Libyan terror suspect Anas al-Libi being interrogated at sea

A team of elite U.S. investigators is aboard a Navy warship in the Mediterranean, interrogating one of the most-wanted terror suspects in the world.

Abu Anas al-Libi -- a 49-year-old Libyan -- is charged in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.

U.S. commandos captured him over the weekend in Libya. The government wants al-Libi to face justice, but the hope is he will also provide invaluable information about al Qaeda.

Al-Libi is being held aboard the USS San Antonio. Sources say al-Libi, who was part of Osama bin Laden's inner circle in the 1990s, is being questioned by a group of specially-trained investigators. The "High Value Detainee Interrogation Group" is pressing al-Libi for intelligence about the al Qaeda network and potential attack plans.

Al-Libi, who spent years as a foreign operative for al Qaeda, was captured just after dawn Saturday on a street in his homeland of Libya.

U.S. commandos suddenly converged in three or four vehicles near al-Libi's home in Tripoli. His family told reporters the commandos -- wearing masks -- surrounded al-Libi's car, smashed the windows and whisked him away.

Al-Libi is under indictment in New York, accused of helping to plan the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Africa. Federal prosecutors say al-Libi did surveillance for al Qaeda prior to the attacks, taking pictures of potential targets.

Sources say he is also a computer expert and the likely author of the al Qaeda "Terror Manual," which lays out step-by-step instructions for launching any major terror attack.

The guide was discovered in al-Libi's computer files in 2000, when Scotland Yard raided a British safe house where he'd stayed.

Sources say eventually al-Libi will be brought to New York, read his rights, and face charges in federal court, but investigators are in no hurry to make that transfer. If al-Libi proves to be a cooperative prisoner at sea, he could be there for a while.

  • Bob Orr

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