Abu Anas al Libi

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Abu Anas al Libi
Born Nazih Abdul-Hamed Nabih al-Ruqai'i
(1964-03-30) 30 March 1964 (age 50)
Tripoli, Libya

Nazih Abdul-Hamed Nabih al-Ruqai'i, known by the alias Abu Anas al-Libi[1] (About this sound pronunciation  AH-boo AH-NAHS ah LEE-bee[needs IPA]أبو أنس الليبي; born 30 March 1964 or 14 May 1964), is a Libyan under indictment[2] in the United States for his part in the 1998 United States embassy bombings. He worked as a computer specialist for al-Qaeda.[3] He is an ethnic Libyan, born in Tripoli.[4]

His aliases in the indictment are Nazih al Raghie and Anas al Sebai. In the FBI and United States State Department wanted posters,[5][6] another variant of his name is transliterated Nazih Abdul Hamed Al-Raghie.

The indictment accuses al-Libi of surveillance of potential British, French, and Israeli targets in Nairobi, in addition to the American embassy in that city, as part of a conspiracy by al-Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.


Al-Libi is believed to have been tied to al-Qaeda since its 1994 roots in the Sudan.[7] In 1995, al-Libi was granted political asylum in the United Kingdom, after a failed Al Qaeda plot to assassinate Hosni Mubarak, then president of Egypt. An Egyptian request for extradition was declined on the grounds that al-Libi would not receive a fair trial. In 1996, MI6 is alleged to have paid a Libyan Al Qaeda cell to kill Colonel Gaddafi, al-Libi being allowed to stay in return for aiding the alleged plot, which was unsuccessful.[8] In 1999, al-Libi was arrested by Scotland Yard and interrogated. However, he was released because he had cleared his hard drive and no evidence could be found to hold him. He evaded a team that was sent to follow him and was not seen for years. His flat in Manchester, where he was a student, was searched by police, who discovered a 180-page handwritten manual for Al Qaeda followers, translated from Arabic to English, which became known as the Manchester Manual.[9]

He speaks Arabic and English. He has a scar on the left side of his face.[10] Because he is tall and bore a passing resemblance to Osama bin Laden, he was often used as a decoy when Bin Laden traveled.[7]

In January 2002, news reports stated that al-Libi had been captured by American forces in Afghanistan.[11] Following this, in March 2002 news reports stated that al-Libi had been arrested by the Sudanese government and was being held in a prison in Khartoum.[12] However U.S. officials soon denied those reports[13] and al-Libi was still sought.[14]

Al-Libi had been on the USA's list of Most Wanted Terrorists since its inception on 10 October 2001. The United States Department of State, through the Rewards for Justice Program, offered up to US$5,000,000 (formerly $25,000,000) for information about the location of Abu Anas al-Libi.[5]

A February 2007 Human Rights Watch document[15] falsely claimed that al-Libi and others "may have once been held" in secret detention by the CIA.

On 7 June 2007, al-Libi was listed as a possible CIA "Secret Prisoner" by Amnesty International, without giving any reason or evidence, and despite the fact he remained on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list as of the published date (6 June 2007).[16]

In September 2012, CNN reported that al-Libi returned to Libya after being imprisoned in Iran for almost a decade.[8][17][18]

2013 capture[edit]

Al-Libi was captured in Tripoli, Libya on 5 October 2013 by U.S. Army Delta Force operators, with the assistance of FBI agents and CIA officers. He was seized in a pre-dawn raid and removed from Libya. The US Navy's DEVGRU conducted a simultaneous raid in Somalia targeting the alleged mastermind of the Westgate shopping mall attack in Kenya, possibly to avoid either action sending the other target into hiding.[19][20][21] A day after Al-Libi was captured, he was in military custody on the ship USS San Antonio in the Mediterranean Sea.[22] On 10 February 2014, a 30 seconds CCTV video showing U.S. commandos capturing al-Libi was published by The Washington Post.[23][24]

Court appearance[edit]

On 15 October 2013, al-Libi appeared in a Manhattan federal court and pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges, including helping to plan the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.[25] He is being held without bail under concerns that he is a flight risk and a danger to the community.[26] His trial, along with his co-defendant Khalid al-Fawwaz, aka “Khaled Abdul Rahman Hamad al Fawwaz,” aka “Abu Omar,” aka “Hamad,” is scheduled to begin on Nov. 3, 2014, before Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.[27]


Romanised Arabic Notes
Nazih Abdul-Hamed Nabih al-Ruqai'i نزيه عبد الحمد نبيه الرقيعي The surname is spelled الراجعي in the UN list.
Anas al-Libi أنس الليبي
Anas al-Liby أنس الليبي His wanted poster called him by this name.[10]
Abu Anas al-Libi أبو أنس الليبي Some Arabic press reports call him by this name.
Anas al-Sebai أنس السباعي
Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Raghie نزيه عبد الحمد الراغي


  1. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D.; Kulish, Nicholas; Schmitt, Eric (5 October 2013). "U.S. Raids in Libya and Somalia Strike Terror Targets". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Copy of indictment USA v. Usama bin Laden et al., Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies
  3. ^ Benjamin, Daniel; Simon, Steven (2002). The Age of Sacred Terror. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-375-50859-7. 
  4. ^ US commandos raid terrorist hideouts in Libya, Somalia, capture senior al Qaeda official ABC News
  5. ^ a b Wanted Poster on al-Liby (English), Rewards for Justice
  6. ^ Wanted Poster on al-Libi (Arabic), Rewards for Justice
  7. ^ a b Ressa, Maria (2003). Seeds of Terror. New York: Free Press. p. 165. ISBN 0-7432-5133-4. 
  8. ^ a b Greenwood, Chris (7 Oct 2013). "Al Qaeda commander who gave Scotland Yard the slip 13 years ago snatched in Libya by US Delta Force". The Daily Mail (London). 
  9. ^ Gardham, David (28 Oct 2011). "CIA 'used Manchester manual to justify water boarding'". The Telegraph (London). 
  10. ^ a b "Most wanted list web page for Anas Al-Liby". FBI. Archived from the original on 31 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Who's who in al-Qaeda". BBC News. 2003-02-19. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  12. ^ Top al-Qaeda man 'held in Sudan', BBC News, 19 March 2002
  13. ^ I'm Not the Man You're Looking For, Wall Street Journal, James Taranto, 20 March 2002
  14. ^ al-Libi profile FBI
  15. ^ Ghost Prisoner, Human Rights Watch, February 2007
  16. ^ USA: Off the Record. U.S. Responsibility for Enforced Disappearances in the "War on Terror" Amnesty International, 7 June 2007
  17. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Senior al Qaeda figure 'living in Libyan capital'". CNN. 27 September 2012. 
  18. ^ Spencer, Richard (7 October 2013). "Al-Qaeda leader seized in Libya was innocent pizza restaurant worker in Britain, son says". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  19. ^ "Man Sought In '98 Attacks On Embassies Is Seized". NY Times. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Embassy bombings figure nabbed by Delta Force in Libya". CBS News. 
  21. ^ David D. Kirkpatrick (6 October 2013). "Al-Libi capture, a long wait for U.S.". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  22. ^ Weiser, Benjamin; Schmitt, Eric (6 October 2013). "U.S. Said to Hold Qaeda Suspect on Navy Ship". NY Times. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "Taken in 30 seconds: Video shows U.S. capture of suspect Anas al-Libi - CNN.com". CNN. 11 February 2014. 
  24. ^ Martin, David (10 February 2014). "U.S. capture of terror suspect al-Libi seen in rare video". CBS News. New York: CBS. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "Abu Anas al Libi, al Qaeda suspect nabbed in Libya, pleads not guilty to terrorism charges". CBS News. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  26. ^ Feyerick, Deborah (16 October 2013). "Alleged al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al Libi pleads not guilty". CNN. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  27. ^ http://www.justice.gov/nsd/pr/international-terrorism-defendant-pleads-guilty-manhattan-federal-court

External links[edit]

  • Andrew Lynch (2013-10-07). "After interrogation on warship, al Libi’s next stop could be U.S. court". Fox4KC. Archived from the original on 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2014-02-09. But Forest questioned how much valuable intelligence al Libi would be able to provide his captors. A former jihadist associate told CNN it was unlikely al Libi was still playing an active role with the terrorist network, and his wife said he had been living a normal life and was seeking a job with the Libyan oil ministry.