WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – After two U.S. military raids against militants in north Africa, U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the raids send the message that terrorists “can run but they can’t hide.”
According to CBS News, Saturday, U.S. special forces raided Somalia and Tripoli, Libya striking against Islamic extremists who have carried out terrorist attacks in East Africa. They captured a Libyan al-Qaeda leader who allegedly was involved in the bombings of U.S. embassies 15 years ago.
In Somalia, a U.S. Navy SEAL team aborted a mission to capture a terrorist suspect linked to the Kenya shopping mall attack.
The Somalia raid was carried out by members of SEAL Team Six, which is the same unit that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.
“We hope that this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in the effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror,” Kerry said while in Bali, Indonesia for an economic summit. “Members of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can’t hide.”
Kerry added that the U.S. would “continue to try to bring people to justice in an appropriate way with hopes that ultimately these kinds of activities against everybody in the world will stop.”
The al-Qaeda leader captured in Libya has been identified as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias as Anas al-Libi. He has been on the FBI’s most wanted list with a $5 million bounty for his capture.
CBS News reported “al-Libi was indicted by a federal court in the Southern District of New York, for his alleged role in the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, on August 7, 1998, that killed more than 220 people.”
This particular raid was carried out by the U.S. Army’s Delta Force, which has responsibility for counter-terrorism operations in North Africa, a senior U.S. military official explained to CBS News anonymously.
Al-Libi was seized outside his home in Libya by gunman in a three-car convoy. His brother said that three vehicles circled al-Libi’s car as he was parking outside his home. The gunman smashed al-Libi’s car’s window and took his gun before grabbing him and leaving. The brother’s wife witnessed the kidnapping and described the abductors as “foreign-looking armed commandos,” CBS News reported.
No U.S. casualties occurred during the raids.