The U.S. has placed a beefed-up Marine quick-strike force on high alert to respond to any security threats after U.S. commandos captured a senior al-Qaeda leader during a weekend raid in Libya, a U.S. military official told NBC News on Monday.
Two hundred Marines will be moved from a post in Spain to Naval Air Station Sigonella on the Italian island of Sicily, bolstering 100 who are already there as part of Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response.
The task force — which was created after the September 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans — is designed to deploy rapidly to respond to a threat throughout the region, including attacks on U.S. embassies.
Terror suspect interrogated by US on warshipOct. 7, 201304:08
The redeployment is "in direct relation to the raid" Saturday in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, in which U.S. forces captured Abu Anas al-Libi, who had been wanted in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the official said.
U.S. interrogators specializing in high-value targets will question al-Libi aboard the USS San Antonio, an amphibious helicopter carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, U.S. officials told NBC News, hoping for a better picture of al-Qaeda activities in or outside Libya.