U.S. forces killed a powerful ISIS member in Somalia. This person helped the group grow in places like Afghanistan and Africa.
Senior administration officials said the U.S. military conducted an operation on Wednesday night in northern Somalia on orders from President Joe Biden, resulting in the death of Bilal al-Sudani, who was an operative and facilitator for ISIS’s international network, and about 10 other ISIS operatives.
There were no deaths among U.S. service members or civilians because of the operation. It happened in a group of caves in the mountains.
The officials said that the U.S. made plans to catch al-Sudani, but that al-Sudani was killed when the operation was met with hostility. They said that they had told key partners in fighting terrorism, such as the Somali government, about the operation.
Biden’s national security team members were first told about the operation months ago. Last week, Biden and other top officials like Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy CIA Director David Cohen were told about it by the Defense Department.
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The officials said that Biden gave his approval for the operation after getting answers to his questions about the risk to U.S. troops and civilians. He also did so because Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recommended it and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told him to.
“This action leaves the United States and its partners safer and more secure, and it reflects our steadfast commitment to protecting Americans from the threat of terrorism at home and abroad,” Austin said in a statement.
Officials said that forces had planned to try to catch al-Sudani because of the “challenging terrain” and so that the U.S. government could get more information from the operation.
Officials said that al-Sudani had helped ISIS grow and do things in Africa and other places by giving them money to keep running. They said that al-Sudani had been a terrorist in Somalia for a long time and that the Treasury Department had put him on a list because of his work with al-Shabaab in 2012.
Officials from the United States also said that he helped foreign fighters get to an al-Shabaab training camp and helped violent extremists from other countries get money in Somalia. They said that because of his role in operations and finances, the U.S. was interested in him.
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Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.