Monday, September 14, 2009
Hunted al Qaeda militants in Africa,Key al Qaeda figure killed in US raid in Somalia
Sept 14 (Reuters) - U.S. special forces in helicopters attacked a car in southern Somalia on Monday and killed one of east Africa's most wanted al Qaeda militants, witnesses and U.S. sources said.Kenya-born Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, 28, was suspected of building the truck bomb that killed 15 people at a Kenyan hotel in 2002, as well as involvement in a simultaneous, but botched, missile launch at an Israeli airliner leaving Mombasa airport.Nabhan was one of five al Qaeda operatives or associates who Washington says have been in Somalia.FAZUL ABDULLAH MOHAMMED: Escaped from a house in Kenya's Indian Ocean resort of Malindi just minutes before officers crashed through the door in August 2008, police said. On the FBI's most wanted list, with a $5 million reward for his capture. Indicted for his alleged role in the 1998 Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings, which killed 240 people. Born in Comoros, believed to be 35-37 years old, expert in disguise, forgery and bomb-making. Carries numerous passports, speaks five languages. Also on U.N.'s al Qaeda and Taliban sanctions list.ABU TALHA AL-SUDANI: Sudanese explosives expert suspected by Western intelligence to lead east Africa's al Qaeda cell. Reported to have first visited Somalia in 1993 -- when U.S. troops were there as peacekeepers. May have been trained by Hezbollah in 1993. The United States says he orchestrated the 2002 bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel in Kenya that killed 15.SALEH ALI SALEH NABHAN: The 28-year-old Kenyan was wanted by the FBI over 2002 hotel bombing and simultaneous but botched missile attack on Israeli airliner leaving Mombasa airport. Believed to have owned truck that bombed the hotel and to have hidden in Somalia with the help of al-Itihaad al-Islaami, or alumni of the militant group operating under a different name.SHEIKH HASSAN DAHIR AWEYS: In his late 60s or early 70s, is among 189 people or entities the United States "linked to terrorism" after Sept. 11, and their assets frozen. He is also on a U.N. list of al Qaeda associates. Former Somali prison service colonel, involved with militant Somali Islamists. Most recently was leader of Somali Islamic Courts Council (SICC) ousted from power in December. Before that, he headed al-Itihaad al-Islaami's military wing until Ethiopia destroyed it. U.N. arms report says he has run training camps since 2005. Denies al Qaeda links.SHEIKH HASSAN TURKI: Intelligence sources say he leads the Somali wing of al-Takfir wal-Hijra -- international Islamist group linked to extremist violence. Took senior SICC role after participation in Al-Itihaad. Intelligence agencies believe he has long run militant training camp in Ras Kamboni, at Somalia's southern tip, where fleeing Islamists hid in early 2008.
Key al Qaeda figure killed in US raid in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Sept 14 (Reuters) - U.S. special forces in helicopters attacked a car in southern Somalia on Monday and killed one of east Africa's most wanted al Qaeda militants, Somali and U.S. sources said.Kenyan-born Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, 28, was suspected of building the truck bomb that killed 15 people at a Kenyan hotel in 2002, as well as involvement in a simultaneous, but botched, missile launch at an Israeli airliner leaving Mombasa airport.A senior Somali government source said the fugitive was in a car with other foreign insurgents from the al Shabaab rebel group when they were hit near Roobow village in Barawe District, some 250 km (150 miles) south of the capital Mogadishu.Washington says al Shabaab is al Qaeda's proxy in Somalia.A U.S. official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S. special operations forces aboard two helicopters that flew from a U.S. Navy ship opened fired on the vehicle that they believed contained Nabhan...more..http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLE021000