Last week, a series of U.S. airstrikes killed the terrorist leader behind the attack on the joint American-Kenyan base in Manda Bay.
According to the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), the senior al-Shabaab leader was killed inside Somalia, which borders Kenya from the north and provides a safe haven for the Jihadist organization. His wife, also an al-Shabaab member, was too killed during the targeted strikes. AFRICOM hasn’t released their names.
Army General Stephen Townsend said in a press statement that “since Jan. 5, U.S. Africa Command and our partners have pursued those responsible for the attack on U.S. and Kenyan forces at Manda Bay. This strike demonstrates that we will continue to relentlessly pursue those responsible for Manda Bay and those wishing to do harm to Americans and our African partners.”
Aside from being the mastermind behind the Manda Bay attack, the al-Shabaab leader was responsible for planning and directing the group’s activities on the Somali-Kenyan border region.
The attack on the joint American-Kenyan base took place on January 5. Three Americans were killed: U.S. Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr., defense contractor Dustin Harrison, and defense contractor Bruce Triplett. In addition, six Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft were destroyed.
“Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, is an evil and remorseless enemy of peace, stability, and freedom in East Africa and threatens the very way of life of people there, as well as Americans and U.S. interest in the region and abroad,” added General Townsend.
The attack would have been deadlier if it weren’t for a Marine Special Operations Team (MSOT) from the 3rd Raider Battalion that happened to be quartered in a nearby base. The Raiders, alongside Kenyan forces, responded to the assault and repelled the Jihadists.
“U.S. Africa Command will continue to support our African and European partners in the fight against al-Shabaab. It is important to impact their ability to threaten peace and security in East Africa and prevent their threats against the U.S. from being a reality,” added General Townsend.
AFRICOM once more was caught off guard in terms of intelligence. A few months before the attack, sources with intimate knowledge of the African military and intelligence landscape told SOFREP that AFRICOM is blind in many parts of the continent. The attack on Manda Bay supports that.
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