Washington(PTI): President Barack Obama today condemned as “outrageous” the attack on its consulate in Benghazi that killed the American Ambassador and three other US nationals, vowing to bring to justice those responsible for this “terrible act”.
“We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done,” Obama said in a statement at Rose Garden of the White House, with the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, standing by his side.
The US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, along with three other Americans were killed when a violent mob of militiamen stormed the US Consulate in Benghazi protesting against a US-made movie which is deemed offensive to Islam.
Obama was notified last night that Stevens was unaccounted for and then notified again this morning about his tragic death, a White House official said, adding that the President has been updated several times on the attack on the US Embassy in Cairo, Egypt and its diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We’re working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats,” Obama said.
Noting that the US has been a nation that respects all faiths, Obama said the US reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.
“But there is absolutely no justification for this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts,” he said.
“Already many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya. Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans,” he said.
“Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’ body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died,” Obama said.
“Today we mourn for more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done,” Obama said.
Earlier in a statement, at the headquarters of the State Department, Clinton said this is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world.
Before joining Obama at the Rose Garden of the White House, Clinton vowed to bring to justice those responsible for this attack.
The US will not rest until those responsible for these attacks are found and brought to justice, she said.
“We are working closely with the Libyan authorities to move swiftly and surely,” Clinton said.
“We are working to determine the precise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault. Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior along with the protests that took place at our embassy in Cairo yesterday as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” Clinton said.
“America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear, there is no justification for this. None,” Clinton said.
“Violence like this is no way to honour religion or faith. And as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace. It is especially difficult that this happened on September 11,” Clinton
“It’s an anniversary that means a great deal to all Americans. Every year on that day, we are reminded that our work is not yet finished, that the job of putting an end to violent extremism and building a safe and stable world continues,” Clinton said.
Clinton also said the US would “not turn its back” on Libya after the outrageous attack on the top American diplomat.
“Today, many Americans are asking, indeed I asked myself, how could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and at times how confounding the world can be,” Clinton said.
“But we must be clear-eyed even in our grief. This was an attack by a small and savage group, not the people or government of Libya,” she added.