As most Bryant students and citizens around the world enjoyed their weekend, United States Special Forces were conducting significant raids throughout Africa. Yes, raids to capture terrorists occur every day by U.S. troops in Afghanistan; however, these two raids were different. First off, they were in a completely separate continent from where the U.S. has been fighting their war on terror for the past twelve years. Secondly, they were conducted simultaneously by two different branches, the Navy and the Army. At around 7 o’clock eastern time Friday night, Navy seals swarmed a beach in Somalia in hopes of capturing the mastermind behind the Kenyan mall attacks. Only a few hours after that the United States Delta Force, falling under the Army, raided a building in Libya and captured one of the most wanted terrorists in the world.
As the first raid unfolded in Somalia, the Navy Seals were met with heavy opposition. The compound that they were set to attack was heavily guarded, and a fight that was far more aggressive than expected unfolded. The mission of this raid was to capture the leader of Al-Shabaab, Ikrima. Upon assaulting the compound and engaging in heavy gun fire, it was clear to the Seals, that Ikrima would not be able to be taken alive. Due to this, the United States Forces pulled out of the raid. As a result, several insurgents were killed and the Seals were left unharmed. Although, ultimately the Seals were not able to capture Ikrima, this raid speaks volumes to the United States military strength. The Kenyan mall siege wrapped up just a few days prior to this assault, and the U.S. answered right away. This quick turnaround by the United States shows intelligence capabilities, and also reaction time by the U.S. military is still number one in the world. This raid sent a clear message to terrorists, and nations across the globe that the U.S. may be struggling internally in Washington, but that has not hindered our military capabilities.
Within three hours of the Navy Seals pulling out, Delta Force touched down in Tripoli. Their target was Abu Anas al-Libi, a Libyan citizen who has been wanted by the United States for over fifteen years. The year was 1998 and al-Libi along with several others set off multiple truck bombs throughout east Africa, in two major cities. The result was over 200 dead, and 4,000 injured, many of whom were United States citizens. Al-Libi has been on the FBI’s terrorist most wanted list since these attacks, and this capture also sends a clear and defiant message to terrorists around the world. No matter how much time has passed or where you are hiding, the United States military will exhaust as much time and resources as they need to capture the threats to our country.
Washington is in turmoil, and many issues are clearly affecting this great country we live, however this weekend we did experience some positive signs for our country, and our national defense. As the war in Afghanistan begins its thirteenth year on October 7, and now has expanded to countries such as Libya and Somalia, it is clear that our country is much safer than it was before 9/11/2001.