President Obama Addresses Capture of Benghazi Terror Suspect

The president said that "when Americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find you."
34:11 | 06/17/14

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Transcript for President Obama Addresses Capture of Benghazi Terror Suspect
Nearly two years after the deadly raid on a US outpost -- been -- the government today has captured one of the key figures behind the attacks. I'm Michelle Franzen New York but we want to take -- to Pittsburgh where the president is holding a press conference on the economy let's listen. Yesterday. Our special forces. Showing incredible courage and precision. We're able to capture an individual. Duke tell. Who was. Who is alleged to have been one of the masterminds. Of the attack. And he is now being transported back to the United States. I say that first -- ball because. -- we continued to think about. And pray for the families. Those were killed during that terrible attack. But more importantly. It's important for us to send 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. And that's a message I sent the day after it to happen and regardless of how long it takes. We will find you. And I want to make sure that everybody. Around the world hears that message very clearly. Because. My first. And and most solemn duty is. President and commander in chief is to keep the American people safe and there -- a lot of dangers out there are a lot of challenges our diplomats are with a credible. Courage and valor and some very difficult situations. They need to know that this this country. Has -- back and will always go after anybody who goes after us. -- that in mind let me get to the point of this. Gathering here today. I want to thank -- and Jim for the great work that they've done. In helping to set up protection and the reason we want to come out here was. We've made enormous progress over the last several years did. Revitalizing American manufacturers. There was -- time when people felt as if no matter what we did. That company is we're going to be moving overseas and jobs were going to be more overseas and American manufacturing -- days was. We're behind us. And yet what we've seen over the last several years is American manufacturing come roaring back. We've got. At this point 620000. Manufacturing jobs have been created. Over the last several years the most since the 1990s. We actually have companies now. Saying that America is the number one place to do business again something that we haven't seen. In over twelve years and companies instead outsourcing are now thinking about in sourcing once again. We have seen. Entrepreneur warship in the manufacturing. Expand at the fastest pace that we've seen in twenty years. And so people are -- realize number one. America's great place to do business number two. Manufacturing is critical to the health of our economy overall when we make stuff in America. Then R&D is done here. The jobs and manufacturing typically pay better than. Jobs in other parts of the economy. There are ripple effects. If you make a product here that means -- hiring. Not just engineers not just. Guys on the assembly line of -- on the assembly line -- also. Getting. -- suppliers and advertisers in and there's just a whole set of positive spin offs that come out of manufacturing. And part of what's exciting is that. Traditionally manufacturing was viewed in the word that the steel town here in Pittsburgh. That manufacturing meant big factories. All kinds -- smoke and fire. A lot of heavy capital. But because of advances in technology part of the opportunity is now to make. The tools. That are needed for. Production and prototypes. Are now. Democratize. -- in the hands of anybody who's got a good idea. And what we've been trying to do is take courage. More and more entrepreneur words inventors. To. Not just take root here but also. Have access to the kinds of equipment technology. Whether it's 3-D foreigners -- laser cutters that allow them to design their own ideas. Create prototypes. Put them out to market. Test them. Tinker -- them. Refine them and ultimately. Create brand new businesses and nobody as. Done a better job offers a better example of this new trend -- than what's being done -- protection up. For the price a gym membership. People can become members detection they're able to have access to a bunch of cutting edge technology. And folks are able to create. Products. Ideas. That. You know in some cases there -- -- as a hobby or for pleasure but in some cases. Actually lead to. Businesses that and a private. -- the best example is the square. Little -- the people are putting in the Smartphones. And are used to using for payment purposes and appeal to swipe a credit card now five billion dollar business. Prototype was designed and detection up. I have another. Example that's. Near and dear to my heart because I actually -- one that's. A total case some have -- -- -- -- right there let's let's bring out my -- place. They businesses first of all is a great product developed -- so you visited my iPad case. -- picture Malia and Sasha. They give him a hug. My loved -- Jason and the first prototype was made to -- -- -- and and now you've got. A whole bunch people got a business. And and who wore employed there in the manufacturing and selling all across the country so. We have the opportunity to to grow ideas. Here in the United States create businesses create opportunities. And all of this is happening in part because. State local and federal governments are also taking an interest in how can we promote. Manufacturing. More effectively we've got some people here who have done a great job doing that you've got to your own mayor bill -- -- the mayor of Pittsburgh this year. We've got. County executive rich FitzGerald who's here as well. And we've got to what are your outstanding senators Bob Casey is here as well. All these guys are great champions. For what we're trying to do and a lot of my agenda for economic development in the in the next couple years revolves around how do we spur. More manufacturing more homegrown ideas more research and development already we've been able to get it eighty cities. To commit to working. In up public private partnership to. Generate. More manufacturing. Efforts. In their respective cities. -- created for high tech advanced manufacturing hubs and we have budgeted -- to create. A whole lot more around the country. And some -- -- has do with advanced materials -- -- -- with 3-D printing the -- we start building. An ecosystem. A network of companies universities researchers entrepreneur -- All of whom start really focusing in and becoming. Experts on a particular facet. Industries of the future that's how we're gonna build more and more niches. That. Allow us to dominate the market and sell more products made in America not just here in the United States but overseas. So. We've we've got a lot of possibilities but we're gonna have to continue to make some important investments. And I'm here to tell you that. As long as I'm presently it's one of my top priorities is going to be to continue to build a manufacturing. Because I want to make sure that if you work hard in this country if you've got a good idea of fuel to put in some sweat equity. The you can make it here in America and live out your American dream because when. When we have an economy that works not just from the top down but from the bottom up. And everybody's got a stake in everybody's doing well everybody's. Poland in the same direction that's what our economy grows best our economy does not grow as well when. The it just works for a few at the very top and order workers. Or small business people get squeezed. And and I think this is in -- in enormous opportunity for us to take advantage of self. That's what I want to -- the top. And our wonders just hear from you questions comments ideas. We got about 45 minutes. I'll try to keep my -- -- -- your questions are short. And -- must start off what what mark. -- Thank you Mr. President war the opportunity to host -- here. Vs a former green beret thank you were going and getting that -- in our folks do their job capsules of the deal. Your hosting the White House maker -- tomorrow Mensa wanna -- -- -- advanced manufacturing to makers yours. Does. You have been watching a press conference and -- economic summit where president. Obama was speaking in Pittsburgh he also commenting on the arrest by US special forces inside Libya grabbing -- -- -- -- Tolle. For his role in his alleged role in the but -- the attacks who want to bring in Louis Martinez from Washington to ask -- to answer a few questions with us. Give me an idea -- -- at all have a -- -- we're told was detained on Sunday what was the long wait about today making us all public. While. -- Clinton talking -- pentagon officials they say that this is all about timing. I'm they want to get pattern the trying to figure out when it was a good opportunity to go after a high value target like outlook column was. -- in this case they're saying -- it was a target of opportunity. -- in addition to Yeltsin at the -- the -- -- in which in -- case was a special operations team that went on the ground near Benghazi snatched him. And then left the country. Q and take -- -- to US navy ship. -- Mediterranean where he is right now. So officials here talking about more about the timing that the opportunity presented itself handing out the orders from the White House to go do it. So Louis let's take a step back here of course those attacks occurring. In September 2012. How long has this suspect been under indictment how -- of American forces been searching for well. -- the United States government has pretty much sense since the outset of that attack back in September that they were gonna go -- -- whoever was responsible for it. -- there's been some criticism in the past on Capitol Hill that was only lip service given that the difficulties in trying to identify who the individuals work. -- very quickly after. The attack and the US government poured over the video there was surveillance video. That showed it to specific individuals. Who were involved in the the taking of the the diplomatic mission there in Benghazi avenue Evelyn it was overrun. There is -- intelligence that indicated that -- -- was one of the leaders of the attackers have been most of them had come from this -- -- -- -- militia that he added. There -- Ghazi. How long he actually gain in. Now under indictment for I don't recall particularly I believe it was sometime last year that he was specifically mentioned. Is that being one of the individuals we -- we saw today need the affidavit -- out from the district court in. In New York with more information about why he was. Being -- and what are the details in that complaint and -- look at ala. -- will he face trial. Well. A variety today there was a sealed indictment that was. Who put in the DC court. But ABC's reporting is that he would face trial. When he's brought back the United States in in New York the southern district of New York that is where most the -- in terrorism cases -- involving. The US so US citizens. Overseas are try. Famous cases that we've seen in the past. -- Bob Somali who have been -- off the coast Somalia who have conducted attacks. I'm against American citizens and -- that is special operations. Events like this one and and I have been tried in. New York not a particular there was a as -- -- charges here again. Talking about his involvement in the -- and the number one as the leader of months or archery. And that the tie in that that is militia leaders militia members from that group who were involved in the attack on. September 112012 Indian consulate in -- so it's all tying him directly to that. Various. Indicators that the United States government -- that he was behind this. And Louis let's talk about that operation a little bit we've been told that this mission to capture Pocatello was carried out. By American military of course special forces and awful law enforcement officials and Libya was their presence there are known to the Libyan government well. And we have to do a little bit of history here you have to remember that the Libyan government right now is in a bit of chaos for the last couple months -- -- been. Government coming and going there and day so it's always been a bit tenuous there -- United States' relationship. And with the government this transitional government after -- Moammar Gadhafi. Overthrow. There was a previous match back in October of last year. This snatch operation conducted by delta force in saying that Tripoli the capital of the living capital Tripoli. Where they grabbed another al-Qaeda figure. And that operation was known to the government of Libya. Now visited the and operation until after -- look at -- today. And I am also hearing that he he was also part of that is it a -- for operation if you will back. In October that they are -- and grabbed. -- who is in Tripoli and generosity and grab Pocatello. But and they got -- that fell apart at the last minute for whatever reason. So there was knowledge back then it's unclear whether their current transitional government in Libya was made aware that this operation. Ways. Under way. Sauce and cajun this and some of the officials -- statements that came out. After. Did this -- was acknowledged. That kind of indicated that may be only the US was. This was a no no -- only to the US had not shared with the Libyan official. Look at follows been described as a key suspect in this thing got the attack. That we know -- are there any other suspects in the world but they're also still searching for. Well there there are other -- other targets. Involved with the -- guys the attack. And -- the there -- videotape that was there -- video great creative captures crabs. A video stills from the surveillance cameras there at the compound in -- Ghazi. The United States government has released several of those images saying that they these these specific individuals were wanted. By the guy US government for their role in the attack because they would seem from -- was clean there that they had leadership roles in the attack itself. Some of those individuals had been named put up -- by name. Others have not. Hockey images are out there of these individuals so that's an indicator right there looking -- states believes that there are others. Who are involved in this. -- on this was a not just localized to answer -- -- potentially live to that included many other groups on that night. We heard the president speak a short time ago thanking US forces also. -- in -- last few our secretary of state John Kerry tweeting that he was grateful to US forces who captured -- -- Abu -- -- We -- justice to victims and their families and also just a short time ago Jen -- with the State Department -- in on this issue. US forces conducted. This operation as soon as the president and his national security team we're confident that the mission could be carried out successfully. And consistent -- policies for undertaking. Such operations and the operations have clearly been under way for some time this planning. This final step was a painstaking processed through that many were involved in including of course many. In this building but I'll say that any time our law enforcement. Officials are engaged in an operation in a country overseas that's incredibly challenging and they deserve to be applauded and the comparison to. The fact that they member of the media with all due respect. Had contact with there interviewed this individual is not relevant that is not uncommon it's far from. Far from unprecedented four members of the media to interview. Terrorists -- interview individuals. Along these lines we've seen that occurred. Another cases and frankly it's not a surprise that an individual like this would show up for an interview -- don't think they would show up for. Scheduled meeting with the special forces. And of course the State Department addressed in some criticism over how long it took to arrest -- Tolle when he was hiding in plain sight. And was conducting media -- an interview give us an idea how did you read that statement by the State Department. Well they're they're definitely saying that it's that time was looked right for this operation to -- conducted. -- -- as you heard sake say there it's the United States is timetable not Khatami's timetable. And the it's talking about what the reference there to that interview was. For the New York Times the near times last year did a very exhaustive piece. From inside and Ghazi. And they had a reporter there on the ground who interviewed so many players how many witnesses that to the incident that the attack on the consulate there. And 2012. And one of the individuals that they lined up for an interview was the touting himself and they talked about patient and very casually -- it was not they had no problem. Finding him so that led to criticism on Capitol Hill saying. Well if the New York Times can find -- why can't the United States get him and State Department saying basically it's the United States is timing. An -- and Louis we've got the Pentagon briefings starting right now we want to listen in to that just figure -- more details on that. Enforcement personnel. United States is taking can you tell us to the secure. Location. Outside Libya he will be brought to United States to stand trial court of law. Secretary -- was proud of everyone who meticulously planned and executed this operation. They took great personal risk to -- our pledge that the United States we'll do whatever it takes to ensure justice comes to those who harm American citizens. There's also an important reminder to the American people as well as to our partners and our adversaries alike. That the US military works every single day to be ready to carry out the orders of the commander in chief and to defend this nation. Just a quick note on scheduling and you -- -- secretary payroll level testify on our budget before the senate appropriations. Committee subcommittee on defense tomorrow. And on Thursday -- will -- the German minister of defense for her first visit to the Pentagon since taking office earlier this year. -- questions. I'm John he's saying. Whether he will be coming back to DC area where the trial is -- the plan. And time humans living out in the open. We'll be here for some time in his -- you reporters press. Last last year can you address why this took so long and whether or not there was any either notification. Or. Coordination with the Libyans. Or at all they want. Can't. -- -- On know where he's coming back at stand trial under free to the Justice Department I just I I can't speak to. What I can tell you is that. Certainly that -- we have long maintained. On on the consultations would review we've long made it clear. That we were -- Hold accountable the perpetrators. -- -- -- -- mrs. They should come as no surprise anyone recent all of the leading government. And I could take that they were there were notified. There were notified about about this this capture operation. Am. On this very early on was oh -- about living in well look. Terrorists. Go to great -- to evade capture and and it can be. 888 it to be a complicated process. Trying to get at them and you don't ever want to. Execute. A mission like this complicated mission like this that. You know without without -- The proper information and resources on place and so what matters is not that. Not that it that it it took a matter of time to get him but that we got and. I can't speak for living habits. But let's just say for arguments -- living -- -- say he's not anymore. And Philippines were notified. Prior to you. The I'm not getting into the I'm not gonna get into the specifics of diplomatic discussions I can tell you -- -- government was. Just. Admiral on the -- itself where he shots fired were in the combatants killed. How long were they on the ground doing doing this -- and and where exactly that. As -- says yes it there were no casualties. Civilian or otherwise as a result -- I'm not gonna get into the details. How the operation was. Actually executed commentary and a one. How long were they on the ground how -- it -- it this whole -- well. Yet again I'm not gonna get into specifics on on the actual execution of the operation I can tell you that that the capture took place near Baghdad's. Where is -- being held now and -- -- US military transport back to the US for his actual trial. He is in secure location outside Olivia thus far that's as much detail as I'm gonna offer on that and he's in US custody. He's in US custody in a secure location. Outside Libya. And that's as far as I'm gonna go. In and I I. I -- I don't have visibility and the precise you know transportation. Arrangements the point is. That he's going to be brought back here to United States to stand trial. Who specifically -- -- -- the US military force that want to -- -- -- -- service not -- identify specific units. Read his rights. -- He he's in US custody in a secure location I'm not gonna get into. Not get -- -- -- -- -- hinted that those kinds of details and again that that's. Why can't you give -- does because -- he's charged in federal court. He's you say he's coming back here wise use white why can't be currency useful to you where is being and weapons -- There's a this isn't just about. Successful capture this is about a legal process. And I think it's important to preserve the integrity of that process and on the on the operational details as you know we don't routinely talk about. Many of the operations we conduct. Good reason. People presence -- -- he's -- -- arrested. The government has to save where they're being held -- -- who arrested them. Under what conditions voices. You hear. Perfectly willing to consult the justice department for four questions about the legal process I'm no lawyer. I'm -- speaking for the military we're not gonna get into the details of the the -- of the operation. -- location. Dave the other issues now US military interrogations or deterred -- -- -- -- to. To the legal process here. It won't get into the details of the capture -- was he captured when he was captured. It was. It was taken into custody without any. Violence I mean I don't know that's ridiculous group. Characterized the nature of the capture -- -- I mean successful. There obviously successful hand. And on this night I'm not gonna get is. And I can get -- -- in into a tick tock here. And it's don't think that that's that's appropriate right now the important thing -- and I think -- important for -- -- remembers. He's no longer. On the street. And he will be held accountable he will be tried in the court -- -- here in the United States I think that's the most important to remember. And you know not every little tic -- detail about about how it did seem to be. Did you think the capture of Abu. Could lead to the risk of other. Because -- -- -- pressure here. And Libya. As I said I think to lead this question we've we've we -- no secret of the fact that that we're gonna continue to pursue. Those who do Americans -- including those. Who. Were involved in the attack -- and then -- but. Counterterrorism is ongoing mission of the united states military all over the world. So it it shouldn't surprise anybody that we're gonna continue to pursue these. That is -- -- did they get any extra security measures to secure. The embassy in Tripoli. I would refer -- -- State Department to talk about security at their embassies. Typically we don't talk about. Specific Force Protection measures we do we need to do to protect their people and and part of being able to. Part of being able to do that is -- not openly talk about Force Protection measures and be able to change them from time to times. I certainly wouldn't comment. Admiral on Iraq there's been some reports that -- -- controls some air defense systems including potentially American made stinger missiles. As this department prepares options he talked about for the president. On Iraq potentially can you confirm that and can you talk at all about what they're in -- system position right now this is is about. -- -- -- I can't confirm as -- said yesterday I can't confirm specifics about. What equipment -- systems they possess. Clearly we know that as they have. Moved. And and -- -- Over places and some bases that they have they have captured some equipment. We don't have a perfect inventory that the Iraqi Government is investigating all that have a remind you -- this is their property not -- But we don't have a perfect that we don't have perfect visibility on stingers I have that's seen no. That firm indications that that their possession of of that particular system. Yesterday announced that film and there -- be some flight support. Going into Iraq wondering is that going to be. At Baghdad international food -- in addition to service members at the embassy compounds they're also going to be a contingent of small footprint -- He -- announced flights booked flights support U haul flights report. -- look and engage yourself live the the president. Advised notify congress. Under the war powers act the a number of up to approximately 275. So. I can break that down a little bit for -- and we've talked about this over the weekend. There was some static security. Personnel that were that were sent to augment security in Baghdad particularly at the embassy. In system it's a mixed but it's of of forces but it's roughly. About a hundred in. Sixty yourself. That are there. Providing what we -- called static security. To assist their and dad. There is another hundred -- so. That will be. Forward station that are forward stationed. Outside Iraq. Two. To be ready in case there's a need for them and one of the things. That this group does and is proficient at -- airport management and security second thing but they are outside Iraq. And they're they're they're available if needed. Outside Iraq that -- they're available if needed they're outside Iraq right now. Yet all those 100 -- get you more. Those include continues to -- response airman. To help -- it I'm not -- detailed ages of of their unit. Gone about as far as the detail that that I intend to go. There's about a hundred. There outside Iraq and and part of their mission listed two. Two provide airport management services and and support. The unit of. In Iraq that are available for -- a larger mission where they would continue to. -- I think the mission I think without getting into hypotheticals they're there of available for a wide range missions inside their skills. And the not all of those missions have to be insider. -- I think -- and history. Is. There incident it to 75 which is really interesting. Kendall I'm I'm we. We typically don't talk about hypothetical future operations there there. There they are prepared and trained and ready should they be needed. To go inside. A -- they are right now and -- I just. You know. -- how I can better answer. A mission or request that hasn't been hasn't happened. You may get some before like they weren't gonna support from outside Iraq that's -- -- -- to clear this. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And you've been listening to a briefing at the Pentagon Press Secretary rear admiral John Kirby fielding questions about Iraq and also earlier. About the arrests. About that Abu -- -- he is -- the suspect. Who has been charged in the US. Embassy attack and been Ghazi and President Obama earlier right out front discussing the capture today delivering this message. It's important for us to send 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. And that's a message I -- the day after it to happen and regardless of how long it takes. We will find you. Tough talk from the commander in chief of course you can watch the president and Pittsburg. And the Pentagon briefing and the rest of the Pentagon's Q&A session right here on our Live channels. I'm Michelle Franzen here in New York this has been an ABC news digital coverage of the US special forces raid that captured one of the men. Accused of leading that September 2012 attack. On an American outpost in Gaza Libya keep up with this story in real time by -- in the ABC news -- and -- the story for exclusive updates on the go. I'm Michelle Franzen a New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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