The Department of Defense confirmed Friday that Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of the al Qaeda-aligned Somali militant group, was killed during a U.S. airstrike on September 1. In separate statements, both White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and the Department of Defense called the death of the al-Shabaab co-founder "a major symbolic and operational loss" to the organization, the largest al Qaeda affiliate in Africa.
The day after the attack, Pentagon officials disclosed that they'd bombed a remote area of Somalia where al-Shabaab officials were believed to be meeting. Officials received reports that Godane was among the dead. The next day an al-Shabaab spokesmen told The Wall Street Journal that Godane was injured during the bombing, but couldn't confirm his death. "The first news I got was that the emir was wounded, but I cannot say yet if he is dead or alive," the spokesman, Abu Mohamed, told The Journal.
Al-Shabaab has been a U.S. designated terrorist organization since 2008. Last year the group was responsible for the terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya which killed more than 60 people.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.