SEALs strike again! al Shabaab target taken in Somalia. Update: Not confirmed. Bonus: Abu Anas el-Liby captured or killed in Libya also?

This story is just coming out on the national wires this afternoon, so early details are few and hopefully we’ll have some more updates as we go. But the early indications are that when things are falling to pieces anywhere in the world, our SEAL teams are still ready to step up. Following the mass murder at the shopping mall in Kenya, much of the world became acquainted with al Shabaab, the local branch of radical Islamic terrorism. They may have felt rather proud of themselves after that stunt, but apparently the Good Guys made sure the party was short lived.

U.S. Navy SEALs captured a “high-value target” during a pre-dawn raid Saturday on an al Shabaab stronghold in southern Somalia, striking back at the Islamic militant group blamed for the recent attack on a Kenyan shopping mall, sources tell NBC News.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, would not identify the target of the raid, but one senior US official said, “It was a very good day.”

Early reports from the region said there was heavy gunfire during an assault by foreign forces on a building or complex in the southern Somali town of Barawe.

There are conflicting reports as to whether or not the Brits were involved in the assault, but I’m sure we’ll find out more in the hours and days to come. As to where this took place, here’s a map showing the location – marked with an “A” flag – of Barawe (which I’ve seen three spellings for thus far) in relation to the recent activity in Kenya.


A fairly remote region to be sure, but close to the ocean, so that may have been a helpful factor in terms of getting in. (And out?) In any event, if our guys are calling it “a very good day” then it probably was. Though not for the terrorists.

First update: (Jazz, even while still writing) CNN is reporting that the SEAL team had to withdraw before they could absolutely confirm that they had gotten the high profile target, after encountering heavy resistance which could have impacted civilians in the area. More to come.

Continued: (Jazz) And before I even finished writing this, the Gray Lady is reporting that an AQ target has been “captured or killed” in Tripoli, Libya.

A man suspected of being a leader of Al Qaeda and having played a role in planning the bombings of the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 was seized from the streets of Tripoli on Saturday by a team of armed men, officials familiar with the situation said.

The suspect, born Nazih Abd al Hamid al-Ruqhay and known by his nom de guerre Abu Anas el-Liby, has been high on the list of the United States government’s most-wanted fugitives since at least 2000, when a New York court indicted him for his part in planning the embassy attacks. The F.B.I. had offered a bounty of up to $5 million for information leading to his capture.

If all is as being reported, that’s an awful lot of anti-terrorism success for a Saturday, but well done to our guys!

Update: (Jazz) CNN is now backpedaling on the al Shabaab target story a bit, saying there is no way to confirm whether the target was killed. But they’re calling the el-Liby capture a done deal. No doubt the bigger target of the two anyway.

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