The US Army killed Bilal al-Sudani
, a leader of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Somalia, and ten other people linked to him on Wednesday night
, US government sources said.
The operation took place by order of the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and took place "in a mountainous area in the north of the country."
The extensive planning of this operation for several months and its precise execution, according to official sources, meant that
there were no victims, neither among civilians nor among US forces.
Who was Bilal al-Sudani?
Al Sudani had "a long history as a terrorist in Somalia."
Before joining IS, he was targeted by the US State Department for his role in the jihadist group Al Shabab.
He helped foreign fighters travel to Al Shabaab training camp and facilitated the funding of foreign violent extremists in Somalia: “He had
a key operational and financial role
, with specific skills that made him a major target for US counterterrorism action,” they said.
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He is believed to have been involved in financing a network of IS affiliates around the world, and particularly in places where this terrorist organization has been expanding its reach in Africa.
"The United States and its allies are safer today as a result of this operation," the sources stressed.
An operation that required planning and patience
The US Army had prepared for the possibility of capturing him, but the Biden Administration noted that "the aggressive hostile response" received resulted in his death.
"The success of yesterday's operation reflects the extraordinary and patient work of the Department of Defense and the various government agencies," added the sources, who explained that to prepare,
the US forces rehearsed their movements in sites created on purpose
similar to the place .
where the attack finally took place.
From Washington it was pointed out that, as they have been saying for years, both the IS and the terrorist group Al Shabab take advantage of areas of the country without a government presence to operate with "too much freedom".
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“In this operation and others, President Biden has made it very clear that we are determined to find and eliminate terrorist threats to the United States and Americans wherever they are hiding, no matter how remote,” they stressed.
The United States added that it has informed the Somali Executive of what happened and other partners of its anti-terrorist action.
Other terrorists eliminated
This Monday, also in Somalia, US forces killed two members of Al Shabab "in self-defense" in a remote area in the center of the country where the Somali Army was carrying out a military operation against the jihadists.
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The United States Military Command in Africa (AFRICOM) announced on Tuesday that this operation was carried out at the request of the Somali federal government and in support of the Somali National Army's fighting against Al Shabab.
The US has been involved in military operations against Al Shabab on Somali soil since at least 2007.
Although former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) ordered the withdrawal of US soldiers in Somalia in 2020, the current Biden Administration announced again in May 2022 the reinforcement of the military presence there with the deployment of “less than 500 ” effective.