News / Middle East

Obama Praises Capture of African Embassies Bombing Suspect

FILE - Abu Anas al-Libi, an al-Qaida leader connected to the 1998 embassy bombings in eastern Africa.
FILE - Abu Anas al-Libi, an al-Qaida leader connected to the 1998 embassy bombings in eastern Africa.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama has praised U.S. forces for capturing a terror suspect known as Abu Anas al-Libi and says the longtime fugitive will be brought to justice.

Obama said Abu Anas, seized Saturday in Libya, helped plan and execute the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa.  In comments to reporters Tuesday, the president said the twin bombings "killed hundreds of people, a whole lot of Americans, and we have strong evidence of that."

U.S. forces grabbed the suspect early Saturday from his car in Tripoli, and have taken him aboard a Navy ship for interrogation.

The operation drew protests from the Libyan government, which called the seizure a kidnapping and then summoned the U.S. ambassador to the country for details of the operation.

Obama also praised a second U.S. military operation Saturday in Somalia that targeted a Kenyan man working with the African militant group al-Shabab.  He said both operations reflected the "extraordinary skill and dedication" of the U.S. armed forces.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday defended the capture of Abu Anas, calling it "legal and appropriate."  He said the Libyan government's complaints are unfounded, and that the suspect will go before a court of law.

A federal court in New York indicted Abu Anas in 2000 for his key role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  The blasts killed more than 200 people and wounded more than 5,000 others.

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