US raids target terrorists in Libya and Somalia

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 7, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Unresolved Problem Segment" tonight, more military action by U.S. forces against terrorists over the weekend. U.S. Army Delta Force soldiers captured a top ranking terrorist in Libya. And the Navy Seals attacked a leader of a Somali based terrorist group that murdered people in Kenya.

Joining us now from Washington with inside story, Peter Brookes national security specialist at the Heritage Foundation. Let's take the Somali first I understand that raid did not go all that well.

PETER BROOKES, SENIOR FELLOW, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: That's right I mean the Seals went in over the beach. They came upon -- they got into a fire fight. It's not clear why they or what their actual objective was. It probably was a leader of al-Shabaab. Maybe somebody who was involved in the Kenya attacks at the Westgate Mall or maybe the leader of al-Shabaab.

But we're not really sure exactly what happened. They probably came upon something they didn't expect. Maybe civilians, maybe they got involved with -- you know what somebody on the beach that they didn't need to and then tipped off the soldiers and the militants of al-Shabaab. But it just didn't go off the way we wanted it to.

O'REILLY: So unlike Black Hawk Down this wasn't a helicopter raid, it was a beach raid or landing.

BROOKES: That's what we understand.

O'REILLY: You're still under cloak of darkness. And they had a location and they wanted to go in and get the guys. But I mean if I'm the commander and I know where the guys are sleeping and I drop a drone on them and they're all dead, so that tells me that they wanted Intel from these guys?

BROOKES: Absolutely. This is a high-value target. There is probably a lot of things they would like to know. And they probably were going to do a snatch and grab. Take them off to a ship perhaps and then do some interviewing and interrogation and get the information that may, you know, tell us more about al-Shabaab.

What it tells me, Bill is that we actually may be more concerned about al-Shabaab and their reach beyond that part of the world, perhaps even into the United States. And the threat level is coming up.

O'REILLY: All right. And that makes perfect sense. Because Somali is a place very difficult to operate particularly you know because there is no central government. There is nobody in control. You just have to go in and take your chances.

Bus as far as we know there are no SEAL casualties.

BROOKES: That's right.

O'REILLY: They just went in and met resistance. Do we -- but there were reports initially that they got one or two of them. They killed them. Is that true or false? Do you know?

BROOKES: I think they probably mixed it up with some the militants perhaps guarding this high value target. Some of them were killed. I heard as many as four. But obviously maybe because of civilian collateral damage they decided to withdraw and come back again.

O'REILLY: All right but we he don't know, we don't have any confirmation how many terrorists may be dead. We just know some might be.

BROOKES: Right that's exactly right.

O'REILLY: Ok. All right now Libya, a different situation. They go in and they grab this guy. And then the Libyan leader, I don't even know who that is, says that the U.S. forces kidnapped him. And this guy is a bad guy -- responsible for the embassy bombings in '98. He was living --



O'REILLY: -- he was living right out in like, you know, in public, right?

BROOKES: Yes, that's -- that's what we understand. He has a long time association with al Qaeda including Osama bin Laden. He is involved with those embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. He may have been involved with al Qaeda cells in Libya. Obviously of great importance to the United States besides the indictment, Bill, against him in New York city for those -- for those bombings that killed more than -- you know killed more than 200 people, including the dozen or so Americans back in 1998.

So somebody we really wanted to talk to and get some information on what's going on in North Africa.

O'REILLY: And he probably has information about Benghazi. I mean, if he's that high up in the terrorist organization, he had to know what happened there. So he's -- they snatch this guy, the Seals do, and they get out.


O'REILLY: And now he is on a -- he's on a Navy vessel some place and you assume they are having a nice conversation with him, right?

BROOKES: Absolutely. I'm sure we sent one of our interrogation teams to chat with him. Get some information. You know, know if there is any plots out there. Or maybe he knows something about Benghazi. I think people are a little bit disappointed that we didn't get the perpetrators of Benghazi while we were in there but I guess you've got to do it one at a time.

O'REILLY: Well he might be one of them. I mean you don't know that.

BROOKES: Absolutely, absolutely.

O'REILLY: I mean he absolutely could be one of them.

BROOKES: That's right.

O'REILLY: Now I just think this Libyan government has a hell of a nerve you know criticizing the United States when they're letting this guy -- they know who this guy is and then we go in and you know there is a war on terror. Why don't the Libyan government -- why don't they understand that.

BROOKES: No, I'm with you on this. But the fact is that if you look at it from the Libyans' perspective, they are worried about what happens afterwards. Will there be additional attacks on the government? They are worried about their own situation.


O'REILLY: All right so they're playing to their crowd? Just like Karzai does.

BROOKES: Sure, sure.

O'REILLY: You know they have to say bad America so that they don't turn their guns on them?

BROOKES: Right. They may have been working with us on this. There are some of them may have been working with us.


BROOKES: There's rumors that there may have been some Libyans involved in this snatch. We don't know exactly. But yes I understand what they're doing.

O'REILLY: All right, Mr. Brooks, if you get any hard information. Please let us know.

BROOKES: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: And we thank you very much.

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