You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

0

0

Game starts at 7:10 PM

Suspect in Benghazi attacks ordered held without bond

WASHINGTON — A suspected ringleader of the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a US ambassador and three other Americans was ordered held without bond during a Wednesday hearing in District of Columbia federal court.

Ahmed Abu Khattala, who has pleaded not guilty to a single conspiracy charge, was seized in a secret raid in Libya in June. He was held aboard a Navy warship before he was brought to Washington for trial.

Continue reading below

Assistant US Attorney Michael DiLorenzo said in court Wednesday that multiple witnesses know of Abu Khattala’s involvement in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. DiLorenzo said the defendant’s statements corroborate that evidence.

In January, the State Department designated Abu Khattala a terrorist, calling him a ‘‘senior leader’’ of the Benghazi branch of the militant organization Ansar al-Sharia, a group that arose after the 2011 fall of the Libyan regime of Moammar Khadafy.

‘‘He is the commander of an armed militia . . . designated as a terrorist organization,’’ DiLorenzo said in court. He said Abu Khattala was carrying a loaded weapon when he was seized and ‘‘took steps to avoid capture.’’

In court papers filed Tuesday, federal prosecutors said Abu Khattala organized the attacks at a US diplomatic mission and a nearby CIA annex out of a sense of ideological fervor. In the days before the attacks, he ‘‘voiced concern and opposition to the presence of an American facility in Benghazi,’’ prosecutors wrote.

Abu Khattala’s public defender, Michelle Peterson, did not contest the motion to hold her client without bond, given his status as a foreign national and the terrorism-related charge against him. She also protested that prosecutors have offered her almost no information about their case.

“There’s an utter lack of evidence of Mr. Khattala’s involvement in what happened in Benghazi,’’ she said. “It’s incredibly difficult for us to defend Mr. Khattala against the charges against him.”

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.