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US military confirms Shabaab's emir was target of airstrike

Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon's press secretary, provided some additional details on last night's airstrike on Shabaab, al Qaeda's official branch in Somalia. Shabaab's emir, Ahmed Abdi Godane, a.k.a. Mukhtar Abu Zubayr, was the target of the strike, which included both drones and manned aircraft, Kirby confirmed. And the strike hit a Shabaab "encampment" south of Mogadishu. From Kirby's press briefing:

Yesterday, at approximately 11:20 Eastern Time, working from actionable intelligence, U.S. special operations forces using manned and unmanned aircraft destroyed an encampment and a vehicle using several Hellfire missiles and laser-guided munitions.

This operation was a direct strike against the Al-Shabaab network, specifically the group's leader, Ahmed Abdi al-Muhammad, also known Ahmed Godane. We are still assessing the results of the operation, and we'll provide additional information when and if appropriate.

Kirby would not say whether Godane or other senior Shabaab leaders were killed. Somali officials said earlier today that Shabaab leaders Muhammad Abu Abdallah, the group's shadow governor of Lower Shabelle; Muhammad Abu Sham, Godane's aide; Ali Muhammad Gulled, a logistics officer; Muhammad Husayn Nur (a.k.a. Abu Hamza Al Ayman); Sheikh Muhammad Dulyaden; Iqri Ubayd, a Sudanese operative; and Mubarak Abdallah, a Yemeni, were all present at the camp during the strike. [See LWJ report, US targets Shabaab's leadership in southern Somalia.]

Shabaab has yet to comment on the strike, which took place at a Shabaab camp located between the villages of Dhay Tubako and Haway along the Shabelle River south of Mogadishu.

The loss of Godane would likely be a temporary setback for the jihadist group. Shabaab has an established leadership cadre, and has proved resilient after losing senior leaders in the past.

READER COMMENTS: "US military confirms Shabaab's emir was target of airstrike"

Posted by gabriel at September 5, 2014 12:46 AM ET:

great work by our military! any update?

Posted by Eric at September 5, 2014 9:34 AM ET:

He was killed in this strike

Posted by Arjuna at September 5, 2014 11:51 AM ET:

Got him. Take that, you sleazy bastards.


Temporary setback, sure, but we're ramping up in a continent I know well and which has been festering for too long. It's been Z's idea to expand the brand and connect nodes there (see Aug. 2013 conf.). We need to put the heat on BH in just the same way. Leadership and aggregation targeting.

Sammie-girl, I hope you're watching. No matter how many of these fanatical animals you sleep with, you will still go nowhere. Your death will please many lovers of life, and peace.

Posted by sundoesntrise at September 7, 2014 7:58 PM ET:

Arjuna, they are not "sleeping". They are dead. Deceased. They do not have the capacity to hear or see you.

Posted by Lyle at September 9, 2014 11:12 AM ET:

Wack-a-Molea and nothing more, FACT!

Posted by port_blair at September 12, 2014 2:35 AM ET:

After long time I am back at longwarjournal. I had to struggle
to figure out who Arjuna was referring to the infamous Lewthwaite.

She seems so have escaped the long arm of the law by the hair.
I recently watched a video shot in Mogadishu. That country is
worst affected. The Somalis from Toronto to Minnesota and Londonistan are running to fight in global jihad. I recall meeting
many young Somalis in bus and train stations in Ottawa, Toronto.

Blowing away Godane was a good thing. But I am afraid unless
more strikes occur the festering wasteland that is Somalia will
spawn more such scum. BOH has really very little focus
on Somalia and too little time is left for the current US govt.

Hence I expect more Shabaab attacks - sadly in the future
in Kenya and even in other parts of Africa. Shabaab will simply send more fighters to AfPak and Syria

Posted by Michael at September 12, 2014 3:39 AM ET:

This is a good start.