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Kerry says US ‘will never stop’ hunting extremists

Sunday, October 06, 2013

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Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said two high profile raids in Libya and Somalia showed the United States’ unflinching determination to hunt down those responsible for terrorism.

“We hope that this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror,” he told reporters in the Indonesian island of Bali after Saturday’s raids.

The action should also make clear that “those members of Al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations literally can run, but they can’t hide”, Kerry added.

In Libya US forces seized a militant known as Abu Anas al Libi, a long sought Al Qaeda operative indicted in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

A separate raid was launched before dawn against a Shebab leader in the southern Somali port of Barawe. It failed to capture the senior militant and it was unclear whether he had been killed, but a US official said several Shebab members were slain.

“We will continue to try and bring people to justice in the appropriate way with hopes that ultimately these kinds of activities against everybody in the world will stop,” the secretary of state said.

Kerry was speaking in Benoa, a Bali fishing port, after inspecting a USAID development project during a break from meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

He also praised “the quality and courage” of the US personnel who took part in the raids.

Libi, who was on the FBI’s most wanted list with a $5 million reward, was indicted in US federal court in New York for allegedly playing a key role in the east Africa bombings.

The attacks left more than 200 people dead.

His capture ended a 15 year manhunt for a key Al Qaeda operative, who was born under the name Nazih Abdul Hamed Al Raghie.

It also paved the way for Libi, 49, to be brought to the United States to face trial.

“Capture of Abu Anas al Libi would represent major blow against remnants of al Qaeda’s core,” Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, wrote on Twitter.

The operation took place in broad daylight with the knowledge of the Libyan government, a US official told CNN.

Libyan security services denied the claim, saying they were unaware of any kidnapping or arrest of the man.

According to the indictment, Libi and other Al Qaeda members discussed an attack on the US Embassy in Nairobi as early as 1993.

He is said to have conducted visual and photographic surveillance of the mission that year.

In 1994, he allegedly planned to attack the mission as well as the building, then housing the United States Agency for International Development in the Kenyan capital, along with British, French and Israeli targets.


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