Capture of Libyan Al-Qaida Leader Highlights US War on Terror

The Obama administration has been unflinching in its war on terror, despite political dysfunction at home. 

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The Obama administration has been unflinching in its war on terror, despite exceptional political dysfunction at home, which includes a partial shutdown of the federal government.

On Saturday, amid a day of bipartisan bickering over who is responsible for the closing of the government, came news of the capture of a Libyan al-Qaida leader, who was reportedly involved in the bombings of U.S. embassies 15 years ago, according to the Associated Press.

"We hope that this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in the effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the highest member of the administration to speak about the operations. "Members of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can't hide."

The al-Qaida leader captured in Tripoli, Libya, was identified as as Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, also known by his alias Anas al-Libi, the AP reports. He had been on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list since it was introduced shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Libyan government on Sunday, however, demanded an explanation for what it called the "kidnapping" of one of its citizens.

In another effort, a U.S. Navy SEAL team reportedly abandoned a mission to capture terrorists who have been linked to last month's attack at a Nairobi, Kenya, shopping mall, the AP says. According to Reuters, the target of the raid was a Chechen commander, who had been wounded, and his guard was killed.

The twin efforts come nearly two years after a U.S. Navy SEAL team killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. And news of the raids come as the Obama administration and Democrats are enmeshed in a bruising domestic political battle with Republicans. Indeed, while the GOP has been able to disrupt Obama's domestic policy, the president has continued the war on terror, making targeted "efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremist that threaten America."

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