WASHINGTON/TRIPOLI - After US raids in Libya and Somalia that captured an Islamist wanted for bombing US embassies in Africa 15 years ago, Secretary of State John Kerry warned al Qaeda they "can run but they can't hide".
Nazih al-Ragye, better known by the cover name Abu Anas al-Liby, was seized by US forces in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Saturday, the Pentagon said. A raid on the Somali port of Barawe, a stronghold of the al Shabaab movement behind last month's attack on a Kenyan mall, failed to take its target.
"We hope this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror," Kerry said on Sunday in Indonesia, ahead of an Asia-Pacific summit.
"Those members of al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations literally can run but they can't hide," Kerry said in Benoa on Bali. "We will continue to try to bring people to justice."
Liby, a Libyan believed to be 49, has been under US indictment for his alleged role in the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, which killed 224 people.
The US government has also been offering a US$5 million (S$6.23 million) reward for information leading to his capture, under the State Department's Rewards for Justice programme.
"As the result of a US counterterrorism operation, Abu Anas al-Liby is currently lawfully detained by the US military in a secure location outside of Libya," Pentagon spokesman George Little said without elaborating.
Liby was arrested at dawn in Tripoli as he was heading home after morning prayers, a neighbour and Libyan militia sources said.