The U.S. government acknowledged carrying out two anti-terrorist strikes on the weekend in Libya and Somalia and warned that it will not let up in its pursuit of those responsible for massacres.
President Barack Obama on the weekend took the U.S. war on terrorism to northeastern Africa with the capture in Libya of an Al Qaeda leader and an attack in Somalia on a leader of Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda subsidiary.
Navy SEAL Team Six - the same unit that in 2011 located and killed Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan - staged a pre-dawn assault on Saturday against a residence 240 kilometers (about 150 miles) south of Mogadishu, the U.S. military said.
Apparently, the aim was to capture or kill Mukhtar Abu Zubayr, also known as Ahmed Abdi Godane, the head of the Islamist Al Shabaab group that took responsibility for last month’s attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, a terrorist strike that left dozens of shoppers - many of them foreigners - dead.
Hours after the first mission, the U.S. Army’s Delta Force special operations unit, mounted another strike in Tripoli, Libya, with the support of the CIA and the FBI, and captured Nazih al Ruqai, alias Abu Anas al Libi, who has been wanted by U.S. courts for almost 15 years.
Al Libi planned the 1998 terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that left hundreds of people dead and wounded, U.S. officials said.