US Military Kills Senior IS Official in Somalia
The Biden admin. announced on Thursday that US Special Forces killed Bilal al-Sudani, a key financial facilitator for the Islamic State (IS), and 10 other IS operatives in a mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia.
- The Biden admin. announced on Thursday that US Special Forces killed Bilal al-Sudani, a key financial facilitator for the Islamic State (IS), and 10 other IS operatives in a mountainous cave complex in northern Somalia.
- Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin said via a statement that al-Sudani was “responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan.”
- US officials reported that there were no civilian casualties, while no details regarding the 10 other IS operatives were given. One US soldier was reportedly wounded after he was bitten by an American military canine.
- US intelligence reportedly discovered al-Sudani’s hidden headquarters months ago in a remote cave complex in the Puntland region of northern Somalia and began monitoring the location to study his movements.
- The operation's planning reached a "critical stage" last week when Biden was briefed on the plan, along with Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Deputy CIA Director David Cohen, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, among others. Biden then approved the plan earlier this week.
- According to a US official, the US treasury sanctioned al-Sudani in 2012 for allegedly helping foreign fighters travel to a training camp run by al-Shabaab — which has waged a deadly war against the Somali government — and facilitating financing for IS networks.
Sources: Associated Press, NBC, New York Times, FOX News, and CNN.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Global Times. The fact that Mogadishu has turned to the US, of all countries, for assistance in combatting extremists is just another example of America's desire for regional dominance. It's certainly no coincidence that Washington decided in May to redeploy troops to Somalia under the guise of "fighting terrorism." In reality, Washington is primarily concerned with containing the growing influence of China, but also Russia, in this strategically important region.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Foreign Policy. After former Pres. Trump decided to withdraw US troops from Somalia, there was an uptick in terrorist violence. The fact that the Somali federal government is now making progress against terrorists is due to the return of US troops to the country and America's military cooperation with Mogadishu. Since al-Shabaab and IS also pose a direct threat to the US itself, defeating these terrorists is also a matter of national security.