Late Tuesday, the Obama administration released the indictment of Ahmed Abu Khattalah. He is the only suspect arrested for the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, and only the second person arrested at all in connection with that attack. The first, Nakoula Nakoula, was arrested and jailed for a year on parole violations for producing the “Innocence of Muslims” video that the president and top officials in his administration blamed for the attack.
Rowan Scarborough reports that the indictment of Khattalah does some damage to the movie narrative.
The unsealed June 26 indictment, coinciding with Khatallah’s U.S. District Court appearance in Washington, states that the grand jury does not know when the conspiracy began. It says Khatallah “did knowingly and intentionally conspire and agree with other conspirators, known and unknown to provide material support and resources to terrorists, that is personnel including himself and others.”
The indictment says Khatallah intended the material support and resources “to be used in preparation for and in carrying out” the attacks that killed the ambassador, his aide and two ex-Navy SEALs protecting a CIA base that came under precision mortar attack.
Khatallah is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for a full detention hearing.
If it was a conspiracy, as the Obama government now alleges, then it wasn’t a spontaneous reaction to a movie that was supposedly offensive.
The Obama administration began pushing that narrative on the night of the attack, in a State Department statement condemning the movie and distancing the United States from it. The president and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton produced a public service announcement that aired in Pakistan in the days after the assault. In that PSA, Clinton “absolutely rejects” the movie and insists that the US government had nothing to do with producing it.
Intelligence from the scene of the attack, during the attack, stated that there was no demonstration, no riot that got out of control, that the attack was a premeditated and planned assault using coordinated forces. The indictment of Khattalah backs that up.
The Benghazi assault came just weeks before the 2012 presidential election, and days after President Obama and the Democrats used their party convention to declare that “GM is alive and al Qaeda is on the run” and variations on that theme.
GM has since recalled more vehicles than it has sold due to safety issues, and al Qaeda offshoot ISIS is swiftly taking over large portions of Iraq.