Ahmed Abu Khattala, a suspect in the Benghazi attacks recently captured in Libya and transferred to American custody, is talking with American interrogators and offering “voluntary statements” which corroborate many of the details of that attack.
While Khattala has not incriminated himself in the attack which led to the deaths of four Americans, according to a report in The New York Times, he is providing investigators with a detailed accounting of events surrounding the 2012 attack on an American diplomatic outpost.
“On the night of Sept. 11, 2012, a group of at least 20 men armed with machine guns, handguns and rocket-propelled grenades gathered outside the United States Mission in Benghazi and “aggressively breached” it’s gate,” the Times reported based on an unsealed indictment filed by federal prosecutors with the Justice Department on Tuesday night.
The men went on to set fire to the United States mission. It was that fire that killed Mr. Stevens and a State Department employee. A little later, Mr. Abu Khattala “entered the compound and supervised the exploitation of materials from the scene by numerous men, many of whom were armed.”
The document reveals that Khattala traveled from the consulate to an outpost where militants were preparing a follow-up attack on a second American facility. “Fearing that the United States was going to retaliate after the attacks,” the Times report read, “he tried to obtain weapons in the following days.”
The court document indicates that the government has evidence of a coordinated conspiracy to attack an American facility. “The indictment might be viewed as a death knell for a theory that the attack resulted from a spontaneous protest against a U.S.-produced video,” the Washington Times reported.
Khattala is scheduled to appear on court on Wednesday.