Somali Official Confirms Death of Wanted Al Qaeda Militant in U.S. Airstrike
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
MOGADISHU, Somalia — The suspected Al Qaeda militant who planned the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in east Africa was killed in an American airstrike in Somalia, an official said Wednesday.
“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, told The Associated Press. “One of the items they were claiming was that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed is dead.”
Mohammed allegedly planned the 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, 12 miles north of Mombasa. The missiles missed the airliner.
Mohammed is thought to have been the main target of an American helicopter attack Monday afternoon on Badmadow island off southern Somalia.
U.S. attack helicopters also strafed suspected Al Qaeda fighters in southern Somalia on Tuesday, witnesses said.
The two days of airstrikes by U.S. forces were the first American offensives in the African country since 18 U.S. soldiers were killed here in 1993.