Report: Embassy bombing mastermind dead; Update: U.S. officials doubt

posted at 9:20 am on January 10, 2007 by Allahpundit

The timing-questioning shall be fierce, coinciding as this does with the president’s speech tonight. The death hasn’t even been confirmed yet by the U.S.

I’m skeptical, just because good news vis-a-vis the big fish is so hard to come by anymore. Solid enough for a celebratory 9:15 a.m. beer, though? I think so.

American air raids in southern Somalia may have killed the suspected Al Qaeda terrorist who planned the 1998 United States embassy bombings in east Africa, Somalia officials said today.

“I have received a report from the American side chronicling the targets and list of damage,” Abdirizak Hassan, the Somali president’s chief of staff, told The Associated Press. “One of the items they were claiming was that Fazul Abdullah Muhammad is dead.”

American officials have said that Mr. Muhammad, 32, planned the attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 225 people.

The perpetual pessimists at Debkafile are uncharacteristically ecstatic:

Fazul, a Comorian, was a big fish. His FBI dossier is long and diverse. DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report he was one of al Qaeda’s most outstanding, versatile and elusive commanders.

In 1993, Fazul took part in the 1993 in the Black Hawk Down ambush which left 18 US soldiers dead; in 1995, he was part of a failed assassination conspiracy against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa; in 1998, he masterminded the bombings of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es-Salaam. Fazul was more directly involved in anti-Israel attacks than any other al Qaeda leader: In, he set up the 1996 Ethiopian Airline hijack in which four Israeli air industry directors and 3 Israeli civilians were murdered. He was among the organizers of the Oct. 2000 ramming of the USS Cole in Aden Harbor, which cost the lives of 19 US seamen. In 2002, he set up the coordinated anti-air missiles attack and raid of the Israeli Mombasa Paradise hotel in Kenya and the Israeli Arkia airliner flying tourists into the resort.

Our sources add that Mohammed Fazul was the senior contact between al Qaeda’s East African network and its Sinai cells.

In case they did miss him, they’re not taking any chances.

Update: His wife’s in the neighborhood. Well, one of his wives.

Police at the Kenyan coastal border town of Kiunga on Monday arrested a wife of Mohammed, with her three children, according to an internal police report seen by the AP on Wednesday.

Update: Who said it? “The Americans pursue Al Qaeda terrorists everywhere and (Monday’s raid) is really a part of that… [T]his was what should have been done, and it was the appropriate time to launch these attacks.”

Update: A U.S. intelligence official tells the Daily Mail he thinks they got one of the three AQ capos they’re looking for, but doesn’t name which one.

Update: Counterterrorism officials who spokes to the L.A. Times are skeptical.

The reports differed over whether [another AQ capo, Abu Taha] Al Sudani was killed by the airstrike or in subsequent sweeps by the Ethiopian military, the U.S. officials said.

One official described the intelligence as an “unconfirmed report suggesting it is a possibility” that Al Sudani was killed. The second U.S. official said the intelligence suggested a stronger possibility. “There are some signs of that, some indications,” he said.

The U.S. officials discounted reports that [Fazul] Mohammed had been killed.


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At least Saddam and Zarqawi can greet the new guy when he comes down for breakfast.

mikeomatic on January 10, 2007 at 9:31 AM

Well, it’s only 8:38am here, but it’s noon somewhere. Bud Light it is.

Jaibones on January 10, 2007 at 9:38 AM

There’s plenty of room in hell so he’s welcome there I’m sure. It’s encouraging that eventually we’re getting these non-human Muslim mass murderers and putting them where they belong. Gunship diplomacy at its finest.

Mojave Mark on January 10, 2007 at 9:42 AM

The word is that The Virgins’ Factory is working overtime

Ropera on January 10, 2007 at 9:42 AM

We are still cleaning up after Clinton.

Wade on January 10, 2007 at 9:45 AM

Police at the Kenyan coastal border town of Kiunga on Monday arrested a wife of Mohammed, with her three children, according to an internal police report seen by the AP on Wednesday.

I believe Wes Studi said it best:

“Before you die know that I will put under the knife your children, so that I may wipe your seed from the earth forever.” -Magua (Last of the Mohicans)

A close second would be Kevin Spacey:

“He kills their kids, he kills their wives, he kills their parents and their parents’ friends. He burns down the houses they live in and the stores they work in, he kills people that owe them money.” – Verbal Kint (The Usual Suspects)

BohicaTwentyTwo on January 10, 2007 at 9:46 AM

The timing-questioning shall be fierce, coinciding as this does with the president’s speech tonight.

Damn you AP! I’ve been waiting for you to post on this story so I could say exactly that. Clearly this was timed so that Bush has some “good news” to report when giving his new Iraq speech (they’ll say).

Surprisingly the story is mentioned at the bottom of the front page of my local paper (however I think it should be the top story)… and NOT SURPRISINGLY it’s not on the front page of the NY Times or WAPO. What bias? Top story of the week, or perhaps month, that we’re taking out AQs responsible for the 1998 embassy bombings, and these papers don’t care?

RightWinged on January 10, 2007 at 9:47 AM

(excellent resource for checking out front pages, if everyone doesn’t already have this bookmarked)

RightWinged on January 10, 2007 at 9:48 AM

The 224 murdered civilians from the embassy attacks could not be reached for comment. However, Captain Jamil Hussein says he questions the timing.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on January 10, 2007 at 9:51 AM

I’m skeptical, just because good news vis-a-vis the big fish is so hard to come by anymore

Perhaps cuz most of the big fish have been fried?

lorien1973 on January 10, 2007 at 9:56 AM

Quote below is from the tagged NYTimes article.

This has all the earmarks of copying and pasting from previous NYT articles on Iraq. That would make them lazy and incompetent in addition to being biased.

Substitute “U.S.Coalition”.for “Ethiopian”, “Baghdad”for “Mogadishu”, “Bush” for “our president”, and it boils down to the same old rooting for the enemy bullsh*t.

Geez, the NYT hates a win for the good guys.

That movement was thoroughly defeated, at least militarily, by Ethiopian-led forces over the past three weeks. But many Islamists have vowed to fight on as an Iraq-style insurgency.

As each night passes, more and more government troops are coming under attack. On Tuesday night, insurgents launched rocket-propelled grenades from two pickup trucks into an army barracks in downtown Mogadishu. Initial reports indicated that several soldiers were killed, and the insurgents got away.

Many people in Mogadishu said they were beginning to feel as if they were under the thumb of Ethiopian troops. Barwaqho Mohammed Osman, a mother of two, stood in the street this morning with plastic bags of groceries in her hands and no way to get home.

Ethiopian soldiers told her that her neighborhood had been sealed off because of the raids. When Ms. Osman tried to plead with them, witnesses said, the soldiers clicked the safeties off their guns and told her to go.

“Why did our president bring in these people?” she fumed. “They are occupiers, and if they keep this up, they will fail at every step.”

Mohammed Ibrahim and Yuusuf Maxamuud contributed reporting from Mogadishu.

fogw on January 10, 2007 at 9:58 AM

I need a bottle of fine whiskey. Everytime one of these bastards bites it I’m going to salute my troops with a shot of America’s finest.

Here’s to our military. SALUTE!

One Angry Christian on January 10, 2007 at 10:08 AM

I certainly hope it’s true, because it’s about damn time some lethal justice was meted out for the embassy bombings.

ReubenJCogburn on January 10, 2007 at 10:17 AM

But many Islamists have vowed to fight on as an Iraq-style insurgency.

As each night passes, more and more government troops are coming under attack. On Tuesday night, insurgents launched rocket-propelled grenades from two pickup trucks into an army barracks in downtown Mogadishu. Initial reports indicated that several soldiers were killed, and the insurgents got away.

Many people in Mogadishu said they were beginning to feel as if they were under the thumb of Ethiopian troops. Barwaqho Mohammed Osman, a mother of two, stood in the street this morning with plastic bags of groceries in her hands and no way to get home.

Ethiopian soldiers told her that her neighborhood had been sealed off because of the raids. When Ms. Osman tried to plead with them, witnesses said, the soldiers clicked the safeties off their guns and told her to go.

“Why did our president bring in these people?” she fumed. “They are occupiers, and if they keep this up, they will fail at every step.”

So, we’ve lost civilization to thugs who hide among women and children, and for whom a primary battle tactic is murdering women and children for effect. And we can’t ever stop them because women and children will just get hurt if we try. All you can do is run away, and try not to look back over your shoulder, lest you fall victim to cognitive dissonance.

On the bright side, if you’d like to claim a neighborhood, city, region or country for your own, the instruction manual is now available. Refer to Bu$hco’s Iraq for your copy of Insurgency: The Final Quagmire, by Noam Chomsky and Robert Fisk, with a foreward by Seymour Hersh and a dedication to Saddam Hussein.

Feh.

Great shooting, Gentlemen. Keep up the good work.

Pablo on January 10, 2007 at 10:21 AM

The news is all good. Links aplenty.

JammieWearingFool on January 10, 2007 at 10:26 AM

Wait a dang minute!!

Terrorist attacks in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002??

I thought Bush created the terrorists by invading Iraq?

csdeven on January 10, 2007 at 10:27 AM

Was he dragged through the streets of Mogadishu?… No?…Oh that’s right, that’s the enemy’s tactic.
Right on Spectre. I have little doubt he died tired from all the running.

Buck Turgidson on January 10, 2007 at 10:35 AM

Wait a dang minute!!

Terrorist attacks in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002??

I thought Bush created the terrorists by invading Iraq?

csdeven on January 10, 2007 at 10:27 AM

How dare you! I have half a mind to send Sandy Berger in to destroy documents covering up the existence of those attacks and the Clinton response.

RightWinged on January 10, 2007 at 10:36 AM

Fazul, a Comorian, was a big fish

Can someone please tell me who / what a Comorian is?

carlitos on January 10, 2007 at 10:38 AM

I can just see the KosKidz fretting how we’re creating more terrorists by fighting back.

KosKidz: Creating more idiots every day!

JammieWearingFool on January 10, 2007 at 10:39 AM

I love the smell of fried terrorists in the morning. It smells like victory!

Guardian on January 10, 2007 at 10:41 AM

Lorien is right, we’ve taken out so many of the original top tier that there’s not many of them left.

I can’t wait to read about the capture of Adnan Shukrajuma. He’s the one we gotta look out for here in the States. He’s smart, speaks perfect English, blends in well, and looks like Joey Tribiani. If you see a Matt LaBlanc look alike, don’t ask “How YOU doin’?” just call the cops!

Tony737 on January 10, 2007 at 10:41 AM

Bad News: Fazul Abdullah Muhammad body was NOT dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.

Good News: The reason he wasn’t dragged through the streets was because were no recognizable body parts large enough.

BohicaTwentyTwo on January 10, 2007 at 10:44 AM

Can someone please tell me who / what a Comorian is?

carlitos on January 10, 2007 at 10:38 AM

Someone from the island nation of the Comoros, which is in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa near Madagascar.

ReubenJCogburn on January 10, 2007 at 10:55 AM


Ethnologue and bibliography information on Comorian. … Alternate names, Comores Swahili, Komoro, Comoro, Comorian, Shimaore …

So this guy was a mastermind and has been ‘involved’ since 19 (In 1993)years old? We need to eliminate all of these career islamofascist terrorists.
Keep up the good work boys and girls.
.
.
NEXT!

shooter on January 10, 2007 at 10:57 AM

AP — Test

honora on January 10, 2007 at 11:00 AM

It’s 10:05am Central Time…is there any beer left?

RushBaby on January 10, 2007 at 11:06 AM

I’ll mix and raise a Gimlet once the DNA results are in.

Patience is a virtue.

As Islam is a scourge.

profitsbeard on January 10, 2007 at 11:08 AM

What does Vegas say?

Drtuddle on January 10, 2007 at 11:11 AM

Mind you, I do not condone the dragging of any bodies through the streets, enemies or otherwise. I do not condone execution by hanging either, but I beleive we must respect other cultures. If the Iraqi culture called for Saddam to be hanged by the neck until dead, then enshallah and don’t forget to send me the cell phone video. If Somalian culture calls for Fazul Abdullah Muhammad’s body to be dragged through the street so people can pelt it with their sandals, then who are we to question?

BohicaTwentyTwo on January 10, 2007 at 11:22 AM

On the plus side, Ban Ki-Moon is ensuring that the UN reacts to this excactly the way it’s expected to.

I really can’t believe Italy (you know, conquerors of Ethiopia) actually used the word ‘unilateral’ in it’s response to this – After all, it’s so 2003..

Reaps on January 10, 2007 at 11:44 AM

Queue up Queen, raise a toast of your preferred beverage, and salute the troops, another one bites the dust.

Thank God for the Ethiopians who had the malkins to defend their homeland in spite of having little organization, materiel, or “international support”. Thank God we did the right thing and pitched in with some DFA.

I believe we have a template for success, if only others will follow it.

Freelancer on January 10, 2007 at 11:54 AM

Next.

Tantor on January 10, 2007 at 12:09 PM

Solid enough for a celebratory 9:15 a.m. beer, though? I think so.

6:56AM here and a mimosa does nicely! Along with an western omlet, home fries, and black tea. Or a MacDonnalds Egg Mac sandwich.

The Ethiopians had this menace on their border. If they didn’t act, then they would have had something like what our border is with Mexico.

Maybe we can learn a lesson, but with the noise levels like Kennedy fouling up the air and the MSM not reporting this, it will probably fade….

Kini on January 10, 2007 at 12:13 PM

If Somalian culture calls for Fazul Abdullah Muhammad’s body to be dragged through the street so people can pelt it with their sandals, then who are we to question?

BohicaTwentyTwo on January 10, 2007 at 11:22 AM

Who says we don’t embrace multiculturalism? It’s just another way of life.

Buck Turgidson on January 10, 2007 at 12:13 PM

Someone from the island nation of the Comoros, which is in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa near Madagascar.

Thanks shooter and ReubenJCogburn … It’s amazing Bush Jr’s 2003 invasion of Iraq was so insidious that it drove residents of Islands near Madagascar to bomb our African embassies in 1998? Those neocons have scary superpowers. If they would only stop creating terrorists for a while until we sort this out.

carlitos on January 10, 2007 at 12:22 PM

HAH gotta love the media it certainly has its own spin on this story

From the London Times

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2540484,00.html

Comment: Claims of al-Qaeda death mask danger of civil war
Jonathan Clayton, Africa correspondent of The Times

Claims that a senior al-Qaeda suspect believed to have been the mastermind behind terror attacks against US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania has been killed in the current wave of air strikes against Islamist strongholds in southern Somalia have been greeted with scepticism in the region.

News agencies reported Somali government officials saying that Fazul Abdullah Mohamed, who is accused of the joint 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam which killed 262 people, was dead. The Somali President’s Chief of Staff said he had received the information from the Americans.

However, reports from the area said Fazul Abdullah had left the hardline Islamist hideout of Ras Kamboni and slipped over the porous border to Kenya, where his wife and many members of his family live, several weeks ago. Regional analysts said they believed reports of his death were misinformation intended to give the impression the operation was a success and mask the danger of the country slipping into an all-out civil war.

Local sources said the Ethiopian forces, who had cornered fugitive Somali Islamists in the area since they were driven out of the capital two weeks ago, had suffered high casualties and called on the US for air support. That support now needed to be justified.

“I suspect we are seeing some classic misinformation going on here… The truth is the American and Ethiopian intelligence from the area has always been suspect,” said one expert on Somalia based in Kenya. “Unless, we are shown the bodies of these alleged al-Qaeda operatives, no-one will believe it.”

Regional analysts say Somalia’s Islamists were largely made up of members of the Hawiye clan while the US-backed weak transitional government is dominated by the Darod and its sub-clans, historic foes of the Hawiye and former backers of the deposed dictator Mohamed Siad Barre whose fall from power ushered in 15 years of rule by warlords.

They said the situation in Mogadishu, which saw its first period of calm for more than a decade after it was taken by the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) last June, would be the true test of whether the military operation against the Islamists and hardline al-Qaeda sympathisers was a success or not.

“There are several thousand UIC supporters in Mogadishu, what they do is more important for long-term stability in Somalia than whether these al-Qaeda operatives are killed or not,” the source added.

William Amos on January 10, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Sniff!
I just love a story with a happy ending!

shermacman on January 10, 2007 at 12:59 PM

Come on down to Mohammed’s Bacon blowout and get a free pork sandwich in celebration!!!

x95b10 on January 10, 2007 at 1:36 PM

The U.S. officials discounted reports that [Fazul] Mohammed had been killed.

I’m tellin’ ya…this is a trend. Fazul, like UBL, is now just the way we like our terror kingpins: Whereabouts and status unknown.

flipflop on January 10, 2007 at 3:41 PM

The Sunni’s can feel better now, Saddam is getting a room-mate. Hope they enjoy the 72 Virginians…….

ritethinker on January 11, 2007 at 12:20 AM