Al Qaeda commander who gave Scotland Yard the slip 13 years ago snatched in Libya by US Delta Force
- Abu Anas al-Liby wanted for attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania
- He was seized from Tripoli home in daring raid by elite US troops
- In 2000 he narrowly avoided arrest in Manchester
Abu Anas al-Liby, who was snatched by U.S. special forces, is believed to have been involved in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania
One of the world’s most wanted terrorists has been captured in Libya by elite US troops 13 years after British police let him slip through their fingers.
Al Qaeda commander Abu Anas al-Liby was wanted for plotting the 1998 US embassy attacks in Kenya and Tanzania that killed more than 220.
The extremist, who had a £3million US bounty on his head, was seized at his home in Tripoli after dawn prayers by the US Army’s Delta Force.
But the raid was described as ‘a kidnapping’ by Libya, which has demanded an explanation from Washington.
Liby, whose real name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, has been on the FBI’s most-wanted list since it was introduced soon after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
However, two years earlier, he had been arrested as a terror suspect in the UK, where he had claimed political asylum.
The computer expert was released because he had cleared his hard drive and Scotland Yard detectives could find no evidence to hold him.
Then in May 2000, anti-terror police raided his flat in Moss Side, Manchester, where he was living as a student, and found a 180-page handwritten terror instruction book for Al Qaeda followers which was called the ‘Manchester Manual’.
It explained how to booby-trap cars and TVs and showed how to kill using a knife. But by the time police entered the property Liby had fled the country.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said the operation to snatch him on Saturday showed that terrorists could ‘run but they cannot hide’.
Liby’s brother Nabih said the terror chief was parking outside his house when three vehicles surrounded him, his car’s window was smashed and his gun seized before he was taken away.
Plot: A U.S. Marine stands guard outside the American Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, after a huge explosion damaged buildings and the American Embassy, killing dozens of people in 1998
Carnage: A U.S. soldier stands guard in front of the embassy in Dar es Salaam, the site of the August 7 bomb blast. A total of 220 people died in the two attacks, and thousands were injured
The US Defense Department said Liby was ‘lawfully detained under the law of war in a secure location outside of Libya’.
Liby was indicted by the US for his alleged role in the 1998 bombings. A court heard Osama bin Laden had ordered him to Kenya and Tanzania to photograph the embassy compounds and decide how best to carry out the attacks.
His family denied he had any involvement. They said he was in the Armed Islamic Fighting Group, a militant organisation that battled Colonel Gadaffi’s regime.
UK GRANTED HIM ASYLUM
The US said the capture had taken place with authorisation from Libya. But a statement from prime minister Ali Zeidan’s office said: ‘The Libyan government is keen on prosecuting any Libyan citizen inside Libya, no matter what the charges are... the accused are innocent until proven guilty.’
Liby, who studied electronic and nuclear engineering in Tripoli, is thought to have been with bin Laden in Sudan in the early Nineties.
He then turned up in the UK in 1995 where he was granted political asylum as an enemy of Gaddafi.
Since fleeing Britain, he has cropped up in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and is said to have been jailed in Iran for seven years.
The news of his capture comes as it emerged that US Navy Seal commandos had to abort a mission to seize a leader of al-Shabaab, the group behind the Westgate shopping centre massacre in Nairobi.
After their dawn attack at the house of al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane near Barawe in southern Somalia met fierce resistance, they abandoned the raid.
Seven militants are said to have been killed, with no US casualties.
Meanwhile, Theresa May warned last night that British extremists were training as terrorists in the Syrian civil war and could return to commit atrocities at home.
The Home Secretary also revealed that security had been tightened in the UK after the attack at the Westgate mall in Kenya, adding: ‘We have increased... the number of armed response vehicles, the number of specially-trained firearm officers.’
Twin raids: American special operations troops launched raids just hours apart in Somalia and Libya. The Libya raid was successful, the Navy SEALs in Somalia were pushed back by strong resistance
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2447532/Al-Qaeda-commander-gave-Scotland-Yard-slip-13-years-ago-snatched-Libya-US-Delta-Force.html#ixzz2gzW7K36S
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