The Washington Post

What you see on the video of the U.S. abduction of an accused al-Qaeda terrorist

A video from a closed-circuit camera in Tripoli, Libya, shows the abduction of Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai from in front of his house. The blurry video provides a rare glimpse into a U.S. covert operation. The operation immediately became international news; the full story on who Ruqai is and what this means is here.

Watch the video:

Video obtained by The Washington Post shows the abduction of suspected al-Qaeda operative Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, also known as Anas al-Libi, in Tripoli, Libya, in October 2013. The operation was a joint effort of the CIA, FBI and the U.S. Army's elite Delta Force. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

then keep reading for a description of what you saw:

Ruqai’s black car pulls up, and a white van pulls up next to it. Members of the Delta Force jump out of the white van, and a car pulls up in front of Ruqai’s vehicle to block him in.

People surround Ruqai’s car with guns drawn and pull him out of the driver’s seat. One of the commandos gets into the driver’s seat in Ruqai’s car. We’re not clear on what all of the running around is, but from the time the white car enters the frame until it starts driving off is only about 31 seconds.

The car that follows the three vehicles is also part of the Delta Force squad.

About 20 seconds later, people — presumably family members — start running out of the house and looking around.

A woman, also presumably related, then comes out.

Ruqai, accused of participating in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa that resulted in more than 200 deaths, was brought to a Libyan military base and then to an American warship off the coast. He’s now awaiting trial in New York and has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges. Find out more.

Terri Rupar is The Post's national digital projects editor.
Adam Goldman reports on terrorism and national security for The Washington Post.

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