Libya said Sunday it has demanded an explanation from the U.S. for the "kidnapping" of a citizen who is the accused al Qaeda mastermind of the 1998 African embassy bombings.
"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 reported by Agence France-Presse said. "As soon as it heard the reports, the Libyan government contacted the U.S. authorities to demand an explanation."
Nazih Abdul Hamed al-Ruqai, better known by the alias Abu Anas al-Libi, was seized by U.S. forces in Tripoli on Saturday, the Pentagon said.
Special forces seized Libi in a commando raid in broad daylight. Libi, who was on the FBI's most wanted list with a $5 million reward, was indicted in U.S. federal court in New York, accused of organizing the bloody 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
"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 Saturday night. He said Libi is “currently lawfully detained by the U.S. military in a secure location outside Libya.”
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Libi’s brother told the Associated Press his brother was seized early Saturday after three cars pulled up next to his and their occupants smashed his window and forced him out of his vehicle. The brother described the abductors as foreign-looking “commandos.”
Meanwhile, a Navy SEAL raid on the Somali seaside home of a leader of the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab failed to capture him. A U.S. official said the aim of the raid, which took place Friday, was to take a “high-value” al-Shabab militant into custody, but the militant was not seized. The U.S. said no Americans were killed or wounded.
“U.S. personnel took all necessary precautions to avoid civilian casualties and disengaged after inflicting some al-Shabab casualties,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a covert operation, The Washington Post reported. “We are not in a position to identify those casualties.”
Secretary of State John Kerry said the two raids show that “members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can’t hide.” Kerry spoke Sunday in Bali, Indonesia, where he is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in President Barack Obama’s place.
“Our personnel in the armed forces conducted two operations in order to continue to hunt down those responsible for acts of terrorism,” Kerry said. “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.”