Libyan Islamist Leader Denies Role in Benghazi Attack

Admits He Was There But Insists He Wasn't Involved

Fresh off of yesterday’s allegations, made by unnamed Libyan officials by way of Western media outlets, the leader of the Ansar al-Sharia Benghazi (ASB) Ahmad Abu Khattala has denied being involved in the September 11 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi.

US officials confirm that he is being investigated but say they are unclear if Khattala was actually involved. Interestingly, Khattala concedes he was at the consulate during the attack, but says he had nothing to do with the attack.

“Just because someone is there doesn’t mean they were behind it,” Khattala insisted, adding that was surprised to hear media reports that he has “gone into hiding” during an interview held publicly in a Benghazi restaurant before leaving to pick his nephews up from school.

Some early reports of the attack claimed a major public protest was going on outside the consulate at the time, and if that is true it might make sense for Khattala to just happen to be there. On the other hand, some guards from the site have denied that there was any protest, and the circumstances remain unclear. Libya’s Interior Ministry confirmed having a photograph showing Khattala outside the compound, but added they didn’t have any evidence to justify arresting him.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of