Voice of America (Washington, DC)

Libya: Kerry - Al-Qaida Operative's Capture in Libya 'Legal'

Libya's government is demanding an explanation from U.S. officials after American special forces conducted two raids in north Africa on Saturday. ( Resource: Libyan Government Demands Explanation After U.S. Raids

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is defending the special forces raid to capture a senior al-Qaida operative in Libya, saying the operation was "legal and appropriate."

The Libyan government has asked the United States for clarification about what it called the "kidnapping" of Abu Anas al-Libi inside the African nation on Saturday.

Kerry said Monday on the sidelines of a regional summit in Indonesia that Libya's complaints are unfounded, and that Libi will go before a court of law.

The U.S. Defense Department says Libi has been transferred to a "secure location" outside Libya.

A U.S. court has charged Libi with involvement in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The attacks killed more than 200 people and wounded 5,000.

Hours before Libi's capture Saturday, U.S. special forces also raided a seaside base of al-Qaida's Somalia affiliate al-Shabab in east Africa.

U.S. officials said American Navy SEALs killed several Shabab militants in a firefight after coming ashore in the town of Barawe. They said the SEALs withdrew unharmed without capturing a Shabab leader they were targeting.

Kerry said Sunday the raids on al-Qaida targets in Libya and Somalia show the United States will "never stop" in its effort to hold people accountable for acts of terror. He also said al-Qaida militants "can run, but they can't hide."

One U.S. official told The New York Times that Washington planned the Somalia operation a week and a half ago in response to a Shabab assault on Westerners in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Last month's assault on the Westgate shopping mall killed more than 60 people.

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InFocus

Libya Questions U.S. Raid 'Kidnapping'

The Libyan government has demanded an explanation from the U.S. after one of its citizens was "kidnapped" during a unauthorized commando raid on its territory. Read more »