Washington is where federal prosecutors have filed murder charges against Mr. Abu Khattala in connection with the 2012 attacks that killed the United States ambassador to Libya and three others.
But the decision to bring him to the nation’s capital has raised questions about the logistics of holding a trial here and the experience of prosecutors to bring such a case.
Nearly all the high-profile terrorists tried in federal court since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have been tried in New York or Alexandria, Va., across the Potomac River from Washington. The New York courthouse is connected directly to jails where the defendants are typically held, making it far easier to transport them for court appearances.
The Washington courthouse is not connected to a jail, so every time Mr. Abu Khattala has to appear in court the government will have to move him with armed guards in armored vehicles.