Washington, DC — Statement by Secretary Hagel on Operations in Libya and Somalia
Over the weekend, U.S. military personnel conducted targeted operations in Libya and Somalia to bring international terrorists to justice. I want to commend all of the service members who were involved in the planning and execution of these two operations, which demonstrate the unparalleled precision, global reach, and capabilities of the United States military.
As a result of the Libya operation, one of the world's most wanted terrorists was captured and is now in U.S. custody. Abu Anas al Libi was designated as a global terrorist by Executive Order, was a subject of the U.S. Rewards for Justice Program, and is on the UN Al Qaeda sanctions list. He was also indicted for his alleged role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, and other plots to conduct attacks against U.S. interests.
These operations in Libya and Somalia send a strong message to the world that the United States will spare no effort to hold terrorists accountable, no matter where they hide or how long they evade justice. We will continue to maintain relentless pressure on terrorist groups that threaten our people or our interests, and we will conduct direct action against them, if necessary, that is consistent with our laws and our values.
Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary George Little:
On Oct.5, the Department of Defense, acting under military authorities, conducted an operation to apprehend longtime Al Qaeda member Abu Anas al Libi in Libya. He is currently lawfully detained under the law of war in a secure location outside of Libya.
Wherever possible, our first priority is and always has been to apprehend terrorist suspects, and to preserve the opportunity to elicit valuable intelligence that can help us protect the American people.
Abu Anas al Libi has been indicted in the Southern District of New York in connection with his alleged role in Al Qaeda's conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals and to conduct attacks against U.S. interests worldwide, which included Al Qaeda plots to attack U.S. forces stationed in Saudi Arabia,Yemen, and Somalia, as well as the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya.
The successful capture operation was made possible by superb work and coordination across our national security agencies and the intelligence community, and was approved by President Obama. No American personnel or civilians on the ground were injured during the operation. These actions are a clear sign that the United States is committed to using all the tools at our disposal to bring to justice those who commit terrorist acts against Americans.