SAN DIEGO – The mother of a San Diego native killed in the 2012 Benghazi attack spoke to FOX 5 Tuesday after the accused mastermind was found guilty of terrorism but acquitted of murder.
Sean Smith was a State Department information management officer working at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya when it came under attack, leaving him and three other Americans dead.
Sean was killed in the first attack, along with Ambassador Chris Stevens. Eight hours later, two more Americans — contract security officers Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty — died in a mortar attack.
On Tuesday, a jury convicted Ahmed Abu Khattala of terror charges but acquitted him of the most serious: murder.
Sean’s mother Pat said she’s not surprised about the verdict and argues the responsibility of her son’s death does not fall solely on Khattala.
“I think he was just part of the rebels who attacked the place and they caught him,” Pat said. “They haven’t proven to me that he was somebody significant, he was not somebody big. In my mind, my big thing and it always has been was Hillary personally.”
Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time and was accused of not doing enough to prevent the attack. Clinton has testified protests were happening at the time and said American facilities were at risk, but efforts were made to get the Americans out.
“They were told three different times, stand down,” Pat said.
Pat said following her son’s death, security officers who survived the attack said they were given orders not to respond.
“They told me they could have saved my son. I can’t prove any of this, all I know is it was her department.”
The seven-week trial mentioned little of Clinton’s involvement.
Khattala now faces up to 60 years in prison.
“She didn’t care. I want her to go to jail,” Pat said.
Last year, Pat, along with the father of Tyrone Woods, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Clinton, which was later dismissed. Pat said she plans to appeal her case.