US special forces captured a Libyan al-Qaeda leader linked to the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa, seizing him outside his Tripoli home and whisking him out of the country. A Navy SEAL team that swam ashore hours earlier in Somalia engaged in a fierce firefight but failed to apprehend a terrorist suspected in the recent Kenyan mall siege. "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," Secretary of State John Kerry said today from Indonesia. "Members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can't hide."
The Pentagon identified the al-Qaeda leader captured yesterday as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Abu Anas al-Libi. He has been on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list, for his role in the 1998 US embassy bombings, since it was introduced shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. There was a $5 million bounty on his head. A Pentagon statement said the suspect is "lawfully detained under the law of war in a secure location outside of Libya." A senior US military official said the Tripoli raid was carried out by the US Army's Delta Force. Libya asked the United States today for "clarifications" regarding the raid and said any Libyan should face trial in his own country.