Confirmed: Al-Shabaab Leader Killed in Airstrike

Posted: Sep 05, 2014 4:30 PM

U.S. officials confirmed on Friday that Ahmed Abdi Godane and 10 other militants were killed in an airstrike earlier this week. Godane is the leader of al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based terrorist organization responsible for the Kenya mall attack last year that killed 68 people and injured more than 170 others.

President Obama, speaking at a NATO summit in Wales, said the successful strike was an example of his administration’s push against terrorism.

"We have been very systematic and methodical in going after these kind of organizations" that threaten U.S. personnel and the homeland, Obama said. "That deliberation allows us to do it right, but have no doubt: We will continue to do what is necessary to protect the American people." […]

U.S. officials had said after the strike on Monday that U.S. special operations forces using manned and drone aircraft had destroyed an encampment and a vehicle using several Hellfire missiles and laser-guided munitions. But they did not confirm that Godane had been killed until Friday.

“Godane's removal is a major symbolic and operational loss to the largest Al Qaeda affiliate in Africa and reflects years of painstaking work by our intelligence, military and law enforcement professionals,” the White House said in a statement.