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Abu Anas al-Libi -- Libya demands explanation of U.S. operation

  |   Oct. 6, 2013 at 2:29 PM
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Libya's interim government Sunday demanded an explanation for what it called a U.S. kidnapping of one of its citizens.

Though members of Parliament and officials refused to comment, other Libyans were angered by the operation, conducted without notice in their country, and said they were worried radicals might strike the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, followed by U.S. retaliation and an escalation of violence, The New York Times reported.

The reputed al-Qaida operative grabbed off a Libyan street Saturday was under arrest and will be tried in the United States, a U.S. government official said.

A Pentagon spokesman said in a written statement Sunday that Abu Anas al-Libi was under arrest at a "secure location outside of Libya" and would be brought to the Unites States, not the Guantanamo Bay prison, to face trial.

The statement said Libi was "lawfully detained" by special operations troops and FBI agents who had "prosecutorial authorities" while parking his car on a Tripoli street. Libi faces charges in connection with the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Fox News said Libyan authorities had not been told ahead of time that Libi was about to be captured.

Libi's arrest came on the same day U.S. SEAL commandos attacked a home in Somalia believed to be housing members of the al-Qaida linked terror group al-Shabaab.

The operations demonstrated that al-Qaida was still in the cross hairs, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday.

Speaking to reporters in Indonesia, Kerry said the United States would continue to pursue the ringleaders of terrorist plots around the world.

"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, and those members of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can't hide," said Kerry, who had attended an international economic conference in Indonesia.

The SEALs shot it out with al-Shabaab in a Somali beach town at about the same time that U.S. agents nabbed Libi in Tripoli.

It was unclear Sunday whether the United States got its man in Somalia. Officials have not said publicly who the SEALs were after, but the commandos had to withdraw before they could confirm the target had been killed.

The SEALs came ashore under cover of darkness in the town of Barawe in an operation that was apparently conceived after al-Shabaab attacked a shopping center in neighboring Kenya last month.

Residents of Barawe told CNN the house stormed by the SEALs was believed to be a hideout for a number of al-Shabaab commanders, possibly even Ahmed adbi Godane, the overall leader of the group.

Sources said the United States likely took the offense against al-Shabaab because the group was closely tied to al-Qaida and had attacked a target outside Kenya. Such a growing international outlook made it more likely the group would try to launch an attack on U.S. soil.

Some Barawe residents told The New York Times they believed there were also a dozen al-Shabaab fighters at the house undergoing training for an operation in another country.

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