Terrorism

Obama administration lays out legal case for Libyan militant's capture

The State Department on Thursday laid out the legal case for last weekend's capture of a Libyan militant following mounting questions about its legality.

U.S. special forces seized Abu Anas al-Libi, a suspected al Qaeda leader, in Tripoli. He is being interrogated on a U.S. ship and is expected to be tried in U.S. civilian court.

“Mr. al-Libi … was lawfully apprehended and is lawfully detained under the law of armed conflict. We also call it the law of wars,” said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

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Lawmakers clash over threat from American jihadists

Republicans and Democrats drew sharply differing conclusions about the threat posed by American jihadists during a hearing Wednesday.

The House Homeland Security panel called the hearing on the threat posed by Americans fighting in Somalia and Syria following last month's attack on a Kenyan shopping mall. The panel's Republican chairman drew attention to the more than 100 Americans fighting abroad, while the top Democrat said self-radicalized individuals are a bigger threat.

“Individuals in our own communities are being recruited by organizations like al-Shabaab,” said Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), adding that 40 to 50 Somali-Americans are believed to have joined the militant group. Law enforcement officials are concerned that such individuals can easily enter the United States to launch an attack or recruit others.

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US target in Somalia had planned Kenya attacks

The Islamist militant that Navy SEALs tried to capture in Somalia over the weekend is a Kenyan suspected of planning several attacks in his home country over the past two years, The Associated Press reports.

Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir had plotted to attack Kenya's parliament building and the United Nations headquarters in Nairobi, according to a Kenyan government intelligence report obtained by the wire service. The report, however, doesn't link him to last month's attack on an upscale Nairobi shopping mall that killed more than 60 people.

The Navy SEAL raid on an al Shabaab stronghold on Saturday was aborted after failing to capture Abdulkadir alive, an unidentified senior U.S. official told CNN Monday. 

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US targets terror group accused of smuggling militants into Egypt, Libya

The State Department on Monday designated as a terrorist group an Egyptian outfit accused of smuggling militants into Egypt and Libya and establishing links with extremists in Europe.

The Muhammad Jamal Network and its founder, Muhammad Jamal, has relied on its links to al Qaeda to smuggle fighters into its training camps in Egypt and Libya, according to the State Department. 

Jamal was arrested last year by Egyptian authorities and a search of his computer allegedly revealed letters to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri describing plots to establish terrorist groups in the Sinai desert, which borders Israel.

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