US Special Forces are said to have been involved today in a mission in Somalia that targeted an Al Shabaab leader.  The raid comes nearly two weeks after the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.

From the New York Times:

A Navy SEAL team targeted a senior leader of the Shabab militant group in a raid on his seaside villa in the Somali town of Baraawe on Saturday, American officials said, in response to a deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall for which the group had claimed responsibility.

The SEAL team stealthily approached the beachfront house by sea, firing on the unidentified target in a predawn gunbattle that was the most significant raid by American troops on Somali soil since commandos killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a Qaeda mastermind, near the same town four years ago.

The Shabab leader was believed to have been killed in the firefight, but the SEALS were forced to withdraw before that could be confirmed, a senior American official said. Such operations by American forces are rare because they carry a high risk, and indicate that the target was considered a high priority. Baraawe, a small port town south of Mogadishu, the Somali capital, is known as a gathering place for the Shabab’s foreign fighters.

An anonymous American security official told the Times that the raid had been planned a week and a half ago.

While news outlets are confirming that an Al Shabaab leader was a target of the raid, reports about whether or not that target was captured or killed are conflicting.

Earlier today, security officials in Kenya named four of the terrorists who are said to have been involved in the Nairobi mall attack and released video footage of the gunmen, according to the LA Times.

In a separate operation today, an al-Qaeda leader connected to the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania was reportedly captured by US forces in Libya, according to the NY Times.


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