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US captures Benghazi embassy bombing suspect

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The U.S. announces the capture of a suspect in the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack. (Source: Facebook/CNN) The U.S. announces the capture of a suspect in the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack. (Source: Facebook/CNN)
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(CNN) – U.S. officials say they arrested Libyan militia leader Ahmed Abu Khattalah in connection with the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The attack left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

"It's a message to the world that when Americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible and we will bring them to justice," President Barack Obama said in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Khatallah was arrested near Benghazi. He had been living fairly openly in Libya, even speaking to reporters from CNN and other news outlets, leading to questions about why he wasn't captured sooner.

"It is not a surprise that an individual like this would show up for an interview," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said. "We don't think they would show up for a scheduled meeting with the Special Forces. So, obviously it is more challenging to undertake our operations."

The attack and its aftermath have become a political hot topic, particularly for Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State at the time and a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

"But I would hope that every American would understand [is] number one, why we were there because we need to be in dangerous places and number two, that we're doing the best we can to find out what happened," Clinton said during a CNN town hall meeting televised Tuesday.

Patricia Smith, the mother of one of the four victims, Sean Smith, found little consolation in the arrest.

"My son is gone, he's dead," Patricia Smith said. "Nobody has been standing up to say it's their fault and they stand up for it and this is the reason why. That's what I want to know, why?"

Khatallah will be transferred to an undisclosed location in the U.S. in the coming days.

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