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Raids in Lybia and Somalia: U.S. shows leadership against terror in Africa.

African Security News.- U.S. captured terrorist mastermind of embassy attacks. More than 220 people died in the 1998 embassy attacks in Kenya and Tanzania.

African Security News.- U.S. captured terrorist mastermind of embassy attacks. More than 220 people died in the 1998 embassy attacks in Kenya and Tanzania.

How effective in the long run are the U.S. raids like the ones in Libya and Somalia over the weekend?

In Libya, US Army Delta Force commandos achieved exactly what they set out to do.

Deploying from Europe, they apprehended a fugitive on the UN al-Qaeda watch-list with a FBI $5m (£3.1m) bounty on his head.

 

Washington suspects Abu Anas al-Liby of helping to mastermind al-Qaeda’s simultaneous bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

 

The US insists that the detention of this long-sought suspect is “lawful”.

 

In Somalia the raid by US Navy commandos from Seal Team Six failed and they returned empty-handed.

 

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.

 

After the debacle of Blackhawk Down in Mogadishu in 1993, the Pentagon steered clear of Somalia for years.

 

But more recently it has conducted a number of often unpublished raids into that country, with the blessing of the UN-backed government there.

 

Sometimes they involve unmanned aerial drones, sometimes they involve US Navy Seals. A US Special Forces raid in 2009 on Barawe – the same town as this weekend’s raid – located and killed its intended target, the al-Qaeda leader in Somalia, Ali Saleh Al-Nabhan.

 

The US will undoubtedly be planning more such special operations raids, its plans given urgency by the scale and body count of al-Shabab’s murderous attack in September on a Nairobi shopping mall.

 

The message Washington clearly wants to convey are three: a) to its enemies is “We will find you and get you, however long it takes,” b) to its african allies is ” the U.S. can and will lead the war against terror in Africa” c) internally, the government shows the U.S. forces can act in spite of the blockade in Capitol Hill.

Africa Security News.- Al-Liby was on the FBI's most wanted list Photo Credit AFP

Africa Security News.- Al-Liby was on the FBI's most wanted list Photo Credit AFP

Anas al-Liby

 

  • Born 30 March 1964 in Tripoli, Libya. Also known as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai
  • Believed to have joined al-Qaeda in 1990s
  • Given political asylum in UK
  • Rumoured to have returned to Libya during 2011 civil war
  • Charged by New York prosecutors in 2000 with involvement in the 1998 Kenya and Tanzania US embassy bombings
  • One of FBI’s “most wanted terrorists” with $5m bounty for his capture