US Moves Marines to Italy as Situation in Libya Becomes Tense
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Two hundred United States Marines are being mobilized from a base in Spain to an Italian site neighboring Libya where an Army raid over the weekend resulted in the capture of suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist, Abu Anas al-Liby.
CNN reported that a US military official confirmed the repositioning of 200 heavily armed Marines to the naval base at Sigonella, Italy, a Sicilian fort south of Catania that sits on the opposite side of the Mediterranean from Libya.
According to the military source, the US Department of State aided in the troop movement and considers the maneuver “a prudent measure” following Saturday’s raid in Tripoli.
There is now the potential for a security crisis to arise at the US Embassy in Libya, CNN reported, should tensions worsen as a result of the capture.
Al-Liby, 49, was picked up from his Tripoli home on Saturday and is currently being held on the USS San Antonio in international waters. He was charged previously with the 1998 bombings that targeted US embassies in Tanzania in Kenya, which resulted in the deaths of 224 people, including a dozen Americans.
US Secretary of State John Kerry responded this week to the capture, by calling al-Liby a "legal and appropriate target" for the US, and senior officials have linked him with high-ranking members of the al-Qaeda organization formerly led by Osama bin Laden.
But LANA, the official news agency of Libya, reported that government officials are referring to Saturday’s incident as an abduction, and the US ambassador has been summoned to speak with authorities regarding the raid.
Libyan groups are now protesting the raid and the subsequent capture of al-Liby, and are reportedly seeking to avenge the event. According to Reuters, a Facebook page called "Benghazi is Protected by its People" has instructed Libyans to kidnap US citizens if possible and close off the entrances and exits to Tripoli.