When the CIA, FBI and Delta Forces combine efforts to capture a suspect that had been on the run for 13 years, the result looks like a scene straight from an action movie.
Surveillance video caught a joint operation between the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Army's Elite Delta Force on a video camera outside a suspect's home in Libya — and the footage shows how a person can disappear within minutes when an operation goes according to plan.
The Washington Post obtained the video captured in the early morning hours last October, when Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai headed home after morning prayers in Tripoli, and was snatched by U.S. forces for his alleged role in the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa.
The video shows the chaotic, yet still choreographed scene, with two white vehicles cornering Ruqai's sedan on a street curb, then "at least three men, with guns drawn, jumped out of the van as another car blocked Ruqai's escape while a third idled down the street."
According to the Post:
Less than two minutes after the Libyan was first cornered, American Special Operations forces sped away with the suspect and his vehicle. Ruqai was taken to a Libyan military base and then to the USS San Antonio, an American warship, waiting off the coast in the Mediterranean Sea.
Ruqai's arrest, carried out in a joint operation by the CIA, the FBI and the U.S. Army's elite Delta Force, ended a 13-year hunt for a man once thought to be close to Osama bin Laden. Ruqai is accused of participating in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa, which resulted in more than 200 deaths.
The operation to capture Ruqai was unusual; military troops rarely work on the ground with CIA officers on these kind of detention missions. Former FBI agent Ali Soufan—who worked on the embassy bombings—told the Post that Ruqai's capture was properly executed, Gawker reported.
See the pre-dawn snatch-and-grab here:
Follow Elizabeth Kreft (@elizabethakreft) on Twitter.