(NEW YORK) — The son of suspected terrorist Anas al-Libi said he has seen a video recording of what was later identified as an American elite counter-terrorist unit allegedly grabbing his father off the streets in Tripoli, Libya, drugging him and hustling him into a car in one of a pair of special operations launched by the U.S. military in Africa Saturday.
Abdullah al-Ruqai told reporters that security camera footage at his house showed his father, Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, better known as Anas al-Libi, was returning from morning prayers at approximately 6:30 a.m. when he “found four cars waiting for him.”
Abdullah said several men got out of two of the cars, some masked, who then beat up and drugged al-Libi before putting him in a white car and driving off.
Al-Libi’s brother, Nabeah al-Ruqai, said, “The way it was carried out indicated a highly, well-trained group of people, definitely foreigners, Americans.” A military source told ABC News late Saturday the operation had been conducted by the Army’s 1st Special Forces Group Operational Detachment-Delta, popularly known as Delta Force.
Al-Libi was wanted by the U.S. for his alleged involvement in the 1998 dual bombings of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya and has been on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list for years with a $5 million bounty offered for information leading to his arrest.
Tony Camerino, a former senior military interrogator, said that American interrogators may use the idea that his wife reportedly witnessed, and his son and brother have seen video of his abduction against him.
“We call that love of family approach, where you emphasize that person’s love to their family, relationship to a family member,” Camerino said.
Another strategy, Camerino said, is to use the “we know all” approach in which interrogators “present all the evidence you have already…then convince him that it’s futile or worthless to try and resist.”
“You can imagine…that they’ve compiled quite a bit of information” on al-Libi, Camerino said.
Military sources told ABC News on Saturday that al-Libi is being held aboard a Navy ship and, according to officials, is expected to be handed over to the FBI for a flight to New York where he will stand trial for terror charges.
Overnight, the Libyan government said it was asking the U.S. for answers about what it called the “kidnapping.”
“The Libyan authorities have been following up on the case with American authorities since the news broke and has requested clarifications,” a statement posted on the Libyan interim government’s website said.
At approximately the same time as the Libyan operation, the Navy’s SEAL Team Six launched a pre-dawn raid in Somalia targeting a member of al Shabab, the al Qaeda-allied terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the Westgate mall massacre in Kenya last month.
However, a military officer familiar with the raid said late Saturday that when the SEALs arrived at the target’s location, there were a lot more people there than they expected and they started firing at the SEALs. They didn’t know who they were “so they retreated,” the officer said. Also late Saturday, U.S. officials said they had received conflicting reports from “on the ground” about whether the unidentified principal target was killed or captured.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said on Sunday that both missions “demonstrate the unparalleled precision, global reach, and capabilities of the United States military.”
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