In one of two U.S. Commando strikes on Saturday, Anas al-Liby, one of the FBI most wanted terrorists was captured while parked outside his house in Tripoli after early morning prayers.
Al-Liby's brother Nabih told the Associated Press that personnel in three vehicles encircled his brother, and smashed his car's window and seized his gun before grabbing him and fleeing.
The AP identified those involved in the capture of Anas al-Liby in Tripoli as members of the U.S. Army's Delta Force unit.
In a statement on Sunday, the Libyan government said it “contacted the American authorities and asked it to present clarifications” regarding the al-Liby abduction. It also said it hoped the incident would not impact its strategic relationship with the United States.
Al-Liby has been on the America's most Wanted Terrorists list since its inception on October 10, 2001. The United States Department of State, through the Rewards for Justice Program, offered up to 5 million dollars for information about the location of Abu Anas al-Liby, suspected in the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, on August 7, 1998, that killed over 220 people.
U.S. Pentagon Chief Spokesman George Little confirmed on Saturday that al-Liby "is currently lawfully detained by the U.S. military in a secure location outside of Libya.”
On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. commando raids would send the message that terrorists “can run but they can’t hide.”
“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,” Kerry said.
In the indictment filed in the U.S. Southern District of New York Court, al-Liby is accused of surveillance of potential British, French, and Israeli targets in Nairobi, in addition to the American embassy in that city, as part of a conspiracy by al-Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
Anas al-Liby joined al-Qaeda in 1992 in Sudan, and quickly become a key technical expert in the organization operations. Computer disks containing the "al-Qaeda training manual" were discovered at his Manchester, England apartment.
Skeptics question the timing of the daring raids, as the U.S. government shutdown enters week two.
Others question the identity of al-Liby, citing several previous reports of his capture, including news reports in January 2002, which stated that al-Liby had been captured by American forces in Afghanistan. Two months later, news reports stated that al-Liby had been arrested by the Sudanese government and was being held in a prison in Khartoum.
U.S. officials denied all previous reports of his capture, and maintained that al-Liby was still wanted.
An ex-FBI official said Al-Libi was granted political asylum in Britain in 1995, after being thrown out of al-Qaeda’s headquarters in Sudan by Osama bin Laden in response to a request from the Sudanese government.
Anas al-Libi was taken in for questioning by British police but released from custody in the late 1990s and spent the next 14 years on the run after fleeing his home in Britain, according to the former FBI official. It remains unclear why al-Libi was not extradited to the U.S., where he had already been indicted for the embassy bombing attacks.
To view the U.S. Federal Court indictment, click HERE.