Saturday, June 11, 2011

Would It Kill You To Ask For Directions?

The term "mastermind" is not used literally here:

NAIROBI, Kenya — Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Al Qaeda's leader in East Africa and the mastermind of the American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, was killed in a late-night shootout at a security checkpoint in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, Somali and American officials said Saturday.


"Fazul’s death is a significant blow to Al Qaeda, its extremist allies and its operations in East Africa," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said. "It is a just end for a terrorist who brought so much death and pain to so many innocents in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam and elsewhere — Tanzanians, Kenyans, Somalis and our own embassy personnel."

Mr. Mohammed, who was one of the most wanted men in Africa and had a $5 million bounty on his head from the United States government, was shot to death before midnight on Tuesday after he and another militant mistakenly drove up to a checkpoint manned by Somali government soldiers.

When the two men tried to escape, the Somali forces fired on their black Toyota four-by-four and killed them during a short gunfight. Somali intelligence officials said that DNA tests carried out in Kenya "by our friends" — suggesting the Central Intelligence Agency, which has been working covertly in Somalia for years — confirmed Mr. Mohammed’s identity.

"This was lucky," a Somali security official said Saturday night. "It wasn't like Fazul was killed during an operation to get him. He was essentially driving around Mogadishu and got lost."

No comments: