Kerry Insists Libya Raid Was ‘Legal,’ Warns Against Criticism

Insists Critics Would 'Sympathize' With Suspect

Revelations continue to emerge on the weekend US raid of the Libyan capital city of Tripoli and the kidnapping of Abu Anas al-Liby, accused by the administration for a role in 1998 embassy bombings. The story doesn’t sound any better.

Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the US raid was carried out without any prior notice to the Libyan government, which has expressed opposition to having a foreign military march in and haul off one of their citizens at gunpoint.

Kerry sought to defend the raid as “legal,” though the standard by which that would be the case is totally unclear, and Kerry’s defense basically began and ended with the word “legal,” instead warning preemptively against public criticism of the operation, saying “I think it’s important for people in the world not to sympathize with alleged terrorists.

Though officials haven’t specifically said if the Somali operation involved consultation with the self-proclaimed Somali government, a unilateral operation in that case would theoretically be less controversial, since the area of operation is totally outside of that government’s control. The same cannot be said about Tripoli, however, and if the current legal opinions of the administration are that they can use the military to invade foreign countries to carry out arrests at will, it may be a dramatic shift in traditional extradition polities.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of