President Obama warned terrorists around the world on Tuesday that those who do harm to Americans will be brought to justice “regardless of how long it takes.”
Less than two hours after the Pentagon announced the capture of one of the alleged masterminds of 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, Obama said that the news should “send a message to the world” about what happens to those who perpetrate acts of terror.
“No matter how long it takes,” Obama said, “we will find those responsible, and we will bring them to justice.”
Obama wasted no time in announcing the news during his first public event of the day here, at a small community workshop for entrepreneurs, hobbyists and artists.
The crowd of a few dozen erupted in applause when Obama announced that the U.S. military had captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah during a successful raid in Libya.
The raid took place on Sunday night, and the suspect is en route to the United States, where he is expected to face federal charges that could bring the death penalty, according to a federal law enforcement official who discussed the case on condition of anonymity.
When the Benghazi attack happened in September 2012, Obama recalled, he had promised he would find those who were responsible and make them face justice.
Special forces had shown “incredible courage” in the operation that captured Khatallah, he added.
As Americans continue to “think about and pray for” the survivors of those who died in Benghazi, Obama said they should also note that the U.S. stands with those who represent the country in diplomatic and humanitarian missions around the world.
“There are a lot of dangers out there,” Obama said. “They need to know that this country has their back.”