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article imageAl-Qaeda head linked to 1998 embassy attack captured in U.S. raid

By Yukio Strachan     Oct 6, 2013 in World
Tripoli - A top al-Qaeda leader wanted for his role in the deadly 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in east Africa was captured Saturday by U.S. Special Operational Forces.
"As the result of a U.S. counterterrorism operation, Abu Anas al Liby is currently lawfully detained by the U.S. military in a secure location outside of Libya," Pentagon spokesman George Little said without elaborating, Reuters stated.
In a mission that was conducted with the knowledge of Libya's government, the militant, born Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Anas al-Libi, was arrested at dawn in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, as he was heading home after morning prayers, his brother, Nabih, said, CBS News reported.
He said his 49-year-old brother was parking outside his house early Saturday, when three vehicles encircled his vehicle. The gunmen smashed his car's window and seized his gun before grabbing al-Libi and fleeing, the news station said.
The brother added that al-Libi's wife saw the kidnapping from her window and described the abductors as foreign-looking armed "commandos."
"They kidnapped him," one of his neighbors confirmed, according to Reuters, "We do not know who are they."
The U.S. Army's Delta Force or 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (SFOD-D) carried out the raid, a senior U.S. military official said, CBS News reported.
The group is one of two units in the United States Armed Forces assigned primarily to combat terrorism in North Africa, according to the Army's website.
Al Libi had a $5 million bounty on his head for his 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, including 12 Americans. More than 4,500 people were wounded, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
"It's a huge deal to get him," said CNN's Nic Robertson, a veteran of covering al Qaeda. "He's a big player in al Qaeda (and) in one of the key target areas, in the north of Africa... This is a significant step."
Al Libi came to be known as one of al Qaeda's most capable operatives, especially for his expertise in surveillance and computers. His capture represents a significant blow to what remains of the core al-Qaeda organization once led by Osama bin Laden, CBS writes.
Still, the New York Times pointed out that the raid could fuel accusations among Obama's critics that the administration was eager for a showy foreign policy victory while the government is shut down.
More about Anas alLibi, Embassy bombings, Alqaeda, delta force
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