News / Africa

Al-Qaida Leader in East Africa Killed in Somalia

This undated photo provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the al-Qaida operative behind the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania
This undated photo provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the al-Qaida operative behind the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania

Somali authorities say the man believed to be al-Qaida's leader in East Africa is dead, killed during a confrontation with police.

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed was believed to have played a key role in the deadly bombing attacks in 1998 that caused mass casualties and severely damaged U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam.  The United States considered him among the most wanted international terrorists and offered a $5 million reward for his capture.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in Tanzania Saturday, said Fazul Mohammed's death is "a significant blow to al-Qaida" and "a just end" for a man held responsible for deaths and pain among "so many innocents."

Officials in Somalia said Saturday that Fazul Mohammed and another suspected terrorist were killed by police several days ago at a checkpoint near Mogadishu.  Announcement of the deaths was delayed until their identities were confirmed, which authorities said they did by comparing the bodies to photos. The French news agency AFP says a DNA test was also conducted.

Police said Fazul Mohammed, who also was known by many aliases, was carrying thousands of dollars in cash and multiple identity documents including a suspicious South African passport.  

They said they suspected the two men arrived at the checkpoint by mistake after taking a wrong turn.

News of Fazul Mohammed's death came as Somalia's al-Qaida-linked Al Shabab rebels claimed responsibility for killing the nation's interior minister.

Abdi Shakur Sheikh Hassan was killed by a suicide bomber Friday inside his Mogadishu home during a meeting with associates.  Several other people were wounded.  Security officials and a witness say a woman believed to be one of Hassan's relatives blew herself up inside the house.

Prime Minister Mohammed Abdullah Mohamed told VOA (( Somali Service )) the attack was “heartless and un-Islamic.”

Al-Shabab has used suicide bombings to gain control of the Mogadishu and large sections of central and southern Somalia for at least three years.  However, government and African Union forces have retaken parts of Mogadishu in an offensive that began in February.  Al-Shabab is trying to overthrow the U.N.-backed Somali government and set up a strict Islamic state.

The bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania 13 years ago killed 224 people wounded nearly 5,000 others.  Bombs exploded in the two capitals minutes apart, without advance warning, and security officials quickly determined the coordinated attack was carried out by the Al-Qaida network.

Four men involved in the attacks previously have been convicted in the United Styates and sentenced to life in prison, but U.S. authorities were still actively seeking Fazul Mohammed and other suspects.  Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida's worldwide leader who was killed by American commandos in Pakistan last month, and the fugitive considered his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, also had been charged with responsibility for the embassy bombings.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid