Govt: Libyan militant motivated by extremism

2014-07-02 09:23
A vehicle sits smouldering in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi. (AFP, File)

A vehicle sits smouldering in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi. (AFP, File)

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Washington - The Libyan militant now in US custody over the Benghazi attacks in 2012 was motivated by his extremist ideology, the government said on Tuesday.

In the days before the attacks, Ahmed Abu Khattala expressed concern and opposition to the presence of an American facility in Benghazi, according to a federal court filing.

Khattala is the first person to face prosecution in the 11 September 2012 attack in Benghazi in which four Americans, including the US ambassador to Libya, were killed.

After US personnel evacuated the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, Khattala entered the compound and supervised the exploitation of material at the scene, according to the court papers filed by the US Attorney's Office.

Khattala then returned to a camp in Benghazi controlled by Ansar al-Shariah, where a large armed group began assembling for an attack on the compound's annex, according to the court filing. The state department has designated Ansar al-Shariah as a foreign terrorist organization.

Khattala, the court papers said, is a commander of Abu Obaida bin Jarrah Brigade, an extremist group that was absorbed into Ansar al-Shariah after the recent Libyan revolution.

The brigade is an Islamic extremist militia in Libya that holds anti-Western views and advocates the establishment of Shariah law in Libya.

Read more on:    ahmed abu khattala  |  libya  |  us  |  north africa

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