US strike kills al-Shabaab commander in Somalia

posted at 2:01 pm on January 27, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

This wasn’t the first try on al-Shabaab’s command structure. A raid in October, shortly after the Somalian al-Qaeda affiliate’s terror attack on a Nairobi mall, netted a significant capture but stopped short of its goal when too many children appeared to be in the line of fire. This time, a missile strike rather than a raid took care of business:

A U.S. missile strike in southern Somalia on Sunday killed a senior al Shabaab commander who had masterminded suicide attacks by the al Qaeda-linked militant group, two Somali security officials said.

Both intelligence sources and a Somali government spokesman named the target on Monday as Ahmed Mohamed Amey, a chemicals expert also known as Isku Dhuuq.

A U.S. official on Sunday said the missile strike occurred in a remote area near Barawe, a coastal rebel enclave that was the site of a failed raid by American commandos in October targeting a militant known as Ikrima. It was not clear if the missile was launched from a drone.

The security sources said Amey was close to al Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, who since taking charge in 2008 has restyled the group as a global player in the al Qaeda franchise – a transformation that was highlighted when it killed at least 67 people in an attack on a Kenyan shopping mall in September.

This took place last night, and CNN reported on it before the strike assessment was completed:

Last October, the elite U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six aborted a pre-dawn raid in southern Somalia to capture Al-Shabaab leader Ikrima after an intense firefight prevented them from reliably taking him alive, a senior U.S. official told CNN at the time.

In a second raid that same weekend, members of the U.S. Army Delta Force captured Abu Anas al Libi, an al Qaeda operative wanted for his alleged role in the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, during an operation in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

The U.S. military official said Sunday’s strike involved missiles. No U.S. troops were on the ground.

Note at the end of the report, when the CNN anchor notes this about al-Qaeda: “Very very interesting. Local affiliates, growing their tentacles, and the US trying to stop it.” That is a reference to the oft-repeated message from the White House that “core al-Qaeda” has been all but defeated, and the affiliate networks are nothing but the “jayvees.” The two attempts to take out the al-Shabaab leadership seems to dispute that characterization, as does the attack on the Nairobi mall. This is a group that had metastasized into an international threat after years of focusing on Somalia and its civil war.

Can the US keep that metastasis from continuing through occasional surgical strikes such as these? We’ll have to try that now in Libya, thanks to Western intervention that turned the country into a failed state, but the French rescue of Mali shows that surgical strikes alone won’t stop them. It might succeed temporarily in Somalia, where their attention had been more inward than outward until recently. However, it’s not going to keep the “jayvees” from getting promoted to the varsity, and the risks are increasing rather than decreasing. We had better decide whether stability is worth pursuing in battlegrounds like Syria and Libya (where it’s too late) rather than pushing for change without any way to shape the battleground when it comes.

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Huh? When did obama declare war on Somalia?

Pork-Chop on January 27, 2014 at 2:03 PM

This latest vaporizing of human beings comes to you courtesy of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, in fact the missile was laser-etched with little hearts and smiley faces.

Bishop on January 27, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Why on earth would be need to attack Al Qaeda. They’re on the run. /

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 2:06 PM

This

Schadenfreude on January 27, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Huh? When did obama declare war on Somalia?

Pork-Chop on January 27, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Obama doesn’t declare wars. He just creates “kill lists”.

Bitter Clinger on January 27, 2014 at 2:08 PM

0bama is really good at killing people…

OmahaConservative on January 27, 2014 at 2:09 PM

in fact the missile was laser-etched with little hearts and smiley faces.

Bishop on January 27, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Well, Valentines Day is coming. I guess rat-ears wanted to make it special.

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 2:09 PM

0bama is really good at killing people…

OmahaConservative on January 27, 2014 at 2:09 PM

You think he’s good now? Just wait until Obamacare kicks in!

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

This latest vaporizing of human beings comes to you courtesy of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, in fact the missile was laser-etched with little hearts and smiley faces.

Bishop on January 27, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Funny how the Nobel Committe never asks for their “prizes” back.

Bitter Clinger on January 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

did the BDA note several Kobe Bryan LA Lakers jerseys???

(things the peeps wanna know)

#varsity

ted c on January 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

did the Jonas Brothers just cringe a bit???
#predatordrones

ted c on January 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Huh? When did obama declare war on Somalia?

Pork-Chop on January 27, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Didn’t you hear? It’s now OK to attack countries that never attacked us. It’s been that way since early 2009.

Kafir on January 27, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Funny how the Nobel Committe never asks for their “prizes” back.

Bitter Clinger on January 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

As if they’d get it back from the rat-eared wonder. I’m sure that they’ve already carved out a special place for in the Barak Hussein Obama Center for Propaganda and Socialism.

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM

0bama is really good at killing people America

OmahaConservative on January 27, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Another sentiment.

BuckeyeSam on January 27, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Funny how the Nobel Committe never asks for their “prizes” back.

Bitter Clinger on January 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Ya – If the NCAA can take back Heisman Trophies, why can’t Nobel?

dentarthurdent on January 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Hope and Change.

Hope you don’t get Changed into a splattered mess by a Barky drone strike.

Bishop on January 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

This oughta make all those Somali immigrants in Minnesota and other US cities good neighbors.

Rational Thought on January 27, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Obama doesn’t declare wars. He just creates “kill lists”.
Bitter Clinger on January 27, 2014 at 2:08 PM

He was probably told Ahmed Mohamed Amey was a registered Republican and member of the TEA Party…

dentarthurdent on January 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM

This oughta make all those Somali immigrants in Minnesota and other US cities good neighbors.

Rational Thought on January 27, 2014 at 2:24 PM

We have ‘em here too…

OmahaConservative on January 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM

That is a reference to the oft-repeated message from the White House that “core al-Qaeda” has been all but defeated, and the affiliate networks are nothing but the “jayvees.”

Yes, and while we are using metaphors, how’s that “cutting off the head of the snake” working out.

A blind man could see that AQ has diffused their leadership and is now operating as a bunch of loosely connected cells.

That fact, by the way, is in response to the many operating methods and tactics this administration has compromised in their rush to inform the media how wonderful they are.

As a result, AQ is left to outsource somewhat independent operations like the Kenyan Mall Massacre to “affiliates” who have grown in number as a result of Mr. Obama’s feckless, dangerous policies. Those are obviously harder to stop and rely on HUMIT in areas where we have very few assets. Congratulations in over-stretching an already overburdened US intelligence community.

One might notice this administration drone strike are largely defensive (read, in reaction to an event such as Kenya) rather than the previous “offensive” strategy used previously to hit terrorists every time their heads popped up.

Somebody may want to point this out to the news media. It is something they’ve apparently missed.

Marcus Traianus on January 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Takin’ out the JV team by blowing them to smithereens from the sky seems like bad sportsmanship to me.

Rational Thought on January 27, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Cambodia.

Ben Hur on January 27, 2014 at 2:37 PM

One might notice this administration drone strike are largely defensive (read, in reaction to an event such as Kenya) rather than the previous “offensive” strategy used previously to hit terrorists every time their heads popped up.
Marcus Traianus on January 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

I would argue they’re more reactionary revenge than defensive.
“Defensive” implies that you’re actually stopping (or trying to stop) an attack.

dentarthurdent on January 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

The problem with JV players is they grow up to be varsity players. And then turn pro.

rbj on January 27, 2014 at 2:42 PM

He was probably told Ahmed Mohamed Amey was a registered Republican and member of the TEA Party…

dentarthurdent on January 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM

That’s probably a good guess. The shooting at the mall in Maryland was the first such incident in years where the media wasn’t blaming it on those Tea Party terrorists. Tucson, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Boston, Washington Navy Yard……. all initially blamed on the TPM and never as quickly corrected.

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Al Shish-Kabob.

jdpaz on January 27, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Too bad we didn’t stop guys like this before and during Ambassador’s Stevens pleading…

right2bright on January 27, 2014 at 3:16 PM

If true, this is some good news today.

jake49 on January 27, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Watched Capt. Phillips last night then read about this before I went to bed

pretty damn cool if u ask me!!

galtg on January 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM

This “Man of Peace” sure has a lot of blood on his hands.
Is that the Hope & Change we were promised?

Another Drew on January 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Takin’ out the JV team by blowing them to smithereens from the sky seems like bad sportsmanship to me.
Rational Thought on January 27, 2014 at 2:34 PM

In guerrilla warfare, there is no such thing as “bad sportsmanship”, or “good sportsmanship” for that matter.
There is only winning.
Sort of like a Street-fight.

Another Drew on January 27, 2014 at 3:50 PM

This latest vaporizing of human beings comes to you courtesy of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, in fact the missile was laser-etched with little hearts and smiley faces.

Bishop on January 27, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Well, Obama is using something developed by Nobel…explosive. That’s something, isn’t it?

NavyMustang on January 27, 2014 at 4:55 PM

500 points in whack-a-mole is nice but you get no prize. These Muslims are not original thinkers, who ever cuts his way to the top isn’t operating with his own idea. They are the slaves of Allah and hamhandedly attempt to follow his demands. Another will fill the place immediately, he might be more clever or more stupid than his predecessor, but killing him does nothing to the hydra. You have to bring the ideology down in smoke and ash. It is coming.

BL@KBIRD on January 27, 2014 at 5:19 PM

…well…JugEars is giving a speech again tomorrow…so he has to have something to brag about!

KOOLAID2 on January 27, 2014 at 10:57 PM