The U.S. has now placed a $10 million bounty on Maalim Ayman, the leader of Shabaab’s military wing in Kenya. Maalim Ayman now joins the ranks of other high-profile Sunni jihadis around the world demanding a similar price tag.
Somalia’s National Security Agency said that the US killed the leader of the Amniyat. The US military later confirmed the report.
Obama described the counterterrorism strategy in Yemen and Somalia as “one that we have successfully pursued … for years.” However, several years of cooperation with willing partners have yielded questionable results.
‘Removing Godane from the battlefield is a major symbolic and operational loss to al-Shabaab,” the Pentagon’s spokesman said. But jihadist groups have withstood the loss of top leaders in the past.
Although Shabaab claimed responsibility for two recent attacks in Kenyan coastal towns, the government blamed the attacks on “local political networks.”
Sahal Iskudhuq, a senior Shabaab commander who served as a high-ranking member of the Amniyat, Shabaab’s intelligence unit, is reported to have been killed in a drone strike.
Abd Al-Ra’Ouf Abu Zaid Mohamed Hamza was involved in the murder of a USAID employee and his driver in 2008. Hamza’s father is a senior cleric in Ansar al-Tawhid, which, along with al Qaeda, claimed credit for the assassinations.