U.S. says death of embassy bombing mastermind huge setback to al-Qaida

10:16, June 12, 2011      

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Somali government forces who carried out the operation to kill Fazul Abdullah Mohammed stand near the vehicle Fazul and a Somali accomplice drove in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, June 8, 2011. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the mastermind of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, is believed to have been killed in Somalia, authorities said on Saturday. (Xinhua/Stringer)

The White House on Saturday said the death of the mastermind of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania is a "huge setback to al-Qaida."

In a statement, John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said the death of Harun Fazul is "another huge setback to al-Qaida and its extremist allies."

Somali authorities said earlier in the day that Fazul, al-Qaida 's chief operative in East Africa, was killed as he resisted arrest after being stopped at a checkpoint.

Brennan said Fazul's death provides "a measure of justice to so many who lost loved ones because of the actions of this terrorist. " He said the U.S. side commends the efforts of the Somali government forces, adding that the event "struck a significant blow against those in the region seeking to carry out terrorist attacks."

Fazul was indicted in the Southern District of New York for his alleged involvement in the bombings of U.S. embassies on Aug. 7, 1998. U.S. authorities have a 5-million-dollar bounty on his head.

The elusive terrorist suspect, who was on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s watchlist of most wanted terrorists, was believed to have taken over the leadership of al-Qaida's branch in Somalia, from where he directed world attacks and African terror operations.

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Source: Xinhua
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