Tuesday, January 09, 2007

War on Terror in Somalia

I knew that there was an aircraft carrier group there, I just wasn't expecting much action. Appears they found some.
A U.S. attack plane killed many people with barrages of gunfire in a remote Somali village occupied by Islamists thought to be hiding at least one al Qaeda suspect, a Somali government source said on Tuesday.

In the first known direct U.S. military intervention in Somalia since a failed peacekeeping mission that ended in 1994, an AC-130 plane rained gunfire on the desolate southern village of Hayo near the Kenyan border late on Monday.

"I understand there are so many dead bodies and animals in the village," the senior source told Reuters.

The U.S. Navy also confirmed it had moved the aircraft carrier Eisenhower to the Somali coast -- Africa's longest -- to beef up a naval cordon it had already put there as the Islamists sought refuge in the remote southern tip.

"They are, with other ships, making sure that terrorists are not able to use the sea as a means of transport," said Charlie Brown, a spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet, which is based in the Gulf state of Bahrain.

U.S. intelligence believes Abu Talha al-Sudani, identified in grand jury testimony against Osama bin Laden as an explosives expert from Sudan, is the leader of east Africa's al Qaeda cell and has been in and out of Somalia for over a decade.

"The Americans are saying an al Qaeda member heading operations in east Africa is among the Islamists there," the source said. He did not know the man's name or whether he died.

U.S., Ethiopian and Kenyan intelligence officials say some Islamists have provided shelter to a handful of al Qaeda members, including suspects in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and a 2002 hotel bombing on the Kenyan coast.
Haven't heard much on the war on terror outside of Iraq or Afghanistan. At least this sounds like action with a result. The problem being, if there isn't anyone on the ground, then how do we know we actually did get this guy? I guess we'll have to assume that there was someone on the ground with information. Hopefully if this was a CIA action, they had better results than the plan that used the war lords of Mogadishu to fight the Islamists.

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