It took just 60 seconds of frantic action for the U.S. Army's most elite force to snatch a wanted terrorist off the streets of Libya's capital, new surveillance video reportedly shows.
According to The Washington Post, which obtained the footage, surveillance video shows the early morning of Oct. 5 when the Army's Delta Force grabbed Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, better known as Anas al-Libi, from his car near his home in Tripoli.
The nighttime video appears to show al-Libi's dark car coming around a corner before a white van pulls up alongside. Another white car traps al-Libi's car in the front and men pour out of the white vehicles with weapons drawn. There's a brief scuffle and eventually al-Libi is pulled from his vehicle and into the van. Doors close all around and the two white vehicles quickly drive away, leaving the dark car to slowly roll forward. Another white vehicle, which had been waiting down the street, zooms by.
The whole thing takes almost exactly one minute -- "like brain surgery-level of precision," as one former Army special operations soldier told ABC News. A few seconds later, locals are seen coming out of their homes to see what all the commotion was about.
Al-Libi, who had been wanted by the U.S. for more than a decade for his alleged role in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was spirited from his Delta Force captors eventually to a Navy ship in the Mediterranean where he was believed to be questioned by the U.S. government's High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group.
Al-Libi was then brought to New York to face terrorism-related charges. He has pleaded not guilty. Al-Libi's attorney, Bernard Kleinman, told The Washington Post his client never swore allegiance to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and was not involved in the embassy attacks.
The former special operations soldier who spoke to ABC News, who has been on similar "snatch" missions, said that the October operation was likely carried out by an eight- to ten-man team. Another source with knowledge of the operation said the men were disguised to appear like locals.
The former soldier said the last van seen speeding by was likely part of the American operation and would have been on the lookout for trouble or was in line to chase al-Libi's vehicle in case something went wrong.
But as far as he saw it, it was a textbook operation.
"They definitely had the element of surprise and it went off without a hitch," the former soldier said.
- Military & Defense