According to recent reports, Ahmed Abu Khatallah pleaded not guilty Monday during a U.S. federal court hearing on his involvement in the 2012 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. His next court date is set for Dec. 9 as prosecutors prepare a case against the suspect that, if found guilty, would carry a possible death penalty.
The U.S. government accused Khatallah this summer of supporting and conspiring with the terrorists who staged the attack that left four Americans dead. In subsequent months, 17 more charges have been filed against him.
Among the most serious charges are one count of murder of an internationally protected person, three counts of murder of a U.S. official, and four counts of using a firearm to kill a person during an attack on a federal facility.
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Along with other charges, including two counts of malicious damage and destruction of U.S. property causing death, Khatallah faces the death penalty.
As The Daily Signal’s Helle Dale pointed out in a commentary Tuesday, the series of events detailed in the latest indictment against Khatallah is bereft of any mention of a YouTube video the Obama administration initially blamed for the explosion of violence. Instead, prosecutors now claim the defendant led a group of Islamic extremists on a mission specifically designed to kill Americans.
Dale also lamented the fact that, as is Barack Obama’s wont, this suspected terrorist is being tried in a court of law. She concluded that the process is not only laborious; it also does not appear to “offer much of a deterrent to enemies of the United States in the Middle East.”
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