Small Wars Journal

US Kills Top Qaeda Leader in Southern Somalia

US Kills Top Qaeda Leader in Southern Somalia - Jeffrey Gettleman and Eric Schmitt, New York Times.

American commandos killed one of the most wanted Islamic militants in Africa in a daylight raid in southern Somalia on Monday, according to American and Somali officials, an indication of the Obama administration's willingness to use combat troops strategically against Al Qaeda's growing influence in the region.

Western intelligence agents have described the militant, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, as the ringleader of a Qaeda cell in Kenya responsible for the bombing of an Israeli hotel on the Kenyan coast in 2002. Mr. Nabhan may have also played a role in the attacks on two American embassies in East Africa in 1998...

More at The New York Times.

US Says Raid in Somalia Killed Terrorist With Links to Al-Qaeda - Karen DeYoung, Washington Post.

Helicopter-borne Special Forces troops attacked and killed a top al-Qaeda-linked suspect in a raid in southern Somalia early Monday, US officials said. Officials said Saleh Ali Nabhan, 30, a Kenyan sought in the 2002 bombing of an Israeli-owned resort in Kenya and an unsuccessful attempt that year to shoot down an Israeli airliner, was among four men killed in the attack. US troops fired from the air at a vehicle in which the men were traveling.

At least four helicopters participated in the raid, launched from a nearby US naval vessel, a senior military official said. At least one of them landed, and troops retrieved the bodies. "You want to go in there, do this fast, and get out before you're detected," the official said...

More at The Washington Post.


Well that goes without saying. If I've even heard of them chances are they're on somebody's radar. I'm referring to the SWJ commmunity.

I was wondering how the SWJ community is looking at social instability issues in Somalia that will be breeding grounds for future AQ recruitment. It seems the community is hitting the reaction side of small wars on the head (eg: reacting to terrorism in AfPak) but not the prevention side (eg: denying AQ future failed state safehavens).

I just think the potential for a major AQ recruiting base in Somalia is seriously underrated as far as the global attention to the topic goes.

Perhaps the bulletin board is a better place to post this but it'd be good to see a proper opinion piece on SWJ from someone who is an expert on the topic rather than my opinionated self who is simply spewing up what he gets from the newsfeed and the milieu of academic articles.

Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 12/09/2009 - 3:49am

If you're only referrng to the SWJ community, then you're right, there is not a lot of coverage on al-shabaab, but within the U.S. government there is substantial focus on this dangerous group.

I'm trying to figure out why the al-Shabaab situation in Somalia hasn't been garnering much attention in this community.
My gut feeling is that it is takfirism's "Plan B" should it lose out in Afghanistan-Pakistan.