One year on, US charges Ahmed Khattalah over Benghazi consulate attack


David Usborne
Wednesday 07 August 2013 00:02 BST

Nearly a full year after the deadly attack on its consular compound in Benghazi, the United States has taken a first concrete step towards fulfilling its promise to bring the perpetrators to justice filing criminal charges against several suspects including a Libyan militia leader, according to unconfirmed media reports.

Sources in Washington told CNN that the Justice Department believes the leader, Ahmed Khattalah, was directly involved in the attack which cost the lives of the US Ambassador in Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The charges against him are under seal and are the first to emerge from the case. It was unclear how many other suspects were named or what the precise nature of the charges against them was.

Pressure has been growing on the administration of Barack Obama, especially from its critics on Capitol Hill, to show some progress in its FBI-led investigation into the attack which it first characterised as having been spurred by a mob angered by an American amateur film that was seen as being offensive to Muslims. Some Republicans have argued that the White House and the then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had sought to cover up the reality that it was a terrorist attack to avoid hurting President Obama’s re-election.

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