Pentagon confirms strike on Al-Qaeda leader in Somalia

May 1st, 2008 Print Print Email Email

AFP , Washington / May 1, 2008

The Pentagon confirmed Thursday a US military attack against an Al-Qaeda military leader in Somalia but declined to identify him.”The US Central Command has conducted an attack against a known Al-Qaeda target and militia leader in Somalia,” spokesman for the Defense Department’s Central Command, Lieutenant Joe Holstead, told AFP.

“Until we have an opportunity to analyze the strike, we don’t want to reveal any information,” said Holstead, who would not even disclse wheher an airstrike had been launched.
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AFP , Washington / May 1, 2008

The Pentagon confirmed Thursday a US military attack against an Al-Qaeda military leader in Somalia but declined to identify him.”The US Central Command has conducted an attack against a known Al-Qaeda target and militia leader in Somalia,” spokesman for the Defense Department’s Central Command, Lieutenant Joe Holstead, told AFP.

“Until we have an opportunity to analyze the strike, we don’t want to reveal any information,” said Holstead, who would not even disclse wheher an airstrike had been launched.

Reports from Mogadishu said the US strike Thursday killed at least 10 people, including Al-Qaeda’s military leader Moalim Aden Hashi Ayro.Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the attack should serve as warning to Islamist extremists everywhere.

“We will pursue terrorists worldwide,” Whitman said.”The US is committed to identifying, locating, capturing and if necessary killing terrorists wherever they operate, train, plan their operations or seek safe harbor,” he said.

Witnesses told AFP that a war plane dropped three large bombs on the house at about 2:00 am (2300 GMT Wednesday), according to resident Jamal Mohamoud.He also was military leader of Shabab, a group on the US government’s terrorist list.

Shabab spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Robow said Ayro and another senior Islamist, Sheikh Muhyadin Omar, were among the dead from the air strike.

The US government added Shabab to its list of terrorist organisations in March, saying its senior leaders were believed to have trained and fought with Osama bin Laden’s network in Afghanistan.Whitman suggested that there might have been earlier US military strikes in Somalia, or could be new ones in the future, and said the Pentagon didn’t communicate every time they were conducting a strike in Somalia.

“I’ve spoken about a variety of operations that have taken place in that country over time. I am not trying to indicate to you that I’ve spoken to you about every operation that have taken place,” he said.Ayro trained with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and had been linked to the deaths of foreign aid workers in Somalia. He had been a target of a US air strike in 2007.

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