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Libya: Ahmed Abu Khatallah

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 17, 2014

Since September 11, 2012, we have mourned the four Americans killed that day, cared for the survivors in our State Department family, and focused with intensity on strengthening security at our high-threat posts around the world. But we have also been focused on another mission of unfinished business: bringing to justice the terrorist murderers responsible for the attacks in Benghazi.

This weekend, that work took a dramatic step forward. Ahmed Abu Khatallah, an alleged key leader of the attacks in Benghazi, is now in U.S. custody. He will face a court of law and be held accountable for his actions. This bold action by the superb United States military is a clear reminder to anyone who dares do us harm that they will not escape with impunity.

The United States stood by the Libyan people three years ago as they stood up to the brutality of the Qadhafi dictatorship. We continue to support them in their desire to build a democratic government that will provide them with security, protect their universal rights and help rebuild their economy. The Libyan people face great challenges, but the vision of a peaceful and productive new nation will guide Libya's future, and they will have a friend and partner in the United States.

The State Department felt the loss of our colleagues in Benghazi acutely. They volunteered to serve in a dangerous place because they believed in the power of the United States to help people. They represented the very best of America. We continue that mission in their name today.

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