US Raids in Africa Highlight al Qaeda Threat

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Two anti-terrorist raids by U.S. Special Forces in very different regions of Africa produced mixed results this weekend.

First, Navy forces from SEAL Team 6 stormed a Somali coastal town south of the capital, Mogadishu.

The target was an operative from al-Shabab, affiliated with al Qaeda. His name is Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir and he's wanted for planning attacks on Western interests.

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The United States was concerned he could be orchestrating another brutal attack, such as the one that killed nearly 70 people and wounded nearly 200 others at a Kenyan mall last month.

Although details are sketchy, it appears the SEALs were unharmed but ended the attack after a fierce firefight without getting their man. They wanted to make sure that there were not a lot of civilian casualties or collateral damage.

American forces had more success a few hours later in Libya, capturing the architect of two U.S. embassy bombings 15 years ago in Kenya and Tanzania.

The U.S. had indicted and offered a $5 million reward for Abu Anas al-Libi. On Saturday, the FBI, the CIA, and the Delta Force combined to grab him off the street in Libya.

Family members say al-Libi was taken with no shots fired. His capture prompted a warning from Secretary of State John Kerry.

"The United States of America will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror," Kerry said. "Members of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can't hide."

Al-Libi spent time with Osama bin Laden, which gives officials hope they can glean important intelligence information about al Qaeda.

The mixed results of the U.S. African raids point up the growing dangers posed by al Qaeda and al-Shabab throughout the continent. The recent military intervention could trigger more attempts by radical Islamists to attack U.S. and Western interests.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.