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U.S. targets Al Qaeda, Shabab leaders in Libya, Somalia

seals1WASHINGTON — U.S. special forces have launched major anti-terror operations in Libya and Somalia.
Defense Department spokesman George Little, in a written statement, confirmed U.S. forces have captured Abu Anas el-Liby, an al-Qaida leader indicted in the United States for the 1998 bombings of American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salam, Tanzania.  
The attacks 15 years ago killed more than 200 people and injured thousands.
 

PM ETHIOPIA: No plans to withdraw troops from Somalia AFP

ethiopiapmEthiopia will not withdraw its troops from Somalia in the wake of the deadly attacks in Kenya, the Prime Minister said Friday.
"There is no reason we are withdrawing at this time, we will fight al Shebab to the maximum possible," Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Deslaegn told reporters.
Al Qaeda-linked Shebab extremists claimed responsibility for the attack in an upscale shopping centre in Nairobi last month that left at least 67 people dead.
 

Militant base ‘attacked from sea’ in Somalia

BARAAWE_MA3Unidentified foreign forces have launched a night-time raid on a militant base in the south Somali town of Barawe from the sea, reports say.

A spokesman for the al-Shabab Islamist group told Reuters news agency that a fighter had been killed in the raid.
Reports speak of residents in the militant-controlled town being woken by heavy gunfire before dawn prayers.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility last month for a deadly attack on a Kenyan shopping mall.

At least 67 people were killed after militants stormed the Westgate mall in the capital, Nairobi, on 21 September.

‘Helicopters’

There was no immediate comment on Saturday’s alleged attack in Barawe from the Western-backed authorities in Somalia.

According to the Somali news website Midnimo, two helicopters were also involved in the raid.

“Westerners in boats attacked our base at Barawe beach and one was martyred from our side,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, described as al-Shabab’s spokesman for military operations, told Reuters by telephone.

Another al-Shabab member, named as Abu Mohamed, told the Associated Press that “foreign” soldiers had attacked a house in Barawe.

Militants rushed to the scene to capture a foreign soldier but were unsuccessful, he added.

Western navies tasked with fighting piracy patrol the seas off Somalia, which has been beset by conflict for more than two decades.

The US military has used drones in Somalia to support the government and African Union forces in their battle against al-Shabab.

France has also intervened militarily on occasion, carrying out an unsuccessful commando raid to free a French intelligence agent in January. Two French commandos were killed and al-Shabab later reported that it had killed the agent.

 
 

How al-Shabaab was born:THE GUARDIAN

ALSHABAB1The attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi was intended to spread terror. In that sense, it worked. But if al-Shabaab's real motivation was to terrify the Kenyan people into demanding that their government withdraw its troops from Somalia, it failed dismally. Rather, Kenyans across the political spectrum have united to condemn a group that kills innocent civilians and then tweets about it.
 

Updated U.S. Capitol shooting began after car rammed barricade +VIDEO

whate_house_usaA woman driving a black Infiniti with a young child inside tried to ram through a White House barricade, then led police on a chase that ended in gunfire outside the Capitol, witnesses and officials say.
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Tourists watched the shooting unfold on Constitution Avenue outside the Capitol as lawmakers inside debated how to end a government shutdown. Police quickly locked down the entire complex for about an hour, and both houses of Congress went into recess.

The pursuit began when a car tried to ram a security barricade blocking the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the case by name and insisted on anonymity.

Witnesses said at least 20 police cars chased the car toward Capitol Hill, where the car crashed outside the Capitol.

Tourist Edmund Ofori-Attah said he walked toward the scene, curious about what was going on.

'We were really scared'

Giancarlo Refalo, a tourist from Malta, said he heard two or three gunshots, and revving engines.

“We saw this black car being chased by three or four police cars.… We ran for cover and as we were hiding behind some bushes we heard this big bang. I guess it must have been a tire blowing out or a crash, and suddenly police cars and emergency vehicles appeared from everywhere," Refalo said.

"We were really scared. I've never heard shots before in my life."

Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said the driver was in custody but he did not disclose her condition.

Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer said a woman was driving the car and had a child with her. Ofori-Attah said the child appeared to be about two to three years old.

Gainer said the child was taken to a hospital.

Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said the driver was in custody. He did not disclose her condition.
Officer's injuries not life-threatening

A police officer was injured in the traffic accident but Gainer said the injuries were not life-threatening.

"We heard three, four, five pops," said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who was walking from the Capitol to an office building across the street. Police ordered Casey and nearby tourists to crouch behind a car for protection, then hustled everyone into the Capitol.

"There were multiple shots fired and the air was filled with gunpowder," said Berin Szoka, whose office at a technology think tank overlooks the shooting scene.
U.S. Capitol Building shots fired aerial

An overhead view shows the scene of a temporary lockdown near the U.S. Capitol Building on Thursday. (Google/CBC)

The shooting comes two weeks after a mentally disturbed employee terrorized the Navy Yard with a shotgun, leaving 13 people dead including the gunman.

Before the disruption, lawmakers had been trying to find common ground to end a government shutdown. The House had just finished approving legislation aimed at partly lifting the government shutdown by paying National Guard and Reserve members.

People standing outside the Supreme Court across the street from Congress were hurried into the court building by authorities.

The White House also was briefly locked down after the incident at Capitol Hill and the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the compound was closed to pedestrians. Secret Service said the procedures were precautionary.

Peter Polcki, a furloughed federal government worker, was wandering around near the Supreme Court when he said he heard the “pop, pop, pop of gunshots.”

Polcki believes four or five shots rang out. He described seeing a dark two-door car, but he could not see who was inside.

"It's like the Navy Yard all over again," he said.

 
 

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