October 5th, 2013

One down…

one to go:

In a stealthy seaside assault in Somalia and in a raid in Libya’s capital, U.S. military forces on Saturday struck out against Islamic extremists who have carried out terrorist attacks in East Africa, snatching a man allegedly involved in the bombings of U.S. embassies 15 years ago but missing a man linked to last month’s attack on a Nairobi shopping mall.

A U.S. Navy SEAL team slipped ashore near a southern Somalia town before the al-Qaida-linked militants rose for dawn prayers, U.S. and Somali officials told The Associated Press. The raid on a house in the town of Barawe targeted a specific al-Qaida suspect related to the mall attack, but the operation did not get its target, one current and one former U.S. military official told AP.

You never know if these things are quite as reported, of course, because there’s quite a bit of psychological warfare going on as well. But it sounds as though the wheels of justice ground slow but exceedingly fine for the perpetrator of the 1998 Al Qaeda attacks on the US embassies in Tanzania (Dar es Salaam) and Kenya (Nairobi).

The Nairobi bombing was the worst in terms of casualties, and it took an especially large toll on Kenyan citizens:

In Nairobi, approximately 212 people were killed, and an estimated 4,000 wounded; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85…Although the attacks were directed at American facilities, the vast majority of casualties were local citizens; 12 Americans were killed, including two Central Intelligence Agency employees in the Nairobi embassy, Tom Shah and Molly Huckaby Hardy, and one U.S. Marine, Sergeant Jesse Aliganga, a Marine Security Guard at the Nairobi embassy.

The man Wiki lists as having been the mastermind of the 1998 bombings, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (the leader of al Qaeda’s East African operations), actually had already been killed in 2011 after being stopped at a checkpoint near Mogadishu. The man reportedly captured today is a Libyan, long-time al Qaeda leader Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai. He’s been reported captured before, twice, but both reports were in error. Let’s hope the news of his capture is correct this time.

And Navy SEALS are among the bravest people on earth. But that goes almost without saying.

10 Responses to “One down…”

  1. JKB Says:

    Ah, the pitter patter of American combat boots outside the window at night. Did you hear that?

  2. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    This kind of operation is truly difficult to pull off. Two in one day. Warms the cockles of my heart. Sometimes it seems we are on our heels. This makes me hope we are leaning forward.

  3. Trimegistus Says:

    Over on Ace of Spades they were talking about some rumors that this particular mission was very nearly a catastrophe . . . because Our Dear Leader told the Somali “government” about it in advance. Unsurprisingly, the SEALS ran into heavier-than-expected opposition and had to call in helicopters for fire support.

  4. Snackeater Says:

    So we can find the scumbags responsible for the embassy attacks in east Africa but we can’t find the scumbags responsible for the embassy attack in Benghazi?

  5. West Says:

    I can’t imagine what it must be like to go ashore with a small team of experts, into a hostile territory with the intent to extract one specific guy.

    The cojones on these guys. (I mean that in a good way.)

    God bless ‘em.

  6. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Something about Somalia and leaks. Last time the SEALs landed there, there were photographers waiting for them.

  7. Ann Says:

    Navy SEALs Somalia raid: Is daring attack a sign of shifting strategy?

    If it isn’t an indication of a real change in strategy, aren’t we in wag-the-dog territory?

  8. Mr. Frank Says:

    I think B-52′s would be more effective at getting people’s attention.

  9. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Mr. Frank. Reports are that the Somali op targeted a leader in a compound. That means it’s a PLACE, which does NOT MOVE.
    What the hell are cruise missiles for?
    Even if they screw up, none of our guys are captured.
    If there’s a problem with nearby civilians–aka militant supporters with connections to the NYT–use a Stealth aircraft and, say, a five-hundred pound bomb. Or a drone with half a dozen Hellfires.

  10. Ymarsakar Says:

    It’s almost like Obama wants to get Americans killed, so he can watch them die on recorded tv.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


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