The Pentagon confirmed Friday the death of the leader of the Somali militant group Al Shabab, Ahmed Godane, target of an American military strike on 1 September in southern Somalia.
“We have confirmed that Ahmed Godane, the cofounder of Al Shabab, has died,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
Both the Defense Department and the White House have agreed to review the death of Ahmed Abdi Al Mohammed, also known as Ahmed Godane, as a “huge symbolic and operating loss ” for the Islamist militia, the largest affiliate of Al Qaeda in Africa.
Despite this ” important step forward in the fight against al- Shabab,” the United States will continue to use all tools available ” financial, diplomáitcas, military and intelligence ” to continue fighting the terrorist threat that Al Shabab and other groups region posed to persons and interests, the White House has promised.
“We will do whatever is necessary to protect Americans,” has limited the president, Barack Obama, himself at the end of the NATO summit in Newport, Wales.
His spokesman, Josh Earnest, had stressed this week that Al Shabab has both ” the desire and the ability ” to attack targets beyond Somalia’s borders.
Godane, who ran Al Shabab since 2007, was one of the eight most wanted terrorists by the USA, which offered up to seven million dollars for any clues leading to his capture or death.
On Monday, the Pentagon confirmed that special forces had conducted an operation with manned aircraft and drones against a “camp” Al Shabab in south-central Somalia in the region of Lower Shabelle. In the operation, during which they launched “numerous” air-to- ground Hellfire and ammo laser-guided, a vehicle in which it was believed could be Godane, although it took nearly a week to confirm his death, destroyed a objective that America had pursued in the past, so far fruitlessly.
Al Shabab has claimed numerous attacks in recent years, including the 2013 attack against a shopping center in Nairobi (Kenya) that left more than 70 dead.