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Pentagon Confirms Death of Al-Shabaab Leader

Ahmed Abdi al-Muhammad, also known as Ahmed Godane in an undated photo

Ahmed Abdi al-Muhammad, also known as Ahmed Godane in an undated photo

The Pentagon confirmed the leader of Somali Islamist terror organization al-Shabaab was killed in a Monday strike.

“We have confirmed that Ahmed Godane, the co-founder of al-Shabaab, has been killed,” according to a statement from Pentagon spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby released on Friday.
Godane — also known as Ahmed Abdi al-Muhammad — was self-proclaimed the architect of the 2013 mass shooting at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi Kenya and a string of terror attacks in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

U.S. military aircraft fired a volley of Hellfire missiles and laser-guided munitions into a camp and a vehicle south of Mogadishu on Monday.

“The operation was carried out after actionable intelligence was obtained that suggested that Godane was present at the camp, located south of the Somali capital of Mogadishu,” read a Pentagon news release.

No U.S. ground troops were involved in the strike, according to the Pentagon.

The Pentagon did not specify what aircraft undertook the strike, however given the weapons described, its conceivable the aircraft was a General Atomics MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) operates a fleet of the armed UAVs.

Kirby went on to praise the success of the strike.

“Removing Godane from the battlefield is a major symbolic and operational loss to al-Shabaab,” Kirby said.
“The United States works in coordination with its friends, allies and partners to counter the regional and global threats posed by violent extremist organizations.”

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Categories: Aviation, Foreign Forces, News & Analysis
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.