WASHINGTON – Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a Libyan belligerent charged in a 2012 Benghazi attacks, pleaded not guilty Saturday afternoon in tie to a crime, during a brief initial coming before a U.S. sovereign judge.
Khatallah, who walked into a D.C. courtroom wearing black sweatpants, a black sweatshirt and cosmetic slip-on sandals, spoke gently during a 10-minute hearing.
He replied “yes” when asked to swear to tell a law and “no” when he was asked if he was carrying difficulty bargain a proceeding.
Khatallah wore headphones to listen to a interpretation of a hearing.
His probity allocated lawyer, Michele Peterson, entered a not guilty defence to one count of providing element support to terrorists.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola systematic Khatallah’s continued detention. He was taken to a trickery in Alexandria, Va., following a hearing.
The complaint opposite Khatallah was handed adult underneath sign on Thursday and was done open Saturday.
He was indicted by a sovereign grand jury on a assign of swindling to yield element support and resources to terrorists, meaningful and intending that these would be used in credentials for and in carrying out a murdering in a march of an conflict on a sovereign facility, and a offense resulted in death.
It is expected that additional charges will be filed opposite Khatallah.
Khatallah was flown to Washington by helicopter shortly after morning Saturday from a navy warship, where he had been reason given his constraint scarcely dual weeks ago.
Khatallah is indicted of being concerned in a Sept. 11, 2012 conflict in Libya that led to a deaths of former U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, information officer Sean Smith, and former navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
Stevens, 52, was a initial U.S. envoy to be killed in a line of avocation given 1979.
“In a courtroom in a nation’s capital, currently we took a initial step down a highway to probity for a 4 American heroes killed in Benghazi,” U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. for a District of Columbia pronounced in a created statement. “This charge is a thoughtfulness of a integrity to respect a scapegoat of U.S. adults who decay on unfamiliar dirt in use to a country. We will be steady, counsel and relentless in seeking to reason accountable all who were obliged for this lethal act of terror.”
Special Operations Forces prisoner Khatallah during a night raid in Libya Jun 15-16, imprinting a initial breakthrough in a review of a Benghazi attacks.
U.S. authorities have pronounced they are looking to brand and constraint additional co-conspirators.
Khatallah, a distinguished figure in Benghazi’s circles of extremists who was renouned among immature radicals, concurred in an talk with The Associated Press in Jan that he was benefaction during a conflict of a U.S. goal in Benghazi. But he denied impasse in a attack, observant he was perplexing to classify a rescue of trapped people.
Prosecuting Khatallah will be a exam of a Obama administration’s joining to try suspected terrorists in a American rapist probity complement even as Republicans in Congress call for Khatallah and others to be reason during a U.S. apprehension trickery in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Khatallah is one of only a few cases in that a administration has prisoner a suspected militant abroad and interrogated him for comprehension functions before bringing him to sovereign probity to face charges.
Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, Shayla Bezdrob and The Associated Press contributed to this report.