in the mutt and be done with it.

    Absolutely correct.

    Worse, if he walks – does he get to stay in the US legally?

      Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | October 3, 2017 at 2:05 am

      Don’t be silly. If he ever gets out of prison, whether by acquittal at trial or by serving his sentence, he will be deported back to Libya.

        Close The Fed in reply to Milhouse. | October 3, 2017 at 5:50 am

        Silly? Don’t be glib. We have courts that rule that aliens cannot be held past their sentenced time and countries that will not accept their citizens back.

        This is too serious to be glib.

    The whole point of capturing him was to bring him to justice. Military tribunals don’t dispense justice.

    tom swift in reply to ugottabekiddinme. | October 3, 2017 at 3:09 am

    So why was he not simply shot dead when captured as an enemy combatant?

    Where have you been for the last five centuries? Nobody executes enemy combatants as a matter of routine. That stuff went out of style with Tammerlane.

    A prisoner can’t even be punished for being an enemy combatant, because that’s not a crime. Sabotage, espionage, killing a guard while escaping, or fighting while not a member of a recognized belligerant … those can be crimes, and he can be shot or hanged for them … but only after a suitable tribunal goes through a load of legal rigamarole. “War crimes” must be proven, they can’t simply be asserted. The situation becomes excessively murky if there’s no formal declaration of war involved—that by itself is a good reason to declare wars, rather than merely drift into them.

    They’ll have their work cut out in this case. Hating the United States isn’t a crime. Really, really hating it a whole lot still isn’t a crime. If his defense can show that US forces ever referred to Khattala as an “enemy combatant” their work is practically done; a conviction will be extremely difficult. The silly details are important. Abraham Lincoln nearly blew the campaign to strangle the South by announcing a “blockade” of Southern ports. Big mistake. A blockade must be announced, otherwise seizing ships is piracy rather than warfare. But you blockade the ports of other countries; you close your own ports. By announcing a “blockade” some other countries with lawyers—mainly England—could have claimed that Lincoln had just recognized the Confederacy, turning the rebellion into a war. If England then recognized the Confederacy as well, the South could get loans from British banks. Then England would have an interest in the outcome of the war; a defeated and bankrupted South wouldn’t be able to repay its loans. Royal Navy warships conveniently “visiting” Southern ports would be practically guaranteed; there would be no way to blockade the ports without war with England.

Close The Fed | October 3, 2017 at 5:51 am

Five years later the trial begins.

We are dying from our own legalisms.

The law should not be a suicide pact.

Legalism needs thinned out.

This sort of trial is a stupid mistake. These people should be dealt with in the same manner the Soviets used against those who attacked their people. They hunted down everyone remotely suspected of being involved and killed them, along with any friends, relatives, etc. who happened to be with them at the time. This trial will accomplish nothing, other than wasting a great deal of money — and much more if he’s convicted, to keep him comfortable in prison for many years.

It must be made clear that there is a price to be paid for participating in terrorist acts. Only a minority of terrorists are eager to die, and certainly not those at the upper levels who finance and direct them. It should be made widely known that involvement with terrorist organizations will get you killed, and maybe your family and friends as well. This is a war, not a matter to be dealt with by policemen and judges.

4th armored div | October 3, 2017 at 10:25 am

this whole thing smells of an obama coverup.
if this mutt is an actual real bad guy, he should be at Guantanamo and ‘encouraged’ to tell all he knows.

Obama PAID an informant to entrap someone –
this guy will walk….

It’s not like he was a Russian ya know……