The Justice Department says it won't seek the death penalty against the suspected Libyan militant charged in the Benghazi attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

Federal officials announced their decision Tuesday in the case of Ahmed Abu Khattala (hah-TAH'-lah).

His attorneys had implored the Justice Department to remove the death penalty as a possibility if Khattala is ultimately convicted at trial.

Khattala was captured by U.S. special forces in Libya two years ago and brought to the U.S. aboard a Navy ship.

He's been awaiting trial in federal court in Washington in connection with the September 2012 attacks on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

Prosecutors have described him as a ringleader of the attacks, which quickly emerged as a divisive U.S. political flashpoint.