United States Strikes Against Al-Qaeda in Africa

U.S. in Africa

Two separate strikes by the United States forces against Al-Qaeda in Africa were carried on Saturday to capture two senior militants, one belonging to Al-Qaeda and the other to the the fundamentalist out-fit Al-Shabaab, with very close ties with Al-Qaeda in Africa.

In the first operation on Saturday U.S. Navy Seals carried a predawn raid on the sea shore Somali town of Baraawe, to capture a senior member of the Al-Shabaab, Islamic  militant group, a close ally of Al-Qaeda. This raid seemingly appears to be in response to the recent Westgate upscale shopping mall massacre in Nairobi, Kenya and to stem the growing threat of Al-Qaeda in the shape of Al-Shabaab in Africa.

The second operation was carried out in Libya to capture a senior member of Al-Qaeda in Africa. This covert operation was carried out by the U.S. military commandos, with the help of the CIA and FBI officials, in Tripoli. The target of this operation was the capture of Nazih Abdul Hameed al-Ruqai alias  Abu Ans__ a prominent leader of Al-Qaeda in Africa. Nazih Abdul Hameed al Ruqai alias Abu Ans is the man responsible for the 1998 bombings of the United States Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Nazih Abdul Hameed al-Ruqai, was on the most wanted list of the FBI. There was a reward money of $5 million, on his capture.

Both these operations were approved by President Obama. The raid to capture the senior leader of Al-Shabaab was called off, as soon as it was confirmed that the person the U.S. Navy Seals were after was not present in his house. Some members, though, Al-Shabaab were killed in the raid, but it was called off in time to avoid any damage to the person and properties of innocent civilians.

The Press Secretary of Pentagon, George Little, in a statement to the press said that Nazih Hameed a–Ruqai alias Abu Ans has been captured. Though he was, for obvious reasons, reluctant to provide details about whereabouts of the dreaded terrorist and where he was presently detained.  George Little, the press secretary of the Pentagon also added that Nazih Abdul Hameed al-Ruqai alias Abu Ans would be brought to the American soil and he would be tried by a United States court.

Both these strikes though apparently separate are related in the sense that the target of both these strikes was Al-Qaeda’s leadership. These strikes also go on to show the extent to which the United States is willing to go in order to stop this recent resurgence of Al-Qaeda in Africa. The United States strikes against Al-Qaeda, also show the growing concern in the United States about this recent resurgence in the activities of Al-Qaeda in Africa. These strikes by the United States forces against Al-Qaeda prove that United State is ever ready to help its African allies to combat against the Al-Qaed and to ensure the safety of its valuable installations in the region.

Written By: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada

The Washington Post

The Wall Street Journal

Los Angeles Times