US commando raid in Somalia kills top al Qaeda terrorist wanted for US embassy bombing
Saleh Ali Nabhan, 28, was sought for 11 years on suspicion of taking part in al Qaeda’s 1998 attack on the US embassy in Kenya, in which 300 people were killed including 13 Americans, four years later, orchestrating the 2002 bombings of a Mombasa hotel, which left 12 Kenyans and three Israelis dead, and firing a missile at an Israeli airliner carrying tourists to and from Kenya – and missing.
Accounts of the US raid are still confused. Some Somali sources described six helicopters as Monday, Sept. 14 attacking two vehicles in the southern Somali Barawe district, which is controlled by Islamist al-Shabab rebels fighting Mogadishu. Somalia has had no effective central administration since 1991.
A US official confirmed that special forces were flown in by helicopter from a US Navy ship offshore in the Indian Ocean and fired on a vehicle reported to be carrying Nabhan. The body believed to be his was removed.
debkafile‘s counter-terror sources confirm that the raid was carried out by special forces of the new US African Command – AFRICOM, commanded by Gen. William Ward. Its main mission now was and remains to capture or kill al Qaeda’s senior commander in East Africa and the Horn, Muhammad Fazul, who has come very near to being caught more than once in recent years.
Some witnesses of the raid said the helicopters and commandos were French, although the French military denied any involvement in the helicopter raid. The al-Shaba, which is closely linked with al Qaeda, are holding one of two French agents kidnapped in July. The second managed to escape. The US and France both have troops stationed in neighboring Djibouti.