State Department employees placed on leave after Benghazi attack will return to work

Four officials placed on administrative leave following a review by the independent Benghazi Accountability Review Board will be reassigned and return to work, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the statement during a daily press briefing on Tuesday. Harf said the department conducted its own review and found there was no breach of duty by the four employees related to the September 2012 Benghazi attack that left four U.S. government personnel dead, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens. Harf said the department is focused on preventing similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

"What we're focused on at the State Department is making sure we're doing everything in our power to prevent another tragedy even though we recognize that we operate in a volatile and dangerous world, and everyone from (Secretary of State John Kerry) on down is squarely focused on moving forward to strengthen security and protect our people and our facilities all around the world," Harf said. "Clearly, we know we can never completely eliminate the risk, but we are firmly committed to making sure we do everything we can to stand by our people in the field."

Harf said the department's review reaffirmed the ARB's findings that there were concerns with some of the steps and actions of the four employees put on leave, but the department's review did not find a breach of duty.

"I know that when it comes specifically to these four individuals that we're talking about today, that specific part, that they said - the ARB found that there had been a lack of proactive leadership and management abilities specifically regarding what happened in Benghazi," Harf said. "(The report found) that there was no breach of duty."

When asked how the U.S. will explain to the American people that not one person will be held accountable for the Benghazi attacks, Harf said the individuals truly responsible for the incident were the terrorists who perpetrated the attack.

"We've all made clear that we are focused on bringing to account those that were responsible for this tragedy in Benghazi, and that means finding the terrorists who actually perpetrated this horrible tragedy, period," Harf said.