A very interesting and public use of US military assets for a direct action mission. It’s totally a guess, but I would say 160th SOAR and Delta. This is exactly the kind of stuff I would run in a Covert Forces campaign. Maybe the CSRS were involved? In my game, they would be!
But let’s extrapolate a bit from this, make it juicier. If I were running this in Mundus Novit, I could add in a few details, make it something out of the ordinary. Now, honestly, buzzing an enemy convoy, disabling the vehicles, and performing a snatch and grab in hostile territory doesn’t need anything more to make it exciting, but if you are running a reality plus game (based in the real world but with some SFX elements), how would Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan fit into this?
First off, if I were writing this, Nabhan would be captured rather than killed. A Voice of America article indicates the US took “his body into U.S. Custody.” What is special about Nabhan?
If you want to go with minimal SFX, Nabhan is a human incubator of a new super-virus. He’s been somehow immunized against its effects, but the virus is breeding in his body. The clock was ticking because the virus doesn’t go live and virulent for a set period of time. Let’s say the team has intel from a defector (or a previous target of another raid), that the new virus will be viable in 48 hours. The clock is ticking and the team has to find and capture Nabhan within that timeframe. A kill is acceptable, but the virus might still be growing. Further, they need samples of the virus to synthesize an vaccine, given that the terrorists could just make more.
Bigger SFX with a horror element could have Nabhan as the nexus of a lycanthropy infection in Somalia. That’s kind of a riff on the virus problem, because when he’s loose, Nabhan could start infecting others. I choose lycanthropy rather than vampirism because werewolves need a full moon, which gives us a countdown as well. Nab Nabhan before the next full moon or things are going to get messy.
Nabhan might also be an agent of the alien infiltrators that run the shadow government. They’ve now begun to replace terrorist leaders in order to get a grip on that—at this time—unregulated danger. For the group opposing the aliens, Nabhan will have important information on the alien project to replace people. He might know who has been replaced, which till give the PCs an idea as to whom they can trust.
Ah, the news—the sum of it and my imagination is so much greater than those parts.