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Trial of alleged ringleader of Benghazi attack begins in Washington

Trial of alleged ringleader of Benghazi attack begins in Washington”

The smoke from weapons' fire and explosions was so thick and black that it blinded the three. Current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, then a House Republican representing Kansas' Fourth District, said following the report's July 8, 2016, publication: "While the [Obama] administration had made excuses and blamed the challenges posed by time and distance, the truth is that they did not try".

"At first I had my hand on the ambassador and we were crawling", he recalled.

"That eight meters", he said, shaking his head. "To this day, I don't even know where they went".

He repeatedly entered the compound to search for Stevens and Smith until he was out of breath only to be met with a barrage of grenade fire each time he exited the compound. Almost eight hours later at a Central Intelligence Agency complex nearby, two more Americans, contract security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, died in a mortar attack. To date, only one person, Libyan national Abu Ahmed Khatallah, has been publicly charged in a U.S. court in connection with the incident.

The trial is expected to last for weeks.

According to federal prosecutors, Khatallah was involved in orchestrating the attack.

The prosecution gave a starkly different portrayal of the defendant.

The evidence would show that other people were the "brains" of the operation, defense attorney Jeffrey Robinson told the jury.

Assistant US attorney John Crabb said that later, the defendant was heard at his apartment saying: "I attacked the American embassy" and would have killed more Americans that night if others had not intervened. "He did not participate in the attacks", Robinson said. That witness was later paid $7 million to help the United States lure Khatallah to the spot where he was captured, Reuters reported. Reuters explained that us intelligence officials questioned him before anyone read him "his Miranda rights and questioned by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents". Although the government identified more than a half dozen alleged co-conspirators and participants in the attack during its opening presentation, Khatallah is only person to stand trial so far.

Khatallah suspected that the United States compound was a spy post, Crabb said, and believed that America is "at the root of all the world's problems".

Crabb said the prosecution would show the jury videos of the attack site and Abu Khattala's phone records, which he said showed a spike in activity during the attacks.

The government intends to present a witness, referred to as Ali, who became close to Khatallah at the United States government's request after the attack.

He was captured in 2014 when USA special forces carried out a commando raid based on intelligence provided by a friend of the accused, who received a $7 million reward from the U.S. government.

Crabb acknowledged that the accused "didn't do the killings by himself" but rather "planned the attack" and "got others to do his dirty work". "The gate was open, the Americans had left", the lawyer said.

Khatallah commanded a small militia during the 2011 uprising against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

Robinson also said Abu Khattala was a deeply religious man who believes in conservative sharia law as outlined in the Quran. The trial of Khattala, the Libyan militant accused of being the mastermind of the 2012 Benghazi attacks is scheduled to begin on October 2, 2017.

He testified that when Stevens arrived in Benghazi on September 10, the USA personnel at the compound presented him with a bottle of whiskey to welcome him.

Wickland kept yelling for them.



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