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How Not To Indict a Terrorist


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how-not-indict-terrorist-andrew-c-mccarthyNational Review:

The Justice Department’s charges against Khatallah are curiously sparse.

Andrew C. McCarthy

July 5 2014


What happens when the president who has politicized law-enforcement to a degree unprecedented in American history meets a terrorist responsible for killing Americans he has recklessly failed to protect, decimating his pretensions about “decimating” al-Qaeda?


What happens is: You get the most politicized terrorism indictment ever produced by the Justice Department. Behold United States v. Khatallah, Case No. 14 Crim. 141, quietly unsealed in a Washington courtroom last Saturday while the country dozed off into summer-vacation mode.




Traditionally, the Justice Department handles things this way because the point of prosecuting the case is to obtain convictions on the most serious, readily provable charges that can be brought. A terrorist should be charged and convicted as a terrorist, not for some lesser offense. The more the evidence is allowed to sing for itself, the more the prosecutor is seen as revealing the truth rather than trying to shape or shade it. Jurors, using their common sense, gain confidence that the whole truth is being presented and that the accused truly are guilty of heinous crimes.


It seems, however, that the Khatallah prosecution is following a different strategy.



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Benghazi suspect has 'extensive contacts' with jihadist leaders in Libya
Thomas Joscelyn
July 3, 2014




Several members of AAS in Benghazi have been identified as being among the group that initially breached the gate at the US Mission on the night of Sept. 11, 2012. These fighters include Khatallah's "known associates."


Beyond the allegations of Khatallah's role in the attack, the government's filing includes several other reported details that may point to his ties to the broader terror network. The court filing provides little insight into Khatallah's relationships with other jihadists, however.


'Extensive contacts with senior-level members of extremist groups throughout Libya'


One reason the US government recommended that Khatallah be detained is because he could "communicate his plans for additional deadly attacks to other extremists and encourage them to carry out those plans."


The government alleges that Khatallah "has extensive contacts with senior-level members of extremist groups throughout Libya." Members of these organizations, as well as Khatallah's "close associates who participated in" the Benghazi attack, "are similarly dedicated to carrying out plots to attack American and Western interests."


Although Khatallah's contacts in other extremist groups are not identified in the legal filing, intelligence and evidence compiled by American authorities indicate that Khatallah's men were among fighters from several jihadist groups that participated in the assault on the US Mission.


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