Special Forces Attack on al-Qaida in Somalia
American Special Forces attacked vehicles in Somalia
carrying members of al-Qaida's Somalia and Kenya branch
on September 14, 2009. The dead included Saleh Ali Saleh
Nabhan, wanted for the 2002 car bombing of a beach resort
in Kenya and an attempt to shoot down an Israeli
airliner. He was a leader of the local al-Qaida branch.
Nabhan was a 30-year old Kenyan who is suspected of being
behind the 2002 attacks in Kenya ttargeting Israelis. Ten
Kenyans and three Israelis died in the bombing of an
Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa. Ground-to-air missiles
were fired at the Israeli airliner as it took off from
the city's airport but missed the jet. Nabhan is believed
to be one of those who fired a missile. He later escaped
in Somalia, which is a largly lawless nation with a
strong al-Qaida presence.
Previous American attacks on al-Qaida in Somalia
involved missile attacks which were relatively imprecise,
and created casualties among Somali civilians. This
attack was carried out by helicopters which fired on the
vehicles. Witnesses reported that after the helicopter
attack concluded, American troops rappelled to the
ground, collected the dead and wounded, and flew off. One
Somali official said that the attack produced five
The last confirmed American troop presence in Somalia
was in 1993, during the Battle of Mogadishu. When
Somali in 2005 and 2006, some reports indicated that
small numbers of U.S. troops accompanied the Ethiopians,
searching for al-Qaida leaders.
Asks Foreign Fighters to Come to Somalia--Voice of
America, Sept. 16, 2009
Special Forces Targeted al-Qaida in Somalia--New York
Times, September 15, 2009
Says Raid in Somalia Killed Terrorist With Links to
Al-Qaeda--Washington Post, September 15, 2009
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