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Militant convicted on terrorism charges, acquitted of murder in Benghazi attacks

Militant convicted on terrorism charges, acquitted of murder in Benghazi attacks
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A federal jury convicted a Libyan militant Tuesday on terrorism charges related to the 2012 attacks on U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, but acquitted him of murder, the most serious charge he faced.

According to The New York Times, Ahmed Abu Khattala, 46, was convicted on four counts, including conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. But he was also acquitted of 14 other charges.

Khattala faces up to 60 years in prison, according to the Times. 

Khattala is the first person charged in the 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound and a CIA station in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead and spurred a political firestorm in Washington. 

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In their arguments, prosecutors sought to portray Khattala as the mastermind behind the deadly attacks, citing circumstantial evidence. But they also acknowledged that they could not prove he had fired shots or started any fires during the attack. 

Defense attorneys sought to cast doubt on just how direct Khattala's involvement in attacks was, according to the Times.

Congressional Republicans long blamed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNSA leaker Reality Winner released from federal prison Monica Lewinsky signs production deal with 20th TV Police investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide MORE, who was secretary of State at the time of the attacks, saying she ignored clear warning signs of danger in Benghazi and failed to ensure that the diplomatic mission had proper security.

Multiple investigations by Congress and the State Department cleared Clinton in the attacks, but the allegations followed her into her 2016 presidential bid.