October 7th, 2013
11:51 AM ET

Official: Navy SEAL team pulled out when it couldn't capture suspect alive

By Barbara Starr

U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six pulled out during a raid to capture suspected Al-Shabaab leader Ikrima when it became clear that he couldn't be taken alive, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

"Their mission was to capture him. Once it became clear we were not going to able to take him, the Navy commander made the decision to withdraw," said the official, who has direct knowledge of the entire Somalia operation but declined to be identified publicly.

The official said the SEALs came under heavy opposition and an intense firefight broke out, leading to the withdrawal.

The mission's aim - to capture Ikrima - is the reason the team was used rather than a lethal drone attack, the official said.

The raid was one of two U.S. special operations forces missions in Africa over the weekend targeting high-profile terrorism suspects.

In the other raid, members of the elite U.S. Army Delta Force captured Abu Anas al Libi, an al Qaeda operative wanted for his alleged role in the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

soundoff (23 Responses)
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  4. Dannielle Brazler


    March 6, 2021 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  5. Giovanni Robertos


    March 6, 2021 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  6. Brandon Smead


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  8. ShiverMeTimbers

    America's real enemy is Israel.

    October 8, 2013 at 4:16 am | Reply
  9. Bubba

    Please inform our brave Special Forces, that when it comes to this list of bad guys; bringing them in dead is ok.

    October 8, 2013 at 12:34 am | Reply
    • ShiverMeTimbers

      What about the bad guys in Congress? πŸ™‚

      October 8, 2013 at 4:14 am | Reply
  10. Random

    I am still proud as hel of these guys. You guys know priority one. Who cares if this guy got a temporary reprieve I bet he is sleeping with a 45 under his pillow now. He also knows the ONLY reason he is alive right now is because we want him alive. The whole world knows we could have just dropped a bucket of death on him.

    Hattip, and a round of beers for you guys. (hope your commander gets ya a case for us) .

    October 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • RM


      October 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • ShiverMeTimbers

      Yeah, yeah, in the meantime we are broke and Apartheid Israel is still getting its welfare.

      October 8, 2013 at 4:15 am | Reply
  11. George patton

    Exactly what were these clowns planning to do to this Ikrima once they did capture him? It's not hard to guess. They'll probably send him to Gitmo where he'll be tortured as the right-wing thugs in Washington celebrate yet another one of their field days while a bunch of ignoramuses here comment on just how "proud" they are of the clowns who tried to capture him!!!

    October 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • 2020

      Check your brain if you have one.
      Best the job done in private, we don't need to know, just do it.

      October 8, 2013 at 2:42 am | Reply
      • MIB

        He is doing just fine embarrassing himself. Great sideshow.

        October 8, 2013 at 3:35 am |
  12. VonPapen

    Totally agree with DRhoads. The media in the U.S. is too free, and I am not saying that sarcastically. Reporting on our intelligence operations is utterly ridiculous and tantamount to treason.

    October 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Did you say that you're against the freedom of the press, VonPapen? Evidently, you don't believe in either a democracy or a well informed public. Unfortunately, you already have your way as far as the public is concerned since the vast majority still believe in all these useless wars that we're in!!!

      October 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  13. DRhoads

    Cmon guys seriously? Why would you report on any mission that STS/Delta is involved in? You might as well call up the bad guys and say "Hey we're on to you Hadji ...better go get your gun and your guys togethe cuz here we come" Its about time the media gets muzzled on military matters. Freedom of speech only goes so far when you put our men's lives on the line by reporting any movements before or after the fact of our military. Sometimes I wonder which side CNN and the rest are on. To our Special Forces community keep your heads up and come home safe. Much respect for a job well done I am proud of you.

    October 7, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Reply
    • Random

      I think it goes with out saying that for the most part, ANY black op that is made public is one of our key starter teams. We have more than people realize . The seals got way to much press already so it is more secure to just say 'they did it. Don't think we are not appreciative even though we might not know exactly who did what. All of our A teams are the best in the world and we are proud, and thankful for all of them.

      October 7, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
      • ShiverMeTimbers

        Meanwhile we are broke.

        October 8, 2013 at 4:17 am |
    • Gerald O'Hare

      Tell me DRhoades, are you also proud of those U.S. Marines in Afghanistan who urinated on those Taliban corpses? Only a right-wing fool would be. In fact, these guys earned a new acronym, UCFA(Urinating Clowns From America)!

      October 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Reply

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