Libya Demands US Explanation of Kidnapping of 'Al Qaeda Terrorist' Reported Arrested in 2002
October 7, 2013
PressTV & BBC World News
Libyan government has strongly condemned a recent military operation by the US Special Forces on its soil, describing it as an act of kidnapping. The US Special Forces seized Abu Anas al-Libi outside his home during a commando raid in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. He was immediate imprisoned on a US Navy vessel. Adding to the mystery: the US reported it had already arrested al-Libi -- in Afghanistan, in January 2002.
Libya Demands US Explanation on Military Raid in Tripoli
(October 6, 2013) -- Libyan government has strongly condemned a recent military operation by the US Special Forces on its soil, describing it as an act of kidnapping.
The US Special Forces seized Abu Anas al-Libi in a commando raid in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Saturday.
"As the result of a US counterterrorism operation, Abu Anas al-Libi is currently lawfully detained by the US military in a secure location outside of Libya," Pentagon spokesman, George Little, said in a statement.
The Libyan government has demanded explanation from Washington over the military operation on its soil.
"The Libyan government has been following the reports of the kidnap of one of the Libyan citizens wanted by the authorities in the United States," a government statement said, adding, "As soon as it heard the reports, the Libyan government contacted the US authorities to demand an explanation."
Washington claims the abductee is linked to al-Qaeda and also to the 1998 US Embassy bombings in East Africa. Libi is believed to have been one of the masterminds behind the embassy attacks, which killed more than 200 people in Kenya and Tanzania.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has defended the secret military operation in Libya, saying Washington will never stop hunting down extremists.
"We hope that this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror," Kerry told reporters in the Indonesian island of Bali.
Libya has grappled with insecurity since ouster of the long-time dictator, Muammar al-Gaddafi, led to the dissolution of state institutions and armed forces.
Libyans rose up against Gaddafi’s four-decade-long rule in February 2011 and deposed him in August 2011. The ruler was killed on October 20 of the same year.
US Commando Raids Target
Islamist Leaders in Africa
BBC World News
(October 6, 2013) -- US special forces have carried out two separate raids in Africa targeting senior Islamist militants, American officials say. In Libya, US commandos captured an al-Qaeda leader accused of the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Anas al-Liby was seized in the capital Tripoli.
And a leader of the al-Shabab group was targeted in southern Somalia, but that raid appears to have failed.
The al-Shabab leader -- who has not been identified -- is suspected of involvement in last month's attack in the Westgate shopping centre in Kenya's capital Nairobi, which left at least 67 people dead. Al-Shabab has said it carried out the attack on 21 September.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said the operations in Libya and Somalia showed that the US would never stop "in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror".
Those who attacked American interests "can run but they can't hide," he told reporters in Indonesia where he is attending an Asian summit.
Anas al-Liby's relatives and US officials said he had been seized in the Libyan capital early on Saturday. He was parking outside his house when three vehicles encircled him, his car's window was smashed and his gun was seized before he was taken away, his brother Nabih was quoted as saying by AP. He added that Liby's wife also saw the attack, describing the abductors as foreign-looking "commandos".
The raid was conducted with the knowledge of the Libyan government, a US official was quoted as saying by CNN.
Liby "is currently lawfully detained by the US military in a secure location outside of Libya", Pentagon spokesman George Little said.
For its part, Libya said it had contacted the US authorities to demand an explanation" as soon as it heard the reports", according to a government statement. It also expressed hope that its "strategic partnership" with the US would not be damaged by the incident.
Liby, 49, is believed to have been one of the masterminds behind the 1998 US embassy attacks, which killed more than 220 people in Kenya and Tanzania. He has been indicted in a New York court in connection with the attacks.
Liby -- whose real name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai -- has been on the FBI's most wanted list for more than a decade with a $5 million (3.1 million pounds) bounty on his head.
Al-Qaeda's leadership has been consistently targeted since the killing of Osama Bin Laden by US special forces in 2011 in Pakistan.
US 'Captures' Anas al-Liby – in 2002
Who's Who in al-Qaeda
BBC World News
(February 19, 2003) -- Shortly after the 11 September attacks, the US issued a list of al-Qaeda suspects. Some have now been captured or killed, and some new names have been added to those still at large.
Few details about key figures have been officially released. BBC News Online pieces together what little is known about some of the key al-Qaeda suspects….
Abu Zubaydah, who is thought to have served as Bin Laden's field commander, was captured in Pakistan in March 2002.
The Americans describe him as a "key terrorist recruiter and operational planner and member of Osama Bin Laden's inner circle".
The 30-year-old, who is believed to have been born to Palestinian parents in Saudi Arabia, is also known as Zayn al-Abidin Mohammed Husain and Abd al-Hadi al-Wahab but has used dozens of other aliases.
He has strong connections with Jordanian and Palestinian groups and was sentenced to death in his absence by a Jordanian court for his role in a thwarted plot to bomb hotels there during millennium celebrations.
US officials believe he is also connected to a plan to blow up the US embassy in Sarajevo, and a plot to attack the US embassy in Paris.
Captured in Pakistan in September 2002, the Yemeni national is allegedly one of the most senior al-Qaeda members to be arrested.
Binalshibh, who is 30, is said to have become a key member of the al-Qaeda cell in Hamburg, Germany, after seeking asylum there in the late 1990s.
According to officials, he met Mohammed Atta, the leader of the Hamburg cell and one of the alleged masterminds of the 11 September attacks, through a local mosque in 1997.
Intelligence officials say Mr Binalshibh may also have been involved in the attacks on the USS Cole and a Tunisian synagogue….
Anas al-Liby was one of the FBI's list of most-wanted. He was captured in eastern Afghanistan in January 2002. The 38-year-old Libyan had been living in the UK and is linked by the Americans to the US embassy bombings in Africa.…
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