Congressman Tom Cotton

Representing the 4th District of Arkansas
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Why is there no "Reward for Justice" in the Benghazi Terrorist Attack?

Nov 4, 2013
Cotton Blog

On September 11, 2012 terrorists attacked the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, tragically lost their lives. For the next several days, the public was misled about the circumstances of the attack. In fact, it took President Obama 9 days to call the attack an act of terrorism.

Despite repeated assurances the administration would seek justice for the attack, we still have very few answers. Recently, it has come to light that the suspected Benghazi terrorists are not included in the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program. This program allows the Secretary of State to offer monetary rewards for information leading to the arrest of terrorists. Since its inception in 1984, the program has proved to be an effective counterterrorism tool. It has paid over $125 million in rewards and played a key role in the arrest of over 80 terrorists, including those responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

It is disconcerting that the Administration would not employ the successful Rewards for Justice program in this endeavor. Last week, I joined Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and 84 of my colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking why these terrorists are not included in the Rewards for Justice program. The full text of this letter can be found here. The four Americans who lost their lives on September 12, 2012 and their loved ones deserve justice. The State Department should use all tools at their disposal to find those terrorists and hold them accountable.