, WASHINGTON, Oct 7 – The target of the raid in Somalia by US Navy SEALs was Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, a Kenyan of Somali origin who is a foreign fighter commander for the Islamist Shabaab group, a US official said Monday.
The Kenyan – who goes by the alias Ikrima – is linked with two Al-Qaeda operatives, now deceased, who played roles in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the official said.
The two Al-Qaeda operatives, named by the US official as Harun Fazul and Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, are also believed to have played a role in the 2002 attacks against Israeli targets in Mombasa, Kenya.
Washington had earlier said the assault on a home in the port of Barawe in southern Somalia targeted a “high-value” Shabaab leader, and that no US personnel were killed or injured in the operation.
The New York Times cited a US official as saying the target had likely been killed, but that Navy SEALs were forced to withdraw before confirming the kill.
The operation marked the most significant US assault in Somalia since commandos killed key Al-Qaeda operative Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan in the same area four years ago.
It came after an attack last month by Shabaab gunmen on the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi that left 67 people dead during a four-day siege.
In parallel with the raid in Somalia, US special forces captured alleged Al-Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
Libi, who was indicted in connection with the 1998 embassy bombings in east Africa that left more than 200 people dead, had a $5 million FBI bounty on his head.