American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2013 – The U.S. military can put pressure on the al-Shabaab terrorist organization’s leadership whenever it so chooses, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today.
In a statement, Little said U.S. military personnel conducted a targeted operation the night of Oct. 4 against Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, known as "Ikrima," a Kenyan of Somali origin.
Ikrima is a top commander in the terrorist group al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate, the press secretary said. He is closely associated with now-deceased al-Qaida operatives Harun Fazul and Saleh Nabhan, who played roles in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, he added, and in the 2002 attacks on a hotel and airline in Mombassa, Kenya, that resulted in the deaths of Kenyan and Israeli citizens, including children.
The goal of the operation was to capture Ikrima under legal authorities granted to the Defense Department by the 2001 authorization to use military force against al-Qaida and its associated forces, Little said.
“While the operation did not result in Ikrima's capture,” he added, “U.S. military personnel conducted the operation with unparalleled precision and demonstrated that the United States can put direct pressure on al-Shabaab leadership at any time of our choosing.”
Working in partnership with Somalia’s government, the press secretary said, the U.S. military will continue to confront the threat posed by al-Shabaab.
“The United States military has unmatched capabilities and could rely on any of them to disrupt terrorist networks and plots,” he added.