After several days of waiting, an FBI team has arrived in the Libyan capital Tripoli to join the investigation by local officials into the killing of four U.S. officials, including its Ambassador to Libya.
This was disclosed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a joint press conference with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Patricia Espinosa in Washington on Tuesday.
Giving an update on the U.S. response to the protests in the Middle East and elsewhere over a video film that ridiculed Prophet Muhammad, Clinton said the government was taking "aggressive steps to protect our staffs in Embassies and Consulates worldwide. That includes reviewing our security posture at every post and augmenting it where necessary. And we are working closely with the Libyan government in our efforts to bring to justice those who murdered our four American colleagues in Benghazi." She vowed that "we will not rest until the people who orchestrated this attack are found and punished."
"The FBI is now in Tripoli to join the investigation with Libyan officials, and there is nothing more important to us than ensuring the safety of our American representatives worldwide," she told reporters.
Clinton asserted that despite the incidents of the past week, "the United States must and will remain strongly engaged in the world. Our men and women risk their lives in service to our country and our values, because they know that the United States must be a force for peace and progress. That is worth striving and sacrificing for, and nothing that happened last week changes this fundamental fact."
U.S. envoy to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other American officials were killed when the U.S. Consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi was invaded by heavily-armed militiamen at night on last Tuesday, the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
When Libyan President's comment that the attack was planned for months was brought to her attention, Clinton said "the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has said we had no actionable intelligence that an attack on our post in Benghazi was planned or imminent. There are extremists in all of these societies and on the outside who are working to take advantage of broad outrage in order to incite violence and specifically incite violence against Americans and American facilities," she added.
FBI investigators probing the Consulate killings in Libya had put off a visit there until conditions in the volatile region are safer.
Agents hoped to arrive on Saturday but reconsidered because of the instability sweeping across Libya and throughout the region.
by RTT Staff Writer
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