Hagel Praises U.S. Troops for Capture of Terrorist in Africa

Story Number: NNS131008-01Release Date: 10/8/2013 10:59:00 AM
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By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr., American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel commended U.S. troops Oct. 6for the capture of what he described as one of the world's most sought after terrorists.

"Over the weekend, U.S. military personnel conducted targeted operations in Libya and Somalia to bring international terrorists to justice," he said.

"I want to commend all of the service members who were involved in the planning and execution of these two operations, which demonstrate the unparalleled precision, global reach, and capabilities of the United States military," Hagel said.

As a result of the Libya operation, the defense secretary said, one of the world's most wanted terrorists was captured and is now in U.S. custody.

"Abu Anas al Libi was designated as a global terrorist by Executive Order, was a subject of the U.S. Rewards for Justice Program, and is on the U.N. al-Qaida sanctions list," Hagel said. "He was also indicted for his alleged role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, and other plots to conduct attacks against U.S. interests."

The defense secretary noted these operations in Libya and Somalia send a strong message to the world that the U.S. will spare no effort to hold terrorists accountable, "no matter where they hide or how long they evade justice."

"We will continue to maintain relentless pressure on terrorist groups that threaten our people or our interests," Hagel said. "We will conduct direct action against them, if necessary, that is consistent with our laws and our values."

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