Suspected Benghazi militant Abu Khattala was convicted of just four of the 18 charges against him by a federal jury Tuesday. He is guilty of terrorism, but is avoiding the death penalty.
Mixed verdict in Abu Khattala trial. Convicted of four counts, including providing material support and resources to terrorism, but acquitted of 14, including the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. https://t.co/K4IiwZMiPs— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) November 28, 2017
The civilian court trial lasted for eight weeks. Khattala's lawyers argued throughout that their client was a political pawn for the United States, and insisted he was an innocent bystander who did not show up at the compound until the assault had ended. Nevertheless, prosecutors argued that he helped plan the attack and assisted the terrorists during the ambush.
The attack on the U.S. compound and later on the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 ended in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department information management officer Sean Smith, and Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
Khattala is the first person charged and prosecuted in the Benghazi attacks. He faces up to 60 years in prison for the following charges.
Mr. Khattala was convicted on four counts — including providing material support for terrorism, destroying property and placing lives in jeopardy at the mission, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence — but acquitted on 14 others. He faces up to 60 years in prison for the four convictions.