Navy SEALs in Somalia had to abort their mission after a 15-20 minute firefight when the SEAL Team Six members encountered a much fiercer resistance than expected. The Navy SEALs members of SEAL Team Six consisted of the same unit “that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in his Pakistan hideout in 2011, another senior U.S. military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly,” reported CBS News on Oct. 6, 2013.
Before sunrise on Saturday and before militants of the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group al-Shabab rose for dawn prayers, the Navy SEALS Team Six members emerged from the Indian Ocean and swam ashore near a town in southern Somalia.
The Navy SEALs Somalia mission targeted the home of a senior leader of the Shabab, the Somali militant group which had been involved in the Nairobi shopping mall massacre that killed more than 60 people two weeks ago.
According to officials, the Navy SEALs Team Six Somalia mission was planned more than a week ago but after encountering fierce resistance at the Somalia house in the town of Barawe, the Navy SEALs Team Six unit leader decided to abort the mission after a 15-20 minute firefight and the Navy SEALs Team Six members swam away.
“The SEAL team was forced to withdraw before it could confirm that it had killed the Shabab leader, a senior American security official said. Officials declined to identify the target.”
"This was a failure of intelligence on two counts. The al-Shabab leader, possibly Ahmed Godane himself, was not at home, and the beachside villa they hoped to find him in turned out to be well defended. When commandos swim ashore under cover of darkness they are inevitably limited in how much firepower they can carry and the option to withdraw was the pragmatic one.Yet when the most highly trained commandos from the most powerful military in the world attack a sandal-wearing militia and are forced to retreat, this will be seized on as a propaganda victory for al-Shabab," reported BBC.
The Navy SEALs Team Six members’ unsuccessful Somalia mission against the Islamic extremists occurred only a few hours before the U.S. Army's Delta Force carried out a successful raid in Libya's capital, Tripoli, in order to seize a Libyan al-Qaeda leader wanted for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 220 people.
“The Pentagon identified the captured al-Qaeda leader as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Anas al-Libi, who has been on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list since it was introduced shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks." Following Saturday’s Libya raid, the captured al-Qaeda leader Anas al-Libi "is currently lawfully detained by the U.S. military in a secure location outside of Libya," said a Pentagon spokesman.
Both Navy SEALs Team Six members and the U.S. Army’s Delta Force carry out counterterrorism operations in North Africa. Even though Saturday’s two missions in Somalia and Libya by Navy SEALs Team Six members and the U.S. Army’s Delta Force are supposed to be coincidental, some critics raise the question whether drawing the public’s attention to international affairs is an attempt to shift the focus away from the Government shutdown and national affairs.
On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said about the Navy SEALs Team Six members Somalia mission and the U.S. Army’s Delta Force Libya mission that terrorists “can run but they can't hide."