WASHINGTON – Special operations forces killed a senior Islamic State leader in a helicopter strike in a remote area of Somalia on Thursday, US officials said.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity It identified the man as Bilal al-Sudani, the leader of the Islamic State of Somalia.
The U.S. military “conducted a successful counterterrorism operation in Somalia,” U.S. Africa Command said in a news release.
Biden administration officials said no civilians were injured or killed in the attack. They also said that although the dog they brought with them bit one, none of the US troops involved were injured.
In a statement Thursday, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, Mr. Al-Sudani said he was “responsible for fostering ISIS’s growing presence in Africa and funding the group’s global operations, including in Afghanistan.”
During a call with reporters on Thursday afternoon, a senior executive, Mr. He described al-Sudani as a “key operative and facilitator for ISIS’s global network.” The official said the secretary was killed along with 10 other Sudanese Islamic State allies.
The experiment took place in a remote mountain cave complex in northern Somalia.
Mr. The official said special operations forces were ready to capture al-Sudani but the response of his associates when US troops arrived at their cave compound “resulted in his death”.
Somalia is better known as a harbor for al-Shabaab, a terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda rather than the Islamic State. But Islamic State attacks have increased across Africa.