Published time: October 08, 2013 15:58
U.S. Marines (Reuters/Mike Blake)
Two hundred United States Marines are being mobilized from a base in Spain to an Italian site neighboring Libya where a Navy SEAL raid over the weekend resulted in the capture of suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Anas al-Libi.
CNN reported early Tuesday that a US military official confirmed
the repositioning of 200 heavily armed Marines to the naval base
at Sigonella, Italy, a Sicilian fort south of Catania that sits
on the opposite side of the Mediterranean from Libya.
According to the military source, the US Department of State
aided in the troop movement and considers the maneuver “a
prudent measure” following Saturday’s raid in Tripoli. There
is now the potential for a security crisis to arise at the US
Embassy diplomatic in Libya, CNN reported, should tensions worsen
as a result of the capture.
Al-Libi, 49, was picked up from his Tripoli home on Saturday and
is currently being held on the USS San Antonio in international
waters. He was charged previously in the 1998 bombings that
targeted US embassies in Tanzania in Kenya, which ended in the
death of 224 people, including a dozen Americans.
US Secretary of State John Kerry responded this week to the
capture by calling al-Libi a “legal and appropriate
target” for the US, and senior officials have linked him with
high-ranking members of the al-Qaeda organization formerly led by
Osama bin Laden.
“I hope the perception is in the world that people who commit
acts of terror and who have been appropriately indicted by courts
of law, by the legal process, will know that United States of
America is going to do anything in its power that is legal and
appropriate in order to enforce the law and to protect our
security,” added Kerry.
But LANA, the official news agency of Libya, reported that
government officials are referring to Saturday’s incident as
abduction, and the US ambassador has been summoned to speak with
authorities for questioning regarding the raid.
“Our relationship with the USA is important, and we care about
that, but we care too about our citizens, which is our duty,”
Libya Prime Minister Ali Zeidan told reporters on Tuesday.
Libyan groups are now protesting the raid and the subsequent
capture of al-Libi, and are reportedly seeking to avenge the
event. According to Reuters, a Facebook page called “Benghazi is
Protected by its People” has instructed Libyans to kidnap US
citizens if possible and close off the entrances and exits to
Last September, a storming of a US consulate building in
Benghazi, Libya ended in the death of four Americans, including
Ambassador Chris Stevens. A State Department travel warning last
updated in June warns US citizens against traveling to Libya,
citing a still unpredictable security situation.
While a surge of Marines has been deployed across the
Mediterranean from Libya in the event of another incident
targeting American facilities, military, intelligence and
Department of Justice officials have reportedly been sent to the
USS San Antonio to interrogate al-Libi while he remains detained
in international waters.
“As a general rule, the government will always seek to elicit
all the actionable intelligence and information we can from
terrorist suspects taken into our custody,” National Security
Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told the Associated Press.
“Determining when and where to prosecute individuals is a
traditional and important executive branch authority that has
long been exercised on a case-by-case basis, taking into account
all relevant factors — such decisions are not made