WASHINGTON — US forces have captured Abu Anas al-Libi, a long-sought al-Qaida operative indicted in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, an official said Saturday.
“As the result of a US counterterrorism operation, Abu Anas al-Libi is currently lawfully detained by the US military in a secure location outside of Libya,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement.
The operation to capture the suspect, known as Abu Anas al-Libi, took place with the knowledge of the Libyan government, a US official told CNN.
In Tripoli, a source close to Libi told AFP he had been “kidnapped close to his home after dawn prayers by a group of armed men.”
Libyan security services said they were unaware of any kidnapping or arrest of the man.
Libi’s reported capture was part of apparent twin raids by US special operations forces, after US Navy SEALs staged a separate assault on a senior Shebab militant leader in southern Somalia, though it was unclear whether he was captured or killed.
The US government had put a reward of up to $5 million on Libi, who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list and was born under the name Nazih Abdul Hamed Al-Raghie.
He was indicted in the US District Court in New York for allegedly playing a key role in the August 7, 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.
The bombings left more than 200 people dead.
His capture ends a 15-year manhunt for a key al-Qaida operative.
It also paves the way for Libi, 49, to be brought to the United States to face trial.