The US Special Forces seized Abu Anas al-Libi in a commando raid in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Saturday.
“As the result of a US counterterrorism operation, Abu Anas al-Libi is currently lawfully detained by the US military in a secure location outside of Libya,” Pentagon spokesman, George Little, said in a statement.
The Libyan government has demanded explanation from Washington over the military operation on its soil.
“The Libyan government has been following the reports of the kidnap of one of the Libyan citizens wanted by the authorities in the United States,” a government statement said, adding, “As soon as it heard the reports, the Libyan government contacted the US authorities to demand an explanation.”
Washington claims the abductee is linked to al-Qaeda and also to the 1998 US Embassy bombings in East Africa. Libi is believed to have been one of the masterminds behind the embassy attacks, which killed more than 200 people in Kenya and Tanzania.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has defended the secret military operation in Libya, saying Washington will never stop hunting down extremists.
“We hope that this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror,” Kerry told reporters in the Indonesian island of Bali.
Libya has grappled with insecurity since ouster of the long-time dictator, Muammar al-Gaddafi, led to the dissolution of state institutions and armed forces.
Libyans rose up against Gaddafi’s four-decade-long rule in February 2011 and deposed him in August 2011. The ruler was killed on October 20 of the same year.