Terrorists' Can Run But They Can't Hide': Kerry Praises African Raids While Libya Demands'...

(NBC) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that members of al Qaeda and other terrorists the world over "can run but they can't hide."

Kerry's comment followed twin raids launched Saturday by U.S. forces in Somalia and Libya, where they captured senior al Qaeda official Anas al Libi — a man wanted by the U.S. for 15 years after he allegedly planned the 1998 U.S. embassy attacks in Kenya and Tanzania, the Pentagon said.

"We hope that this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror and those members of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can't hide," Kerry said Sunday morning from Indonesia. "We will continue to try to bring people to justice in an appropriate way with hopes ultimately these kinds of activities against everybody in the world will stop."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a statement Sunday that the military raids should demonstrate the American commitment toward bringing terrorists to justice.

"These operations in Libya and Somalia send a strong message to the world that the United States will spare no effort to hold terrorists accountable, no matter where they hide or how long they evade justice," read the statement. "We will continue to maintain relentless pressure on terrorist groups that threaten our people or our interests, and we will conduct direct action against them, if necessary, that is consistent with our laws and our values."

Meanwhile, Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan asked that the U.S. explain Saturday's military operation executed in the seaside city of Tripoli.

"The Libyan government is following the news of the kidnapping of a Libyan citizen who is wanted by U.S. authorities," Zeidan's office said in a statement early Sunday. "The Libyan government has contacted to U.S. authorities to ask them to provide an explanation."

The complained echoed similar ones raised by Pakistani politicians following the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in Abottabad in 2011.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in a statement later Sunday that al Libi was being "lawfully detained under the law of war in a secure location outside of Libya."

It was unclear just exactly what the "law of war" meant in this circumstance.

And while Libya demanded answers concerning Saturday's raids, the Somali government openly declared their cooperation with all efforts to eradicate terrorism throughout the world.

The Somali government's avowal comes merely weeks after al Qaeda-related militant faction al Shabaab attacked a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing more than 65 people and injuring 175.

"We have collaboration with the world and with neighboring countries in the battle against al Shabaab," said Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon on Sunday.

The outcome of a Navy SEAL raid Saturday on the Somali town of Barawe was less clear than the Libyan operation that captured al Libi.

U.S. officials said it was aimed at a "high value" target from the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab movement, but Little said the Pentagon was "not prepared to provide additional detail at this time."

And in response to Saturday's raids, al Shabaab militants said Sunday there was "no senior official" present at the location.

"The U.S. claim that a senior al Shabaab official was in the house is false. No senior official was in the house," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operation spokesman, told Reuters.

Musab added that "normal fighters lived in the house and they bravely counter-attacked and chased the attackers," he said. "The apostate Somali government is nothing in Somalia, no one asked them for permission to carry out the attack."

Al Shabaab, which is aligned with al Qaeda and based in Somalia, had claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall that killed dozens of people in Nairobi, Kenya, two weeks ago.

The Somali raid was carried out by members of SEAL Team Six, the same unit that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in his Pakistan hideout in 2011, another senior U.S. military official said told The Associated Press.


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