New Details Emerge in Dual U.S. Raids Against Al-Qaeda

Nearly simultaneous raids in Northern Africa strike a critical blow against terror group.
8:33 | 10/07/13

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Transcript for New Details Emerge in Dual U.S. Raids Against Al-Qaeda
This is a special room. Hello I'm -- -- New York where this ABC news digital special report a dual rate in Africa US special forces are ready to. Top level terrorists -- in Libya one in Somalia. The mission in Libya leading to the capture of the al-Qaeda leader behind the 1998 embassy bombings. He -- -- -- has more -- from South Africa. They were too daring almost simultaneous boots on the ground raids by the most -- American forces against to a the most wanted al-Qaeda leaders the first in Somalia. Home the al-Qaeda linked group all shabbat which carried out last month's massacre. Westgate mall. Navy SEALs from the legendary teams six storm -- -- Bob compound itself the capital -- the issue looking for commander named it from a but -- -- militants engaged the seals in a firefight. There were forced to retreat not knowing whether they -- their target one of the reasons why use -- east team in a situation like. On the ground commander who can exercise their judgment about the best course of action. Just a few hours later this time in Libya commandos from delta force -- this man off the street one house of the -- the US government. Five billion dollar bounty on its head for his role in the 1998. Bombings of American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. As well as for other plans to attack American targets -- Libby was around Osama bin Laden in the early days of al-Qaeda. And could potentially be a treasure trove of information. I think that's a lot you can you can say and I think there's another gutsy come through the looking -- -- is being hailed as a success. One in Somalia is less clear but the US government believes its message -- strong. The perception is in the world that people who commit acts of terror will -- It states Americans do everything in his power that is legal. Protect our security and. Alex Marquardt ABC news Johannesburg. Want to bring in ABC's there might diocese at the Pentagon now is at the State Department. -- let me ask you about this because we're hearing two names regarding that target and -- the Somalia raid. In two -- but the same person is that correct. Same name one is in on the air fuel and the -- -- is his -- given name. Either -- Haiti again it's not a household name. That we're gonna know about what's important here is the fact of who he was within -- about structure. And that is someone who was tasked with planning coordinating attacks outside Somalia. -- -- bodies the terror group within Somalia it's been affiliated for years with al-Qaeda. They'd. And but over in recent years in China export to terrorism so this is an individual that was of concern because he was involved in planning outside attacks outside -- -- Louis I know we're talking about those two rates that -- almost simultaneously one of Somalia when in Libya. Regarding the one in Somalia why -- special forces able to confirm a direct killed there. Well actually lower. Hearing is that that incident the reason it couldn't complete the mission was because they -- -- from the ocean there from off the coast of -- And they went in knowing where it of the house was that they were targeting when they got there they encountered heavy fire. And so at that point they concluded that it was just too much for them they concluded that. They were facing too much opposition that they might not get to their target and that it was unclear -- that they would complete their mission so at that point they decided to pull back. Now how long -- firefight lasted for. It's it's unclear to us. We also know that. It's unclear -- officials here depending on whether the target that they are going after. Who we mentioned before in -- -- whether he. -- struck by an maybe some of the fire that was being exchanged when he was injured killed or even. Most importantly whether he was even -- to begin -- it. So it's very unclear what happened that night Saturday night. I'm going -- to -- -- Somalia BK is the Navy SEALs had a target. Encountered any fire and he decided to pull back money. Encountered such heavy resistance and though you had mentioned is the same seem to seal team six that took out Osama bin Laden. It seal team six which has gotten a lot of -- notoriety. What's really not so famous is that their name is changed over the last couple of years -- actually called DeVon group. Seal team six was the original name for this organization way back when he started. But this is the most elite group of Navy SEALs. The seals had a tiered system they're -- special operators very high quality in the week. But these -- the best within this Navy SEALs. They are based in -- -- Virginia Beach. And more than likely this team flew all the way from the United States at some point. And how they actually got off -- The some coast of Somalia remains to be seen. But they. Given -- bin Laden raid and the fact of the also conducted a successful rescue mission in Somalia. I just last year as well of a woman who have been kidnapped. By Sam. -- Somalia and its. The timing of this talk to me a little bit about that because this -- -- my it would seem almost -- that it was a retaliation. To that attack in the Westgate mall in Kenya but that this in fact had been in the works for some time. In talking to defense officials over the weekend he said that this has been long planned -- -- getting a little more clarity on that we're finding out that secretary -- Signed off on this about two weeks ago. Now if you look at the calendar try to determine when the Kenya. Incident at Westgate occurred it was around that same timeframe. They were looking for this kind they wanted to get him this this should Bob planner for outside attacks outside Somalia they wanted to get him. And though officials are telling us that the group incident during the attack in Kenya was not the trigger it obviously helps for things along -- and we look at a time frame machines to be a convergence -- It also this this -- coming on the twentieth anniversary. Of black hawk down. Total coincidence. The black cut gallons he has -- back in 1983. Where -- a Blackhawk helicopter -- -- issue after -- delta force straighter trying to target. Some. Some insurgents back and and that and that time frame some warlords. And turning to a very. Deadly situation for the American troops -- -- both. That crash landed as well as those that went in to rescue them and eventually to afford pull out of the US mission from Somalia which had been intended all along as a humanitarian mission. For in the tail and of the bush administration and I want to switch up from Somalia to that rate in Libya. School is Abu announce a Levy as the target. Well again and then name is not going to be familiar to anyone at home however. He has been wanted by the US for years for his role in planning the 1998 embassy attacks in -- Tanzania. He actually had a five million dollar reward on his head that was issued by the US State Department. He as his -- says Ali B is of Libyan descent he was nabbed in a convoy in Tripoli which is the capital of Libya. And the thinking here is that. He was involved with bin Laden in planning attacks. Back in the late nineties early two thousands. And the concern is that he was remaining operational. And that he could be planning further events so seeing that -- there's kind of a very vibrant situation a dynamic in Libya. With in the post Gaddafi era. Others being concerned that. -- Islamic extremists might use Libya as a as a base and in fact here you have this individual who is pretty much living in -- open. In Tripoli and again concern that he might be planning something so the US decides that now has a good time to go get -- we understand that he is currently. Being detained on -- US navy ship the USS San Antonio which is located somewhere right now in the central Mediterranean. And then after US navy. Actually -- after federal invest interrogators. Finish with him they're going to transfer him over to Justice Department control.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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