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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More