Benghazi Terror Suspect is Facing Justice

Ahmed Abu Khattala, suspect accused of directing the attackers in Benghazi, appears in US federal court.
2:15 | 06/28/14

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Transcript for Benghazi Terror Suspect is Facing Justice
suspects accused of directing the attackers in benghazi the night the U.S. Ambassador and three other people were killed. Ahmed Abu khattala, grabbed in Libya earlier this month by U.S. Special forces, and today, delivered to the U.S. Federal court in Washington. The tightest security on hand, armed guards standing watch outside. ABC's senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny leads us off tonight, reporting from outside the courthouse. Reporter: Ahmed Abu khattala stood before an American judge for the first time this afternoon. He raised his light hand, speaking softly with the help of an interpreter. As his public defender entered a plea of not guilty. He was fingerprinted and photographed like any other suspect. But the tight security and rare weekend appearance at federal court highlighted the importance of the case. Before dawn, Abu khattala was flown to Washington after being held on a Navy warship after his capture in Libya nearly two weeks ago. Inside the courtroom, he stood tall with a bushy gray beard. His eyes closely watching the judge and nearly a dozen government prosecutors. FBI agents had been interrogating hum aboard the "Uss New York," as the ship made its way to the atlantic coast. The charges he faces carry the death penalty. U.s. Officials hope he can provide key details on other suspected to be involved in the attack. He is really the go-to guy when it comes to intelligence about the other conspirators. Reporter: The benghazi attacks on September 12th, 2012, killed four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. The night of deadly violent sparked a bitter partisan feud, largely focusing on the role of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. What difference at this point does it make? Reporter: Republicans have pushed for a special congressional committee, which is likely to subpoena Clinton this fall when its hearings begin. But republicans have also been critical of the Obama administration's decision to charge khattala in the American court system, rather than a military tribunal. Inside the courtroom today, it became clear the legal questions could be just as complicated as the political ones. Prosecutors must now build a case that can hold up in federal court. Officials tell ABC news he's not admitted to anything yet but has provided useful information. Rebecca? Jeff Zeleny, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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