U.S. forces nab top al-Qaeda target in Libya

A top al-Qaeda leader who helped plan the 1998 U.S. Embassy attacks in Kenya and Tanzania is in custody following a U.S. anti-terrorism operation in Libya.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said Saturday that Abu Anas al-Libi is in a secure location outside Libya.

The embassy attacks killed more than 220 people, and the FBI had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his capture.

"As the result of a U.S. counterterrorism operation, Abu Anas al-Libi is currently lawfully detained by the U.S. military in a secure location outside of Libya," Little said in a statement.

Al-Libi was captured during an operation outside Tripoli, according to The New York Times.

U.S. officials did not release details of the operation late Saturday.

Al-Libi, whose real name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, was linked to Osama bin Laden and could ultimately be brought to the U.S. to stand trial, NBC reported.

He has been on the USA's most-wanted fugitives list since 2000, when a New York court indicted him for his role in the embassy attacks, the Times reported.

The news of the capture comes as U.S. forces launched an attack against a top level al-Qaeda linked target in Somalia two weeks after the militant group launched a deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall, officials said.

The Pentagon confirmed that U.S. military personnel launched an attack Friday against a terrorist linked to al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda-linked group responsible for the the mall attack.

Little confirmed a counterterrorism operation against al-Shabab took place but would not release details.

A U.S. official who asked not to be named said no U.S. personnel were injured or killed in the attack. It was not clear whether the target was killed or captured in the operation.

The New YorkTimes reported that elite Navy SEALs raided a seaside villa where al-Shabab members were staying in the Somali town of Baraawe. The firefight lasted more than an hour. Somali officials told the newspaper that the government had been informed of the raid.

U.S. officials have been concerned that al-Shabab might attempt attacks in the United States and have sought to weaken the group. The group is based in Somalia and has been linked to attacks throughout Africa, including the Nairobi mall.


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