Libya summons US envoy over raid to capture al-Liby


Anas al-Liby was legally detained, according to John Kerry

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Libya summoned the US ambassador to the country for questioning on Monday over the weekend capture of a suspected al-Qaeda leader on Libyan territory.

Anas al-Liby, a suspect in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was seized in the capital, Tripoli, on Saturday.

Libya’s minister of justice wanted “a number of explanations concerning the case”, a statement said.

The US has said Mr Liby was “a legal and an appropriate target”.

Mr Liby’s son, Abdullah al-Raghie, has said his father was seized by masked gunmen early on Saturday morning and that some of them were Libyans.

He believes the Libyan government was implicated in his father’s disappearance – a claim Tripoli denies.

Protesters in Benghazi burn a replica of the U.S. flag during a demonstration against the capture of Anas al-Liby - 7 October 2013 There was a protest on Monday in Benghazi about Anas al-Liby’s capture

Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani summoned US ambassador Deborah Jones for an audience on Monday morning, a foreign ministry statement said.

Mr Marghani and officials from the foreign ministry also met members of Mr Liby’s family, who were told of the meeting with the US ambassador, AFP news agency quoted the statement as saying.

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Anas al-Liby

  • Born 30 March 1964 in Tripoli, Libya
  • Believed to have joined al-Qaeda in 1990s
  • Given political asylum in UK
  • Charged by New York prosecutors with involvement in 1998 US embassy bombings
  • One of FBI’s “most wanted terrorists” with $5m bounty

On Sunday, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan’s office said he had asked the US for clarification on the raid and stressed Libya was “keen on prosecuting any Libyan citizen inside Libya”.

Anas al-Liby – real name is Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai – is believed to have been one of the masterminds behind the 1998 US embassy attacks, which killed more than 220 people in Kenya and Tanzania.

The 49-year-old has been indicted in a New York court in connection with the attacks and has been on the FBI’s most wanted list for more than a decade with a $5m (£3.1m) bounty on his head.

Defending the capture, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Mr al-Liby would face justice in a court of law.

US commandos also carried out a raid in southern Somalia on Saturday, but failed to capture their target – Abdukadir Mohamed Abdukadir, a Kenyan al-Shabab commander also known as Ikrima.

On Monday, Pentagon spokesman George Little said Ikrima was closely associated with Harun Fazul and Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, who are believed to have helped with the 1998 embassy bombings and the 2002 attacks on a hotel and airline in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa.

The Somali Islamist group al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda, has said it was behind the last month’s attack on a Kenyan shopping centre in which 67 people died.

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Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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