Tag Archives: al-shabaab

Leader of al Shabab targeted by US forces overnight in Somalia

http://twitter.com/#!/nprnews/status/506758871763787776

So, did we hit the target? Maybe:

http://twitter.com/#!/RichardEngel/status/506761881865158657

Although there is talk that reports of Godane’s death are premature:

http://twitter.com/#!/StefanASmith/status/506762381272559616

More on Ahmed Abdi Godane:

http://twitter.com/#!/CBSNews/status/506739675349123072

CBS News correspondent David Martin reported that the operation was an airstrike and involved no “boots on the ground.”

A senior Somali intelligence official told the AP that a U.S. drone targeted al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane as he left a meeting of the group’s top leaders. Godane, also known as Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr, is the group’s spiritual leader under whose direction the Somali militants forged an alliance with al Qaeda.

The Somali official, speaking on condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to speak to the media, said intelligence indicated Godane “might have been killed along with other militants.” The official said the attack took place in a forest near Sablale district, 105 miles south of Mogadishu, where al-Shabaab trains its fighters.

And we were assured repeatedly that there were no “boots on the ground”:

http://twitter.com/#!/danielhalevy/status/506688946965721088

No “boots on the ground”? But what about the the 120 soldiers already on the ground, revealed back in July. From the archives:

http://twitter.com/#!/Draz_DJ/status/484564963919286272
http://twitter.com/#!/DRUDGE_REPORT/status/484494344246665217

Exit question: Why parrot the line there are no “boots on the ground” when we know there are?

 

Former Virginia Cab Driver Turned FBI Most-Wanted Terrorist Reportedly Detained In Somalia

The FBI placed Liban Haji Mohamed on its list of most-wanted terrorists in January for allegedly providing support to al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda.

A former Virginia cab driver who was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for allegedly supporting terrorists has been detained in Somalia, according to multiple reports.

Somalia’s National Security Services said on its Facebook page Tuesday that its agents captured Liban Haji Mohamed in Mogadishu.

Facebook: NabadsugiddaQaranka

The security services posted the news after U.S. officials told the Washington Post late Tuesday that the 29-year-old had been captured.

The FBI declined comment on the reported arrest to BuzzFeed News.

The FBI placed Mohamed on its list of most-wanted terrorists in January and offered a reward of $50,000 for information leading to his arrest.

Mohamed is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia, and used to work as a cab driver in the suburbs of Washington D.C.

According to the FBI, while in Virginia he began to work as a “recruiter and radicalizer” for al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda linked terror group in Somalia.

In July 2012, Mohamed allegedly left the U.S. for East Africa to join the militant group. The FBI said they believed he has since been working there as an operative.

“It is important for us to locate Mohamed because he has knowledge of the Washington, D.C. area’s infrastructure such as shopping areas, Metro, airports, and government buildings,” Carl Ghattas, the special agent in charge of the counterterrorism division at the FBI’s Washington field office, said in a press release. “This makes him an asset to his terrorist associates who might plot attacks on U.S. soil.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia has issued a warrant for Mohamed’s arrest on charges of providing support to al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda.

Officials told the Washington Post that the U.S. is working to bring Mohamed back to the U.S. They said it will be difficult because the U.S. and Somalia don’t have an extradition treaty.

The FBI said Mohamed is a known associate of Zachary Chesser, a man who was convicted in 2011 of providing support to al-Shabaab.

The FBI became familiar with Mohamed during their investigation of Chesser, the Washington Post reported. Officials wanted to arrest Mohamed while he was living in Virginia, but didn’t have the evidence.

According to officials, the FBI planned to intercept Mohamed as he tried to travel to Africa via Mexico. However, Mohamed was able to leave the country undetected, the Washington Post reported.

An attorney for Mohamed’s family told the Washington Post that his relatives don’t buy the charges because they have family members that have been killed by al-Shabaab.

The family has not talked to Mohamed since 2012, the lawyer said.