Captured Al Qaeda Leader Questioned on U.S. Navy Ship
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little confirmed that on October 5th, the U.S. 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.
The New York Times reported that Abu Anas is being interrogated while in military custody on a Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea - the USS San Antonio, brought in specifically for this mission. However, his whereabouts were still unclear on Sunday, but in similar prior cases, the United States has held detainees aboard ship. U.S. Navy vessels in the Mediterranean, as well as bases in Italy and Germany, would be just a short flight away.
Abu Anas al Libi has been indicted in the Southern District of New York, where he will be taken for prosecution.
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 approved by President Obama. No American personnel or civilians on the ground were injured during the operation.
In a separate mission in Somalia, Navy SEALS stormed ashore into the al Shabaab stronghold of Barawe but, a U.S. official said, they failed to capture or kill the target among the Somali allies of al Qaeda.