Fox News on October 6, 2013, reported that the Pentagon confirmed that U.S. special forces had captured an Al Qaeda terrorist wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Excerpts below:
The secret operation occurred in Tripoli, Libya, where an elite team of Special Operators swooped in and captured alive Abu Anas Al Liby.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement that Abu Anas Al Liby “is currently lawfully detained by the U.S. military in a secure location outside of Libya.” Sources told Fox News that he will be read his rights by an elite FBI unit that was sent out for that purpose. US officials say that the Justice Department plans to prosecute him in a U.S. court.
Al Liby is on the FBI’s most-wanted list with a $5 million bounty on his head. He was indicted by a federal court in the Southern District of New York, for his alleged role in the bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, on August 7, 1998, that killed more than 220 people.
The Tripoli operation was one of two separate raids in Africa conducted by U.S. military forces. The other targeted the Al Shabaab militant group in Somalia linked to last month’s Kenya mall attack that killed more than 60 people.
In Somalia, the strike on Al Shabaab was carried out in the early hours before morning prayers in the seaside town of Barawe.
A resident said by telephone that heavy gunfire woke up residents before dawn prayers. The raid was carried out by US Navy SEALs, who came ashore and killed at least one individual at a villa where multiple high level Al Shabaab targets were supposed to be located.
targets were specifically wanted in connection with the Kenyan mall attack that left dozens dead. The leader of Al Shabaab, Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, also known as Ahmed Godane, had claimed responsibility for the shopping mall attack in Nairobi.
According to Fox News sources, a shootout ensued when SEALs entered the Somali villa, with the SEALs subsequently unable to bring the body of one of the militants killed back with them. A senior U.S. official told Fox News that no U.S. personnel were injured in the operation, but one militant was killed.
Little confirmed the raid earlier Saturday, saying: “I can confirm that yesterday, October 4, U.S. military personnel were involved in a counter terrorism operation against a known Al Shabaab terrorist. We are not prepared to provide additional detail at this time.”
Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.