Intelligence indicating the possible presence of terrorists linked to the Berlin truck attack contributed to the decision to strike Libyan camps 28 miles southwest of Sirte last week, a US official and a source close to Libyan intelligence told CNN.
On December 19, 2016, the Tunisian extremist Anis Amri drove a truck into a Christmas market in the German capital, killing 12. Police shot him dead four days later near Milan, Italy. Soon after, ISIS released a selfie-video he prerecorded from a Berlin bridge claiming he was acting on its behalf. Investigative files obtained by CNN showed he was part of an ISIS recruitment network inside Germany.
Overnight on January 18-19, two B-2 bombers making a 30-hour round trip from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, dropped 100 precision munitions on the camps, killing more than 80 ISIS fighters, according to initial Pentagon estimates.
In a news conference on January 19, outgoing Defense Secretary Ash Carter said, “Importantly, these strikes were directed against some of ISIL’s external plotters, who were actively planning operations against our allies in Europe … and may also have been connected with some attacks that have already occurred in Europe.”