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US prosecutor calls Benghazi suspect ‘commander’ of 2012 attack

Published: Updated:

Prosecutors are urging jurors to convict a man they say masterminded the 2012 attacks on US compounds in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

In closing arguments on Thursday, Assistant US Attorney Michael C. DiLorenzo described Ahmed Abu Khattala as a terrorist bent on killing as many Americans as he could.

Khattala is charged with crimes including murder of an internationally protected person, providing material support to terrorists and destroying US property while causing death. His attorneys have tried to depict him as a “Libyan patriot” who believed he was attending a protest at the compound.

But DiLorenzo called him the “on-scene commander” of the carnage who had been planning the attack for at least a year.