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Libyan sentenced to 19 years in US for Benghazi attack

During the attack, assailants armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades first blasted through the main diplomatic mission before setting it ablaze.

SNS | New Delhi |

Libyan man Mustafa al-Imam who was captured by US special forces in Libya and brought to the United States for the trial was sentenced to prison on Thursday for his role in the 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi.

A 47-year-old was convicted of terrorism charges and other offences in June 2019 after a six-week trial, was sentenced to 19 years and six months in prison by a US District Court judge.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement,” Each sacrificed his life promoting American ideals,” adding to that Al-Imam’s sentencing “sends a strong message to those who would attempt to commit such a heinous crime”.

Imam was captured by US troops in Libya in October 2017 and brought to the United States.

“Imam played an important role in the terrorist attack that destroyed the US mission and the CIA annexe in Benghazi,” US attorney Jessie Liu said in a statement.

In 2017, US forces had captured the second suspect for his alleged role in the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans, including Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

During the attack, assailants armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades first blasted through the main diplomatic mission before setting it ablaze.

Stevens and State Department information officer Smith died there. A coordinated mortar assault on a nearby annexe killed Woods and Doherty, both CIA contractors and former US Navy SEALs.

Ambassador Stevens choked to death by thick black smoke.

Khattala was sentenced to 22 years in prison in June 2018 for his role in the Benghazi attack.

The death of Stevens stunned Americans and became the focus of a politically charged investigation by congressional Republicans of then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who was accused of not doing enough to protect the diplomats.

(With inputs from agency)