Somalia Watch: Al Qaeda Fazul Abdullah Mohammed Killed in Somalia

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Al Qaeda, Somalia

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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.

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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 “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Anti–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.

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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.

Stay tuned…….

Others Blogging:

Captain Ed

Hot Air

Jihad Watch

7.62mm Justice

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Map Courtesy of Bill Roggio

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Somalia Watch: United States Helicopter Gunships Attack Al-Qaeda Fighters in South Somalia

Somalia Watch: United States Launching New Attacks Against Al Qaeda in Somalia

Somalia Watch: United States Attacking Al Qaeda Positions in Somalia

Somalia Watch: Diplomats Call for Urgent Deployment of Peacekeeping Troops in Somalia

Cox & Forkum: Somalian Front

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Somalia Watch: United States Helicopter Gunships Attack Al-Qaeda Fighters in South Somalia

Posted Posted in Al Qaeda, Global War on Terror, Somalia

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A US Marine Corps attack helicopter is seen in a 2004 handout photo from the US Marine Corps (USMC). US attack helicopters launched fresh air strikes in southern Somalia, targeting the suspected command center of Al-Qaeda militants, a Somali defense ministry official said.

AP: Copters attack Somalia militant suspects

Helicopter gunships attacked suspected al-Qaida fighters in the south Tuesday after U.S. forces staged airstrikes in the first offensive in the African country since 18 American soldiers were killed there in 1993, witnesses said.

Witnesses said 31 civilians, including two newlyweds, died in the assault by two helicopters near Afmadow, a town in an area of forested hills close to the Kenyan border 220 miles southwest of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. The report could not be independently verified.

A Somali Defense Ministry official described the helicopters as American, but the local witnesses told The Associated Press they could not make out identification markings on the craft. Washington officials had no comment.

On Monday, at least one U.S. AC-130 gunship attacked Islamic extremists in Hayi, 30 miles from Afmadow, and on a remote island 155 miles away believed to be an al-Qaida training camp at the southern tip of Somalia next to Kenya. Somali officials said they had reports of many deaths. The Pentagon confirmed the strike, but declined to comment on any details.

The Pentagon is now acknowledging the special operation:

The Somalia assault, however, was conducted by U.S. Special Operations Command and has been shrouded in secrecy. The military typically declines to reveal much about such missions by special operations forces, including the AC-130 gunships used in the Somalia attack, and Delta Force counterterrorism ground troops.

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In this photo released by the U.S. Navy on Tuesday Jan. 9, 2007, An F/A-18C Hornet from the Wildcats of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 lands aboard the flight deck of the the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower on Monday Jan. 8, 2007. The U.S. military said Tuesday it had sent the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to join three other U.S. warships conducting anti-terror operations off the Somali coast. The aircraft carrier is part of the Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet.

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USS Dwight David Eisenhower

Stay tuned as operations continue……..

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AC-130

Previous:

Somalia Watch: United States Launching New Attacks Against Al Qaeda in Somalia

Somalia Watch: United States Attacking Al Qaeda Positions in Somalia

Somalia Watch: Diplomats Call for Urgent Deployment of Peacekeeping Troops in Somalia

Cox & Forkum: Somalian Front

Somalia Watch: Somalia Offers Islamists Amnesty

Somalia Watch: Mogadishu Retaken by Somali Government Troops

Somalia Watch: A Guide to the Latest Front of the War on Terror

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Somalia Watch: United States Launching New Attacks Against Al Qaeda in Somalia

Posted Posted in Al Qaeda, Somalia

***SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES***

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AP: U.S. launches new attacks in Somalia

A Somali official says U.S. helicopter gunships have launched new attacks against suspected al-Qaida terrorists. An earlier U.S. airstrike hit targets in southern Somalia where Islamic militants were believed to be sheltering suspects in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies, Somali officials and witnesses said Tuesday. Many people were reported killed.

Monday’s attack was the first overt military action by the U.S. in Somalia since it led a U.N. force in the 1990s that intervened in Somalia in an effort to fight famine. The mission led to clashes between U.N. forces and Somali warlords, including the “Black Hawk Down” battle that left 18 U.S. servicemen dead.

Helicopter gunships launched new attacks Tuesday near the scene of a U.S. airstrike in the village of Hayi, although it was not clear if they were American or Ethiopian aircraft, and it was not known if there were any casualties.

Two helicopters “fired several rockets toward the road that leads to the Kenyan border,” said Ali Seed Yusuf, a resident of the town of Afmadow in southern Somalia.

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived off Somalia’s coast and launched intelligence-gathering missions over Somalia, the military said. Three other U.S. warships are conducting anti-terror operations off the Somali coast.

And why are these attacks being launched?

AL QAEDA

Washington Post: U.S. Strike in Somalia Targets Al-Qaeda Figure

One target of the strike, sources said, was Abu Talha al-Sudani, a Sudanese who is married to a Somali woman and has lived in Somalia since 1993 — the year of the attack against U.S. troops that was chronicled in the book and movie “Black Hawk Down.” In a 2001 U.S. court case against Osama bin Laden, Sudani was described by a leading witness as an explosives expert who was close to the al-Qaeda leader.

More recently, Sudani was identified by U.S. intelligence as a close associate of Gouled Hassan Dourad, head of a Mogadishu-based network that operated in support of al-Qaeda in Somalia. Dourad is one of 14 “high-value” prisoners transferred last September from CIA “black sites” to the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence then disclosed that Dourad “worked for the East African al-Qaeda cell led by . . . al-Sudani” and carried out at least one mission for him, related to a plan to bomb the U.S. military base in Djibouti.

Others have identified Sudani as the financier for Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, believed responsible for the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. All are among the senior al-Qaeda operatives the Bush administration has charged were sheltered by Somalian Islamic fundamentalists controlling Mogadishu, the country’s capital. They are believed to have fled late last month when Ethiopian troops drove the fundamentalists out of the capital and toward the Kenyan border.

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A FBI most wanted poster of Fazul Abdullah Mohammed who has been indicted by a U.S. Federal court for his involvement in the 1998 U.S. embassy attacks in Kenya and neighboring Tanzania, displayed on the FBI’s website Friday, March 21, 2003. The target of U.S. air strikes in Somalia is one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists and the suspected mastermind of two major terrorist attacks in East Africa.Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, a slight, youthful man born in Comoros, has a US$5 million price on his head for allegedly planning the 1998 attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

Fox News is reporting continuing military strikes against targets in Somalia.

BREAKING: Fox News is reporting United States officials are reporting that Abu Talha al-Sudani has been killed. Identification of bodies is pending.

Update: 8:00 AM PST

Fox News is reporting that “several” Al Qaeda members may have been killed.  There are on-going military operations with Somali, Ethiopian and Americans working jointly to flush out hiding Al Qaeda members.

In the meantime, the reader should be directed to Bill Roggio’s excellent treatise: The Rise & Fall of Somalia’s Islamic Courts: An Online History

Stay tuned……..

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AC-130

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USS Dwight David Eisenhower

Previous:

Somalia Watch: United States Attacking Al Qaeda Positions in Somalia

Somalia Watch: Diplomats Call for Urgent Deployment of Peacekeeping Troops in Somalia

Cox & Forkum: Somalian Front

Somalia Watch: Somalia Offers Islamists Amnesty

Somalia Watch: Mogadishu Retaken by Somali Government Troops

Somalia Watch: A Guide to the Latest Front of the War on Terror

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Somalia Watch: United States Attacking Al Qaeda Positions in Somalia

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Al Qaeda, Somalia

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MSNBC: Report: U.S. airstrike targets al-Qaida in Africa

Action reported by helicopter gunship in southern tip of country

A U.S. helicopter gunship conducted a strike against two suspected al-Qaida operatives in southern Somalia, but it was not known whether the mission was successful, CBS News reported on Monday.

The U.S. Air Force helicopter, operated by the Special Operations Command, flew from its base in Djibouti to the southern tip of Somalia, where the al-Qaida suspects were believed to have fled from the capital, Mogadishu, the network reported.

Fox News is reporting 4:25 PM PST the air strikes in Somalia and confirming the air strikes by an AC-130 Gunship.

There are casualties on the ground.

No report of whether the mission was successful.

CBS News: U.S. Strikes Al Qaeda In Somalia

CBS News Learns Strike Was Aimed At Alleged Al Qaeda Members Linked to 1998 Embassy Bombings

A U.S. Air Force gunship has conducted a strike against suspected members of al Qaeda in Somalia, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports exclusively.

The targets included the senior al Qaeda leader in East Africa and an al Qaeda operative wanted for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa, Martin reports. Those terror attacks killed more than 200 people.

The AC-130 gunship is capable of firing thousands of rounds per second, and sources say a lot of bodies were seen on the ground after the strike, but there is as yet, no confirmation of the identities.

The gunship flew from its base in Dijibouti down to the southern tip of Somalia, Martin reports, where the al Qaeda operatives had fled after being chased out of the capital of Mogadishu by Ethiopian troops backed by the United States.

Once they started moving, the al Qaeda operatives became easier to track, and the U.S. military started preparing for an air strike, using unmanned aerial drones to keep them under surveillance and moving the aircraft carrier Eisenhower out of the Persian Gulf toward Somalia. But when the order was given, the mission was assigned to the AC-130 gunship operated by the U.S. Special Operations command.

If the attack got the operatives it was aimed at, reports Martin, it would deal a major blow to al Qaeda in East Africa.

CNN: U.S. targets al Qaeda suspects in Somalia, Pentagon official says

A U.S. gunship has attacked suspected al Qaeda targets in southern Somalia, a senior Pentagon official said Monday.

The AC-130 flew its mission within the last 24 hours, the official told CNN. The operation was launched based on intelligence that al Qaeda operatives were in the location, but there was no immediate indication of how successful the strike had been.

Additionally, the official said, the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has moved within striking distance of Somalia, but its jets have not been put to use.

Three al Qaeda operatives accused in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania have been hiding in Somalia for years. The US believes they were closely tied to the Somali Islamic group – the ICU.

“We had seen intelligence evidence these three Al Qaeda operative were very much influencing the leadership of the council of the ICU — for example providing logistics, fuel and arms to the militias,” said Jendayi Frazer, assistant secretary of state for African affairs

U.S. officials in East Africa said earlier this week that al Qaeda operatives were developing the ability to attack U.S. targets just as they did when the embassy bombings killed hundreds.

Intelligence shows Al Qaeda stepped up its operations in Somalia in June after an Islamic militia took power.

Mudville Gazette has Nowhere to Run?:

Read it all…….

Stay tuned…….

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AC-130

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USS Dwight David Eisenhower

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Stop The ACLU » Blog Archive » U.S. Strikes Al Qaeda In Somalia

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Ed Driscoll

Previous:

Somalia Watch: Diplomats Call for Urgent Deployment of Peacekeeping Troops in Somalia

Cox & Forkum: Somalian Front

Somalia Watch: Somalia Offers Islamists Amnesty

Somalia Watch: Mogadishu Retaken by Somali Government Troops

Somalia Watch: A Guide to the Latest Front of the War on Terror

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