A U.S. official says the target of Saturday's special forces raid in Somalia was a Kenyan man working with the militant group al-Shabab.
A senior Obama administration official identifies the man as Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, a Kenyan of Somali origin who also goes by the name Ikrima.
The official said Abdulkadir is a foreign fighter commander for al-Shabab.
A U.S. Navy SEAL team went ashore in Barawe, Somalia on Saturday in an effort to capture Abdulkadir.
Officials say the team killed several Shabab militants in a firefight, but withdrew without capturing their target. None of the SEAL team members was harmed.
A U.S. official told The New York Times that Washington planned the Somalia operation in response to last month's assault by al-Shabab on a Kenyan shopping mall. More than 60 civilians were killed in the attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi.
Al-Shabab has vowed to carry out other attacks in Kenya unless the country's government withdraws its forces from Somalia.
The senior Obama administration official said Abdulkadir was associated with two now-deceased al-Qaida operatives - Harun Fazul and Saleh Nabhan. The two allegedly played roles in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi and the 2002 attacks on a hotel and an airliner in Mombasa.
U.S. commandos killed Nabhan during a raid near Barawe in 2009.