Armed al-Shabab fighters
Armed al-Shabab fighters. Photo by AP
Text size
related tags
AP
U.S. State Secretary John Kerry walks with other delegate members during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia, October 5, 2013. Photo by AP

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that terrorists "can run but they can't hide," and that the Obama administration won't give up on the fight against terror. He was speaking about U.S. operations in northern Africa against terrorists factions.

U.S. special forces struck out against Islamic extremists Saturday who have carried out terrorist attacks in East Africa in raids in Somalia and in Libya's capital. They captured a Libyan Al-Qaida leader allegedly involved in the bombings of U.S. embassies 15 years ago.

"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," Kerry said. "Members of Al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can't hide."

Kerry vowed the United States would "continue to try to bring people to justice in an appropriate way with hopes that ultimately these kinds of activities against everybody in the world will stop."

On Saturday, a U.S. Navy SEAL team slipped ashore near a southern Somalia town before the Al-Qaida-linked militants rose for dawn prayers, U.S. and Somali officials told The Associated Press. The raid on a house in the town of Barawe targeted a specific suspect related to the mall attack, but the operation did not get its target, one current and one former U.S. military official told AP.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the raid publicly.

The New York Times earlier cited a U.S. official as saying that the militant targeted in the raid was believed to be dead.

Within hours of the Somalia attack, relatives of a Libyan Al-Qaida leader wanted for the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania said he was kidnapped outside his house Saturday in Tripoli, Libya. A U.S. official said it was American forces who captured Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Anas al-Liby, who has been on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list since it was introduced shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The U.S. official said there were no U.S. casualties in the Libya operation. The official was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.

Kerry, the highest-level administration to speak about the operations yet, made his comments at an event at a port for Balinese tuna fishermen. He's in Bali for an economic summit.