Obama: U.S. will continue going after al Qaeda-linked groups in Africa

WASHINGTON Tue Oct 8, 2013 3:33pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to reporters about the continuing government shutdown during a news conference from the White House Briefing Room in Washington, October 8, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to reporters about the continuing government shutdown during a news conference from the White House Briefing Room in Washington, October 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Obama said on Tuesday that the United States will continue to go after al Qaeda-linked groups in Africa, but that is not the same as going to war there.

"There is a difference between us going after terrorists who are plotting directly to do damage to the United States and us getting involved in wars," Obama told a news conference. "Where you've got active plots and active networks, we are going to go after them."

U.S. forces last weekend seized a senior al Qaeda figure in Libya, Nazih al-Ragye, and swooped into Somalia in an operation targeting a senior al Shabaab figure who was not caught. The captured militant in Libya, known by the cover name Abu Anas al-Liby, executed plots that killed Americans, and "he will be brought to justice," Obama said.

(Reporting By Susan Cornwell; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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