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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  October 5, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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assault rifle that is often carried in those kind of operations. al shabaab is claiming this is a victory. for the s.e.a.l.s to carry this out in an area al shabaab considers a safe ground for them, they have to be feeling that tonight. don? >> stand by. don't go away, everyone. the breaking news this hour on cnn is there have been two big operations carried out across the ocean. breaking news on cnn. one is a group that claimed responsibility for the deadly mall killing in kenya, u.s. special forces went on a mission in somalia to take one of their leaders out. the other one is a top al qaeda operative has also been taken out. at least the first person. we are not sure. they went on a mission. the second person, the person in
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africa here, in libya has been taken out. there are two operations going on. we are talking this man who topped the most wanted list for years. in fact, he is the al qaeda operative responsible for the 1998 bombing of the u.s. embassies. again, may have been captured. barbara starr is our pentagon correspondent. update us on the story, please. >> the senior u.s. official is telling cnn he was captured and that it was indeed u.s. special operations personnel, a second mission in the last 24 hours who conducted a capture operation to get al libi. my colleague confirming the details as well saying it is now likely that al libi will be brought to the united states for prosecution in his alleged role
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in the 1998 bombings of the u.s. embassies in africa. they have brought other suspects to the united states in similar matters to the federal court system in new york, which oversees these types of prosecutio prosecutions. the introduction of u.s. special operations forces on the ground in libya is very significant because, of course, there is a functioning government there. it is not clear whether the government gave permission or whether the u.s. forces, at the orders of the united states government went in there completely covertly to capture this man without the permission of the host government of libya. a lot of tension in the last year, of course, since the attack at the u.s. diplomatic compound in benghazi. they didn't want u.s. forces there. al libi, as you can see his
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picture, there was a $5 million award on him as major al qaeda operative in libya. been there some months and years now. said to have been behind the movement to set up an al qaeda movement in libya. probably to some extent, not thought to be directly involved in the benghazi attack, but more an al qaeda operative, someone who fled there when al qaeda went on the run in the last several years. it goes to what we have been talking about, al qaeda morphing, dispursing itself, sending people into other countries to establish new satellite organizations. it looks now, tonight, like u.s. special forces were able to get him and again, we should be learning more in the coming hours about where he may be moving next. don? >> okay. you are reporting now, barbara, that he has been captured? >> senior u.s. official tells me he has been. he was captured by u.s. special
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forces in a capture mission. this is not an official announcement by the united states by any stretch. evan and i working the phones talking to our sources. all indications are now that he is in u.s. custody and is somewhere overseas still at this hour. >> barbara, stand by. i'm going to need your help throughout the hour on cnn. i'm going to get to peter bergen to talk about both of these operations. peter, let's start with libya. in fact, if al libi has been captured, what does it mean for al qaeda in libya? >> caller: it's good news for them. what would be interesting is what happens with this guy. my guess is that relatively soon, we will see him show up in the district of new york to be arraigned. that's where he's been indicted. that indictment for his alleged
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involvement in the embassy is there. it's been there since '98. he has been on the run since before 9/11. you know, the obama administration doesn't want to put anybody through the guantanamo system. we saw with osama bin laden's son who was picked up overseas that shortly after he was captured he was arraigned in manhattan and he will stand trial there. you know, the federal court in manhattan has 100% conviction rate for terrorism offenses. if you think of where the location is, so, my guess is that this guy is going to have to get a pretty good defense lawyer. >> i want to read some of the information that we are just getting in, peter, from the international unit. you can comment on it. if barbara starr is there, feel
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free to comment. again, let me tell you the breaking news. two major operations that have been carried out today by u.s. special forces. one in somalia, one in libya. they are going after top leaders of al qaeda and top leader of al shabaab. al shabaab, the one in somalia is responsible for the attack on the mall in kenya a couple weeks ago. the one that happened in libya is al-libi, believed responsible for the 1998 attacks on u.s. embassies. peter, as we go along here, reading from the international unit, wanted for bombings has been captured by u.s. special forces in tripoli. al-libi was grabbed from the capitol in a capture operation from the libyan capitol. the u.s. operation was conducted
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with knowledge by the libyan government. talk us through that. >> that latter detail is interesting. obviously in the case of the osama bin laden raid, which was conducted in the pakistani city and was a capture or kill operation, it was done without the pakistani government and caused problems for the u.s./pakistan relationship. after all, these are sovereigning countries. you know, you are supposed to get permission to do these kind of operations. obviously, the bin laden case was exceptional. here you have the u.s. government getting permission from the libyan government, which is a fragile governing body at the moment. none theless, the elected government of libya and that's the right thing to do. that's, you know, it's interesting that that was the
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approach that was taken. >> so, listen, peter, you know, we have been talking to barbara about the criticism of the attack and not being able to get the suspects in benghazi libya. here it is 15 years after the attack and we are just now capturing this suspect. would this lead people to believe that the criticism about benghazi may be premature? >> caller: you know, there have been multiple people convicted in the embassy attacks in new york and manhattan. four of them convicted before 9/11. it was a large conspiracy. al-libi, the guy just captured played a role, an important role surveying the target and the like. so, you know, justice, you know, united states, you know, they
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didn't forget about somebody involved in an attack that killed more than 200 people, mostly africans, a dozen americans and they continue to, you know, pursue the lead that is exist defieing people who have been indicted for the attacks. i mean, when you think about benghazi, you know, that's, you know, a little over a year ago. so, you know, president obama made it clear that, you know, justice will take place when it can happen. >> i want to read a little more to you from the international unit here and talk specifically about foreign policy and about protocol. as cnn reports in september, 2012, that al-libi was seen in tripoli, according to western intelligence sources, they said there was concern al-libi may have been tasked with establishing a network in libya.
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my question is whether libya's government knows of his presence. what does that mean? what is the difference if libya's government is aware or unaware of the presence of al-libi? >> caller: libya is a chaotic country. it's not like the government of switzerland. it's a -- there are multiple militias that haven't put their weapons down. there are al qaeda groups or at least that subscribe to the al qaeda ideology and the group behind the benghazi attack doesn't call themselves al qaeda but a local jihadist group. it's plausible the first time the libyan government found out that al-libi was in tripoli is when they were informed by the u.s. government. or they knew and they have
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bigger fish to fry and it's not the most important thing on their list of things to do. basically, they have a real problem controlling the country they govern. >> all right, peter bergen. thank you very much. stand by. we are getting new information by the minute. really, two breaking news stories. u.s. special forces carrying out two missions. one in libya, one in somalia today going after top terrorists a top terrorist lieutenant. we are following the breaking news story here. again, getting new information as we speak on the air. we are going to regroup. we have correspondents in the region. our national correspondent is on the line with us and pentagon correspondent. we'll have new information on the other side of the break. just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights.
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al-libi here. what is going on? what is the sentiment about his capture? >> caller: first of all, don, the news is starting to break in libya now. for a few hours, rumors were circulating it might have happened. only now is it circulating. we can see it on social media. there's a lot of concern about libyans and the repercussions and if there's going to be retaliation and there are multiple assignments, extremist groups with affiliation to al qaeda. they are concerned about what their reaction is going to be to the operation. now, al-libi a year ago spoke to a libyan government official and asked them if they knew he was in libya because of an exclusive report. they have returned somewhere near the end of the year 2010 and maybe the spring of the
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revolution there in 2011. but libyan government officials said they were not aware of his presence in libya. we heard at the time from a western intelligence official he had been seen in tripoli, but not in hiding anywhere in libya. of course, a lot of concern about what this actually means. did the libyan government know about this? did it happen at the consent of the libyan government? this weak, prowestern government is a very, very sensitive issue. you know, the next 24 hours are ones we have to see what the reaction is going to be on the ground in tripoli. >> i want you to stand by. don't go away. i want to bring in evan perez. you have been working this story on al-libi all day. talk about how the story came together. >> caller: all day we have been hearing reports there had been a
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capture in tripoli. some sensitivity as to when we could report this. we can now say that u.s. forces were the ones that grabbed them and the issue is, obviously, he is wanted in new york for the 19 -- involvement in the 1998 bombings in tans neah and kenya. since the u.s. has known last year that he had suddenly arrived in tripoli and was living out in the open, the question was always when can they grab him? i talked to an official today who told me it was just an opportune moment. they knew where he was. they had the opportunity to grab him and they did. the question now is, when can they bring him to the justice and the u.s.? there's a $5 million bounty on his head from the u.s. government for some years now. the intent is to put him on
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trial. >> okay, evan, stand by. i want to go back. you talked about whether or not the libyan government knew that al-libi was possibly there and may come as early as 2010. our first report was back in 2012 that he was there in libya. what does this mean -- what does it mean if we knew or not? what difference does it make if the government knew about al-libi being there or not? >> caller: i think this is a big issue for libya here for this fragile government for their own credibility with their own people. of course, when it comes to the west, there is the concern about this growing terrorism we are seeing in libya after the attack in benghazi last year that killed embassador chris stephens and three other americans. there's concern about what sort of country libya turned into
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after the revolution. the al qaeda affiliated groups that seem to have established a presence in the country and are able to attack western interest, western targets. possibly outside the country. there's been a lot of concern about that. it's no surprise, really, if the libyan government did not know that. they have a lot on their plate. they are unable to control the security situation in the country and, you know, one other thing that comes up, don, has been the benghazi list of suspects. there's been a list of suspects that libyans have not been able to detain any of those suspects involved in that attack on the u.s. consulate. some of the suspects are out. they are free. cnn was able to sit down and talk to one of the suspects in benghazi, get the libyan government is unable or too weak to detain them. a lot of questions about how
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much the libyan government can do to control these groups and the terrorists coming out of that country. >> thank you very much. don't go anywhere. i want to get back to evan here. i want to update the viewers that there have been two big operations that have been carried out by u.s. special forces. it's important to our fight against terrorism. one is in somalia where the u.s. special forces went up against a top lieutenant for al shabaab. they are believed to have carried out the attack on the kenyan mall. special forces had to retreat and not sure if they captured the top lieutenant. the other is in libya. in libya, the person there, the suspect there is believed to be responsible for the 1998 bombings on u.s. embassies. so, again, these are two operations played out. that is that suspect al-libi.
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evan, with the two operations playing out, you are in washington, you are the justice correspondent there. what is the reaction likely to be from washington and how soon might we hear from someone in washington? >> caller: well, it's been a very tense day with different officials. they wanted to make sure the operations got off without and have the u.s. forces safely out of harms way before they could discuss any of this. as i mentioned to you, we knew about them and we were holding back on some of this. barbara starr was reporting as was i today and finally we were able to, once we knew there was nobody else in harm's way we could go on air and say this. this is, al-libi is a big one. he has a $5 million bounty on his head. the u.s. has been wanting to have him, to bring him to
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justice here in the united states. we are told that, you know, the libyan government has been sensitive about the issue. they were informed, i'm not sure how far ahead of time they were informed, but they were aware of this. this has nothing to do -- al-libi was not involved in the benghazi attacks where the u.s. is looking for suspects in that case. that is more sensitive because the militias that the libyan government depends on to control benghazi were involved in this. that's a sensitivity. there's a separate one from the al-libi situation. >> thank you very much. stand by evan and our correspondents in the region there as well. we are following the breaking news here. two major operations carried out today. cnn will be back after the break
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welcome back and for those of you just joining us, this is breaking news this hour. two u.s. military attacks in africa. here is what cnn confirmed. u.s. navy s.e.a.l. teams went on a mission in somalia and tried to nab an al shabaab leader linked to the kenyan mall attack. they had to withdrawal because they were under fire in a somali town. we don't know what happened to the al shabaab leader. plus we have this one as well. the al qaeda operative responsible for the 1998 bombings on u.s. embassies may have been captured as well. barbara starr is reporting, according to high sources, his name is al-libi.
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he's been captured and he has topped the most wanted list for years. he joined al qaeda soon after its founding. he is considered a senior member of al qaeda. i want to get to the pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. she is following this and so is knick robertson. first to barbara with the updated information. what are you learning about both of these missions? >> well, what we know now is al-libi was captured by u.s. special operations forces in libya. very significant for them. you can only imagine, they say it was an opportunity to grab him. probably not. probably this is someone who was under surveillance by intelligence for some time. the question now in libya will be the reaction of the libyan people and ensuring u.s. facilities and western interests
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in libya are secure if there is any adverse reaction on the libyan street. that is going to be a significant issue in the coming hours. they will want to ensure that western embassies are secure. it was the russians, indeed, that came under attack in tripoli earlier and took their people out of the facility. in somalia, at the other end of africa, u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s withdrew. they made a prow prudent decision to withdrawal. make no mistake, where they went in somalia is very rough territory. this is a stronghold of the al shabaab network. they do not want to see foreign forces, let alone american forces on the ground. i think, don, it is an extraordinary irony as well.
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we are here on october 5th. yesterday, october 4th was the 20 year anniversary of the black hawk down incident. the battle when so many u.s. forces lost their lives. that became a very significant shadow on the u.s. military for so many years. i think the other issue to contemplate is why is this so important to americans? why are we talking about this in such detail tonight? it is the growth of al qaeda networks. these al qaeda networks from libya to syria across north africa through the horn in places where there are not strong governments. al qaeda movements are on the rise. growing ability to attack western targets if not to launch attacks outside of africa and into europe or america, potentially. this is why it is so significant. this is why the u.s. and other intelligence services and special forces units continue to go after the al qaeda targets.
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they are on the rise, their ability to attack is not as diminished as the u.s. would like it to be. that's a significant worry. don? >> don't go anywhere. as you know we are going to use you extensively on cnn until we are done covering this story. i want to get to nic robertson. he joins us from london. i have a question for you. again, i want to reiterate, this is not cnns reporting. there are reports that the operation in somalia was unsuccessful. you heard barbara saying they had to retreat because of the fire power. this is a stronghold for al shabaab. what does it mean, if anything, that u.s. special forces were able to penetrate a seemingly stronghold of al shabaab? >> reporter: the first thing it indicates is there must been good, accurate intelligence on at least the person that the operation was designed to capture or kill, depending on the circumstances.
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perhaps the level of fire power coming back is an indication that intelligence was incomplete in so much as there was a calculation on exactly how many operatives al shabaab or otherwise were there lying in weight. the possibility of a tip off or double agent, if you will, entrapment type of situation. this is speculation at this time. what it certainly indicates is that al shabaab is on the world stage a couple weeks ago in nairobi and is now being taken extremely seriously and its growth and basis of operation is coming under scrutiny and measures taken to limit the potential spread before it can grow bigger and plans come into existence. people, a leading figure close to al shabaab was killed in the
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past couple years on his body was found, documents detailing specific attacks here in britain. complex attacks similar to that in the westgate shopping mall in kenya. so, this is an indication, really, that the threat that's been growing, if you will, under the radar in somalia is now being confronted in a much more aggressive way. don? >> let's talk about libya, if you will. al-libi has been captured and is now in custody, in u.s. custody and will be perceivably brought back to the united states to face court, to face trial here. >> reporter: potentially provide a lot of valuable information, potentially on his associates inside libya on the strength of al qaeda as it tries to grow in the north of africa. we are aware there have been camps set up in the east of
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libya in the past couple years. this goes back to the period when he was seen to resurface in tripoli, at least a year ago, potentially two years ago as gadhafi was being overthrown. islamists in libya were getting stronger. the attack that was witnessed in algeria as well as killing nationals working at a gas plant there. itis not only facing justice for the 1990 attack on the u.s. embassies, clearly he may have useful information about the strength of al qaeda and the islamists in libya at this time. he is somebody who is senior within al qaeda. he was well respected, a good operative. he lived for awhile in britain as recently as year 2000. an apartment he was living in was raided. documents were found there. hundreds of pages.
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the manchester manual. his apartment was raided in manchester in england. these documents detail how to attack embassies, his belief to fled back to afghanistan at that time and sent by the number one in al qaeda to go back with individuals to libya to set up camps and bases of operations. all his recent years of activation is going to come under very, very close and important scrutiny. don? >> nic robertson, stand by. i'll need you throughout the evening on cnn as well. this is breaking news this hour on cnn. two major u.s. military attacks in africa. cnn confirmed u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s team went on a mission in somalia and tried to nab a man. the navy s.e.a.l.s had to withdrawal because they were under fire power.
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we do not know exactly what happened and if the al shabaab leader was captured. plus this, the al qaeda operative responsible for the 1998 bombings on u.s. embassies may have been captured as well. his name is al-libi and topped the list for years. he joined al qaeda soon after the founding and is a senior member of al qaeda. our senior international correspondent will join us and correspondents in the region. don't go anywhere. short break. hi, i'm terry and i have diabetic nerve pain. i worked a patrol unit for 17 years in the city of baltimore. when i first started experiencing the pain, it's, it's hard to describe because you have a numbness... but yet you have the pain like thousands of needles sticking in your foot. it was progressively getting worse, and at that point i knew i had to do something. when i went back to my healthcare professional... that's when she suggested the lyrica. once i started taking the lyrica, the pain started subsiding.
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two breaking news stories on cnn. there have been two missions carried out overseas. i want to get to barbara starr. barbara, one of the missions was in libya. the other in somalia. can you talk to me about the somalian mission first because we are not exactly sure if the person they were going after, this high ranking member of al shabaab was captured. >> that's exactly right. the navy s.e.a.l. team that went into the town in southern central somalia made a decision to leave before they could confirm they killed the man they were going after. they certainly did not capture him. they made what they are calling the prow dent decision to withdrawal from the town because they came into a very hostile environment. they came under fire. it's not the case that a team of
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navy s.e.a.l.s is going to get overwhelmed, they are going to be able to deal with whatever they come up against, but they are going to make a prudent decision to withdrawal rather than engage in extended fights where they are going to have to engage what they believe to be a civilian population, hostile as it may be, regular somalis who live in the area. they don't want to get involved in that. they don't want to get into that situation. i think it's important for people to understand, when navy s.e.a.l.s went into this, when the special ops guys went into libya, their tactics are such that they have plenty of back-up fire power. there would have been aircraft circling overhead to engage in bombing runs to ensure their safety, if they had to do that. there would have been other helicopters over head to extract them, to get them out of there fast, if it came to that.
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we know this because we know that that is how the bin laden mission went. these are very standard tactics in these covert, high risk operations. so, this would have all begun in both cases with potentially weeks, if not longer of surveillance gathering intelligence, learning about the targets, learning who was there, planning the operation, going in, having the back-up power, if they needed it, then in the case of somalia, making the decision that they were going to back out, they were going to get out of there, they were going to get out fast rather than engaging in an extended combat operation. in libya, it looks like they got al-libi quickly and he is now in u.s. custody. don? >> barbara, stand by. i want to bring in lieutenant rick francona joining me on the phone from eugene, oregon.
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you have been watching the news on cnn. you have sources within the government as well. talk to me about the special forces group, about these navy s.e.a.l.s carrying out the missions. >> caller: this is a classic operation for them. it's on the coast, they can bring in all sorts of air and sea power support. barbara is right. they went in with enough fire power to do what they needed to do. the prudent decision is the commander on the ground making the call that this is going to result in a lot of unnecessary damage and civilian casualties. they wanted to go in there, do to job and kill or capture the target and withdrawal. once the commander saw that was not possible without killing a lot of people and doing a lot more damage than necessary, he made the decision to withdrawal. so, we are not going to know what the final result is for some time. this is what navy s.e.a.l.s do. this was a perfect mission for
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them. the commander on the ground made the decision to pull back before having to inflict a lot more casualties than necessary. >> the picture we have up is the al qaeda operative who is believed to have been captured in libya. can you talk to me about the operation there and what this means for the fight against terrorism now that this person has been captured? he will be coming to the united states and face trial here. >> caller: there's a lot of issues this raises. first of all, this is an excellent operation. this was a combination of fbi, cia and u.s. military forces doing a takedown in tripoli. this was probably well done, well executed and i assume a lot of cooperation from the libyan government. they have to get him back to the united states and they are going to put him on trial. this raises a lot of questions, don. is he going to be afforded the rights of a u.s. citizen? will he have access to legal
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counsel? will we be allowed to interrogate him? he's a gold mine of information. how much can we extract from him under the u.s. legal system? this is just starting to unfold. this is a major, a major get for the intelligence community and the u.s. special operations community. >> okay. let's -- can we go back to libya now, lieutenant? >> caller: that was libya. >> let's talk about libya now. >> caller: okay. >> how much are we going to lean on, the u.s. government lean on libya to figure out if they knew al-libi was there and what does that mean, the difference of whether or not they knew? >> caller: i think, of course, they knew. i'm assuming from what i'm reading between the lines we have been working with the
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libyans for some time whether in intelligence gathering capacity to the point it was feasible to take him without too much risk to civilian population. from what i understand, this was done in broad daylight, quickly and efficiently. that would indicate to me some cooperation from the libyan government. i'm sure we are putting pressure on them, but they only have so much capability. that government is not very strong. >> we were talking about -- now i want to go back to somalia. that's what i meant earlier. you were talking made the decision to retreat because they didn't want to create more havoc or kill more people and create more havoc than they had to, so, my question to you is the same one i asked nic robertson. this is a stronghold of al shabaab. the fact they were able to get
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into this territory where it is presumably a stronghold, what does that say about the operations there? >> caller: well, if you look at the location, this is on the coast about 250 miles up the coast from the border with kenya. it's about 100 miles south. this is a coastal town. once you have a coastal town, even if it's a stronghold of al shabaab, it is accessible to the u.s. navy. the s.e.a.l.s were able to come from the ocean. that's why it's a classic s.e.a.l. operation. >> thank you very much, rick francona from ewe neugeneugene,. don't go anywhere, we are going to need you. nic robertson is on the phone. we are going to go to the region and get more information on this breaking news after this break. [ male announcer ] this store knows how to handle a saturday crowd.
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left 67 people dead. the navy s.e.a.l.s had to withdrawal because they were under fire. they chose to withdrawal so they would not cause more damage than needed to be in that somali town. we do not know exactly what happened to the al shabaab leader. this one as well, the al qaeda operative responsible for the 1998 bombings on u.s. embassies may have been captured. al-libi topped the most wanted list for years. we have been searching for him for years. he joined al qaeda shortly after the founding. our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr is here. senior international correspondent nic robertson is here as well. my question to you is simple. how big a deal is this? >> it's a huge deal to get him. he's a big player in al qaeda.
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he is in one of the key target areas, the north of africa. the chaos that's followed the arab spring, particularly in libya. there's a growing band of islamists. members specifically from al qaeda and pakistan afghan border region, to set up training camps inside libya. they pose a threat not just in libya, but across the whole of northern africa, mali, algeria and potentially into europe. the reporting we've done on the group has indicated that their plans are not just build a network in the north of africa, but to use that as a base to target western interests inside europe. how or if he was fitting into that speck truck of al qaeda's planning, we don't know specifically, but we do understand that for at least the past year, he's lived fairly openly in tripoli in libya. the libyan authorities there are
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not strong. they don't have a strong national security force. there are many militias, tribal based militias across the country. this is a significant step that will to a degree, a small part of that growth, but it is a significant step. >> hold on right there. i'm going to get to jamana. she is on the line with us and in ayman, jordan. she has covered libya really over the years for quite a long time. i want to talk to you, last we spoke, you were saying people were just getting the information, just hearing the news about this mission in this town by forces. what are you hearing there? >> a wealth of questions from libya at this hour. it's about 2:00 in the morning now in tripoli and the questions are people are concerned, is
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there going to be any sort of blackhawks, any sort of retaliation against many of the western targets that are in tripoli, whether it's diplomatic missions, whether it's businesses that remain a very soft target. the government as nic just mentioned is a weak one. it is unable to provide security. there's a big question, what sort of action are we going to see, if any, to those news. people are asking whether their government knew this because they say there's a lot of concern, what does this mean for libya? does the country not sovereign anymore, to stop foreign countries from coming in. there are also questions about going after benghazi suspects next. that has been a concern and just last year, right after that attack on the u.s. consulate in
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benghazi, i remember speaking with senior libyan government officials and they were really, really concerned about any sort of u.s. military action at the time following that attack in benghazi. they said that if any u.s. military operation would lead to more chaos, they were really curious to see what would come out as the reaction to this, that they were aware at some level of this operation. >> can you hang with me just a little bit because i think it's very interesting what you're talking about here. the attack on benghazi libya, and now that this suspect has gone after. now this operation has happened in libya, i want to know what this means for the investigation into that. stand by. details on that right after this break. [ mom ] with my little girl, every food is finger food.
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> missions carried out overseas, i want to get back to jamana. she is gauge iing reaction ther. before the break, i asked you, what is the connection between this and the investigation into the benghazi, libya attack. >> well, the big issue was that we knew that the u.s. had compiled lists of suspects who may have been involved in that attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. we are told that the libyan government knew who these suspects were, but the libyans had not picked up any of those suspects. cnn actually met one of the top
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suspects in the benghazi attack, who was roaming the streets freely. the question has been why has the libyan government not arrested them. it has always been the case that the government is too weak. these are all members of strong militias, allies with -- it would be difficult for this central government to move in and capture the suspects. the question is, would the u.s. be able to do this. of course we would hear from the libyan government, libyan officials say it would be disastrous if the u.s. tried to nab any of these benghazi suspects. now that begs the question, will this mean that the u.s. could mover in, could pick up and suspects capture or kill those
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involved in the attack as this has already happened. >> and you said there is concern from the libyan people about that. about who exactly is allowed, if a foreign government can come into their country and carry out a mission and capture someone and then bring them back to trial. >> absolutely. on the street, from the government is libya's minister told us just a few months ago that no libyan will stand trial outside of libya. this had been a big thing for them. standing trial outside the country and on the street level of course, this is a very sensitive issue. libya is just coming out of this devastating war. the revolution it went through. it is still going through a very, very rough time. libya is a very unstable state right now. trying to rebuild. this country had been a very, very challenges task for the
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government. of course this really undermines this weak central government that is pro western in libya and a lot of people will be asking the question now, what kind of dwo government do they have. how sovereign is libya if foreign troops are able to come into the country. >> thank you. stand by, everyone. this is cnn breaking news. hello, everyone. it is the top of the hour. breaking news here on cnn this hour. two major u.s. military attacks in africa, cnn has confirmed a us navy s.e.a.l.s team went on a mission and tried to nab a leader that went on the kenya mall attack. the s.e.a.l.s has to withdraw before they could confirm he was killed because they wend