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Weekend raids eschewed drones, possibly signaling a change in tactics

Two raids against Al Qaeda-linked targets in Africa Saturday raise questions about the drone-strike campaign that has, until now, largely defined President Obama's response to terrorist threats against America and its interests abroad.

In Libya, American commandos seized Anu Abas al-Liby, who has been linked to the bombing of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. In Somalia, Navy SEALs attacked the house of an Al Shabab militant thought to be connected to the shopping mall massacre in Kenya last month.

Mr. Liby was surrounded outside his house and taken captive in a daring operation in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, according to the Associated Press. It remains unclear exactly who the SEALs were targeting in Somalia, but media reports suggest the raid failed.

The operations highlight evolving trends in global terrorism. The threat is becoming more diffuse, marked by a broader footprint but less ability to project force far beyond terrorists' local strongholds, according to some experts. In this more-decentralized landscape, Africa is a focal point along with Yemen and Pakistan.

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