Fazul Abdullah Mohammed
Mohammed, 32, was killed, a Somali official said on January 10. The native of the Comoros Islands is suspected of orchestrating the 1998 attacks. He spoke five languages and was “very good” with computers, according to the FBI. The U.S. had offered $5 million for information leading to his arrest.
CNN: Somalia: Al Qaeda militant killed
A senior al Qaeda suspect wanted for bombing U.S. embassies in East Africa has been killed, a Somali official said Wednesday as witnesses said U.S forces launched a third day of airstrikes.
Also Wednesday, Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister said American troops were needed on the ground to root extremists from his troubled country, and he expected the troops soon.
The death of al Qaeda suspect Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was detailed in an American intelligence report passed on to the Somali authorities. Mohammed, one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists who has evaded capture for eight years, was allegedly harbored by a Somali Islamic movement that had challenged this country’s Ethiopian-backed government for power.
“I have received a report from the American side chronicling the targets and list of damage,” Abdirizak Hassan, the Somali president’s chief of staff, said. “One of the items they were claiming was that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed is dead.”
Good and the United States should pursue the rest of the Islamic Courts thugs who are harboring Al Qaeda. Whoever in Somalia who are supporting Al Qaeda must be convinced that it is not in their interest to continue hiding these terrorists – that is if they wish to remain alive.
The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68) steams behind the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as an SH-60F Seahawk from the â€œNightdippersâ€ of Helicopter Antiâ€“submarine Squadron Five (HS-5) prepares to land on Eisenhower’s flight deck. Anzio, Eisenhower and embarked Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW-7) are on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of Maritime Security Operations (MSO). MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Miguel Angel Contreras U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Area of Responsibility (Jan. 8, 2007)
In Washington, a U.S. intelligence official said Tuesday the U.S. killed five to 10 people believed to be associated with al Qaeda. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the operation’s sensitivity, said a small number of others present, perhaps four or five, were wounded.
Mohammed, 32, joined al Qaeda in Afghanistan and trained there with Osama bin Laden, the terror network’s leader, according to the transcript of an FBI interrogation of a known associate. He has a $5 million price on his head for allegedly planning the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 225 people.
He is also suspected of planning the car bombing of a beach resort in Kenya and the near simultaneous attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner in 2002. Ten Kenyans and three Israelis were killed in the blast at the hotel. The missiles missed the airliner.
Police at the Kenyan coastal border town of Kiunga on Monday arrested a wife of Mohammed, with her three children, according to an internal police report seen by the AP on Wednesday.
Also Wednesday, at least four AC-130 gunship strikes took place around Ras Kamboni, the rugged area on the Somali coast a few miles from the Kenyan border that the U.S. also attacked Monday, a local resident who declined to give his name told two-way radio operator Doorane Adan Harere in Nairobi, Kenya.
In the meantime – just off the wire (6:30 AM PST):
Reuters: New U.S. strikes hit sites in Somalia: govt source
U.S. forces hunting al Qaeda suspects hit four locations in new air strikes in Somalia on Wednesday, a Somali government source said, as criticism mounted over Washington’s military intervention.
“As we speak now, the area is being bombarded by the American air force,” the source told Reuters.
He said the attacks hit an area close to Ras Kamboni, a coastal village near the Kenyan border where many fugitive Islamists are believed holed-up after being defeated by Ethiopian troops defending Somalia’s interim government.
Four places were hit — Hayo, Garer, Bankajirow and Badmadowe, the source said. “Bankajirow was the last Islamist holdout. Bankajirow and Badmadowe were hit hardest,” he added.
Lawmaker Abdirashid Mohamed Hidig said at least 50 people were killed in strikes he said were carried out by U.S. and Ethiopian planes.
It was unclear how either Hidig or the government source were able to distinguish between Ethiopian and U.S. aircraft.
“Yesterday I personally saw the planes striking. The air strikes resumed this morning,” Hidig told reporters in the port of Kismayu after returning from a tour of the attacked areas.
“The worst loss has befallen civilians since the fleeing Islamists are hiding among the people there,” he said, adding he was airlifted to the sites in an Ethiopian helicopter.
The coward Islamists are in hiding among the Somali civilians. Time to route them out and bring them to justice.
Somalian transitional president Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed (L) and former president Abdul Qaasim Salad Hassan chat after a meeting in Mogadishu. Residents have reported a new US air strike on suspected Al-Qaeda targets in southern Somalia.
Map Courtesy of Bill Roggio
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