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Reports: U.S. files criminal charges over Benghazi attack

Aug. 6, 2013 - 05:36PM   |  
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The Justice Department has filed criminal charges in the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, media reports say.

The Justice Department declined to comment on specific charges Tuesday.

“The department’s investigation is ongoing,” Justice spokesman Andy Ames said. “It has been, and remains, a top priority. We have no further comment at this time.”

CNN and the Wall Street Journal reported the charges stemming from the attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya and three others.

The charges were sealed and their exact nature wasn’t clear, nor was the number of suspects named in the case, the Journal reported.

CNN said the charges name Ahmed Abu Khattalah, leader of a Libyan militia. The charges are the first criminal counts to emerge from the Benghazi consulate attack and investigation.

The Obama administration has come under strong attack from some conservatives in Congress who accuse it of covering up failures to secure the consulate before and during Sept. 11, 2012, attack.

Since May, Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller have told lawmakers that the ongoing investigation was bearing fruit.

“We are at a point where we have taken steps that I would say are definitive, concrete and we will be prepared shortly, I think, to reveal all that we have done,” Holder told the House Judiciary Committee in May. “We have made very, very, very substantial progress in that investigation.”

A month later, Mueller told the same panel: “We’ve had some success that I can’t get into today.”

Contributing: Kevin Johnson, USA Today

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